It was the 8th day of the month of July, 2020. I had a very unusual afternoon nap and took my mobile phone to check my WhatsApp messages. It was a normal day till that moment. Messages started pouring in my previous office group. I scrolled to check the first message and got the news that my friend (Jagan Anna – as I would fondly call him) passed away due to a massive cardiac arrest. My brain froze for a moment. I don’t know how to react to the situation. A thousand memories of Jagan Anna flashed in my brain and it was totally unstoppable.
Two years back during the Christmas season when I was working in my previous company, I saw him for the first time. A very jovial and beautiful soul, I should say. His name is Jagannathan Thiyagarajan, a very well experienced Information Security Professional. I met him on the way to the cafeteria for having dinner with my friends. He never told me his age. Whenever I asked him, he would say if I add 10 years to my age, I will get to know his age. That’s an example of one of the lightest moments I had with him. As days rolled by, Jagan Anna became my go-to person during difficult situations, my well wisher, my all-time supporter and all that you would have imagined the characteristics of a best friend. Believe me, I have met hundreds of people, but I have never seen someone who will consider me as their best friend. It so happened that I got placed in my current company in the month of January, 2020. I was serving my notice period and due to the spread of Corona Virus, I was asked to work from home. Unfortunately, 23rd March 2020 became the last day for me working inside the campus of my previous company. I took my office computer, got all the approvals while Jagan Anna took his car and waited for me outside the building. He was asking me to stay a little longer, but I was in a hurry. Then, I realized that day could be my last day inside the office premises since we were not sure until when the lockdown situation will prevail. So, I stayed. I would have regretted my entire life if I had left early to home that day. Earlier when he told me that he bought a car, I never had the opportunity to have a look. He took me in his car and he drove around the whole campus and he was very happy. I still remember the smile on his face that day. Then, we went to the cafeteria and had some snacks. Keerthivasan (My friend) also accompanied us. He was also very much dear to Jagan Anna. No words came out of my mouth, as I was thinking of everything that had happened in the campus. He told me to take good care of my father and mother. I said “Yes”. Then, I took my mobile phone and booked my cab to go home. The Cab Drivers’ name was also Jagan. I told him this and we were laughing a lot. When the cab arrived, Jagan Anna gave me a warm hug and as I entered the cab, I said “Bye Anna”. He too responded saying “Bye” to me and the cab left. That was the last time I saw his face.
Everyday, one time or the other, we used to call each other and share about how life is going in the Pandemic. 10th April 2020 was my official last day in my previous company. Jagan Anna became very emotional and he said that he will miss me very much. Never in my life had I heard anyone say that to me. I usually address him as ‘Anna’ which means ‘Brother’ in Tamil and he too considered me as his brother. 2nd July, 2020 was his birthday. I called him in the midnight to convey birthday wishes to him. Even the day before his death, I called him. He said he is not feeling well and confirmed that he will call me later. That was the last time I heard his voice.
The uncertainty of Life always gives chills to my spine. All we have is this beautiful thing called life. There is always something for everyone to fight with and fight against in our lifetime. For me now, I have lost an awesome brother and wonderful friend. All I have now is the memory of the wonderful friendship and brotherhood I shared with Jagan Anna, which I will carry throughout my journey. Time never forgives. Our life passes before our eyes in the blink of an eye. Therefore, take time to make good friends, smile and create memories wherever you are. Miss you, Jagan Anna. Happy Friendship Day!