“Author Hubert H. Humphrey once said ‘The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it’. To write about any known associate is difficult but to write about a friend like Sachin is most difficult. For us, Sachin will never be ‘was’, he is and always will be present, alive and kicking in our hearts. The way we want someone, whom we love the most, to be around us .. and so does God. And so he took him in his arms, away from mortals like us. But even in doing that he made Sachin an instrument in helping us revisit the ‘meaning of life’. We will not only miss his vibrancy, enthusiasm, honesty but also his true friendship qualities. I won’t shed tears for you; because I know you wouldn’t have liked. Mate, don’t worry about the close ones who are left behind; we are there the way you were for us. You enjoy your new journey. I pray to God to take utmost care of you in your new life. May your soul rest in peace.” – Kunal Shah.
“Sachin has been a friend, brother and soulmate with whom we have shared a lot of fun, happiness, naughtiness, stress, regrets and aspirations! He had a clear heart and fair conscience; a day start to smile, so therapeutic, that you would open your heart to him. We will miss him a lot (words can hardly express our pain). Often we planned of having family get-togethers, since last few years, but never materialised – a regret that I will always have! Sachin may your soul rest in peace and we pray God gives strength to your loved ones to withstand your withdrawal from the corporeal world into the next!” – Ashraf Calcuttawala
“Sachin was one of our dearest buddies and will remain in our hearts forever. Honest, hardworking and a humble individual who rose through the ranks and leaving his imprints in our lives forever. Miss you man.” – Abhishek Mukim
India knows only one Sachin, but I know two. At Mumbai itself. One dearer, than the other.
Sachin Mulki was my first friend when I shifted to Mumbai 2004. His high approachability and sense of calmness attracted me towards him instantly – in an otherwise hectic, no time for anyone, busy city. My second friend was Ashraf Calcuttawala and we three formed a ‘lunch triumvirate’.
From early days, even when friendships were cementing, we didn’t have any money count amongst each other. Till date, we don’t. I don’t recall who paid the last bill, the amount or who will pay the next bill. Not that we had excess money, but we liked each other more.
On 27 Aug 2004 (I know this date as a Bollywood movie was released), there was a hilarious incident when Sachin pulled me out of the office to catch the first day 9 pm first show of Dhoom. He called me at 730pm and said he & Ashraf would get the tickets and I must reach by 850pm. I reached on time looking for them. Only to be told they would be 30mins late and so I should get the tickets black! So Sachin!
Very soon our little triumvirate was joined by the likes of Kunal, Vikram, Ashok, Devang and more.
Sachin was a likeable person. Am yet to meet anyone who has a bad word about Sachin. Or a feedback or improvement area. Probably Ashraf and me, for a long time, had been his biggest critic – Don’t make work your life, don’t be obsessed with files, don’t sit late every day, Be brave ask that lady for date etc
He would just smile it off. As always. He always stayed as natural as he could and not once could I find him faking anything or living in denial. Maybe he was too good for worldly ways. Maybe God thought he is more needed at other places where he would be valued more and attributes gel more.
The rains cometh
Sachin and the big eyed, effervescent Varsha (name meaning rains) tied the knot in 2005. The only marriage we witnessed, ever, where the bride and groom literally jogged and jumped with joy around the lighted fire. No faking, no routine; just what they felt like doing then. We often reminded them that scene comparing it with a Govinda Karishma Kapoor scene in Bollywood movie ‘Saajan Chale Sasural’.
A year ago
I last met Sachin for a lunch at Mumbai, during my official trip there. He gave an entire Sunday to me. We talked and ate, and talked and talked. He drove all the way down to Colaba, we ate awesome ‘strictly non-vegetarian’ Parsi thali at a place we thought would be bang for the buck.
Prior to that, we walked out of an expensive place where we felt it wasn’t worth the buck. No faking, just us. I can assure you 90% people on earth would struggle to walk out of a posh restaurant saying, ‘Sorry your prices are too expensive’.
Entire 2015 and early 2016, we chatted, spoke and shared a lot. Often laughing at his one phone call that had once come to me at night 2 am SGT. I was in-between my sleep, panicked at seeing a call come in so late, picked up, and growled ‘What happened?’. He replied ‘Nothing, why you sleep so early?’! So Sachin!.
As I write the above, also recall him calling me late into the night the evening Siyaa was born. He was very excited as any dad would. Especially a dad who loved family, friends and colleagues dearly.
Siyaa will be proud of him forever. Cause every time, everyone will have only one thing to tell her – that her dad was too nice for this world.
God is unfair
Sachin became unwell around late 2015 – despite months of weight loss, diet restrictions and what not he did prior – the illness came unwanted, unwarranted and unrelated. It also proved, for the umpteenth time, that instead of people doing everything for a longer (old age) life, they rather concentrate on a better life, fulfil their dreams when they are at the peak.
No amount of money or zero size figure can prevent any illness hitting you. We just do these things to stay hopeful of reducing the probabilities. But there is no fixed pattern. So you rather enjoy and give time to own people. Live, laugh, love and have multiple memories to hold on to. At the old age we have only spirit and memories to hold on to. No point killing your spirit and life now.
And yes, not necessarily directly related, but never trust hospitals and doctors as your ‘God equivalent’. They aren’t. They are just a set of service providers looking to extract as much money from you as possible. Only stick to doing business with them. It’s unfair if a set of doctors say yes 90% cured and charge your lifetime savings and then say sorry 0% chances.
26th July 2005, Mumbai was struck with tragic floods which submerged the city. Sachin and Ashraf had stayed overnight at my place then. The only night Sachin has stayed at my place. One day short of 11 years (25th July 2016), tragedy struck a corner of Mumbai again. From now on, both those dates have got interconnected in my memory. Whenever I reflect one, the other will automatically come to me. I wish Sachin comes to me. I wish he stays at my place again. Oh God, bring back my Sachin to me.
Live your life
Last we spoke, Sachin wanted to do a cruise vacation with us, family level. Am looking forward to it. He will be there, whenever it happens; with his big, vivacious, shy smile, coming out of his dark, glowing face!
“Do not save your loving speeches for your friends till they are no more. Do not write them on their tombstones, Speak to them rather now instead.” -Anna Cummins