The one thing you should never think about twice
I opened FB after a gap of almost 16 hours last week because of travel.
And the first thing I read is a R.I.P.
Not a celeb. Not a friend. Not the parent or relative of anyone I knew.
But of Sahil Chaddha.
He was my student.
My heart sank. I as it is find it difficult to breathe nowadays and I missed a breath then. I rubbed my eyes 5.30 in the morning to see clearly what I read.
And there he was, our hero posing in a bright yellow tee-shirt against a bright yellow car, sporting his killer smile.
The song instantly started playing in my head as it always did when I saw him and vice versa. When I heard the song, I would remember him each time.
Rewind: 23 or 24 years ago
Venue: St. Mary’s school where I was a teacher and that day a judge too.
Event: Inter-house music competition
Sahil Chaddha was in grade 6 or 7 that is age 10 or 11.One of those nice, good, perfect students that most co-students would be ‘J’ of.
Well-mannered coming from an extremely close knit loving family, an extrovert, a helpful kid, good in studies and sports, always ahead in extra-curricular activities be it in our street theater or singing and man if you knew how to sing and hold that guitar….you had arrived in life.
We teachers, always have the knack of gauging the potential of such candidates’ way before the still innocent girls and boys their age did.
And that’s when I saw a slight commotion.
Young Sahil with a stylish guitar in hand and a school tie drawn loose like a young Indi-pop star in his act, the other hand continuously setting his curly hair left to right, seemed hassled and less sure of himself.
Despite the last minute nervousness and the thought of pulling out of the competition, he still wore that smile.
Two acts later was his performance.
The charming kid used to give away that he is a Punjabi boy simply by the way he said “Good Morning” in the corridor, for which he bent so much that if you failed to hear the two English words you would swear you heard “Pairi Pauna!”, when he bent out of courtesy! J
Needless to say he was nervous because he was to sing and strum the guitar on his own and he must have just started to learn both.
A lot of encouragement from senior house didi’s, captains, teachers and finally, he decided to sing.
Nah…Not like the others did he stand on that rickety stage.
This stylish fella, pulled a chair, put his left foot on the chair and settled his guitar on his thigh.
The audience burst into a roar! What a kid!!!
And then he sang a song.
A song I had never heard.
A song unfamiliar to everyone in the auditorium.
A song that had words and lyrics uncanny of the indi-pop songs heard those days.
The words were delightful, the strumming easy on the ear. Maybe not totally in rhythm but for a small kid like him on his first such performance it was worthy of each clap he got that day.
A song that I searched for the same week, to play out on my show Citilites on AIR Fm.
A song that you HAVE got to sing if you have a late night school/college friend’s party.
A song that remained with me forever, with a Sahil Chaddha ka thaappa on it.
How I wish I had taken out 3 minutes from the n number of hours I spend unnecessarily on Facebook to tell him…see how often I remember you!!!!
Everyday. Because Purani Jeans also went on to become a daily show on Radio Mirchi Delhi. There was no way I could have missed that, except having told you, I remembered you each day Sahil Chaddha. Nothing in particular but just this song and you. Just an association.
Yes the one thing you should never think about twice is telling a person what you feel. Be it on WhatsApp, through messenger, sms, skype, letter, e-mail, phone or simply in person.
So, even if you did not know Sahil, who just simply left his bunch of family and friends here to spread more love and laughter elsewhere, do listen to this song in the middle of your work today. It reminds you of all that we did when we were young and all that we shouldn’t be missing on because age is catching up.
And Sahil…I am sure you shall manage a guitar up there!
Kyunki bas Yadien Yadien Yadein reh jaati hain….