All of us have fears we are afraid to face. The ghosts in the closet about whom you don't want to talk, don't want anybody to know. You try to hide from it, run away from it.... but it haunts you. Like a shadow follows you everywhere, your worst nightmare. You can't do anything, either you run away from it for ever or face it.
Today I visited Agonda beach. For two years the events of October 2, 2006 haunted me. I lost 3 people I knew in front of my eyes and could do nothing about it.I would never forgive myself for that ever in my life. I still remember my last meetings with the 3 of them. The sight of Punit waving his arms. The confusion that ensued, the frantic attempts, the helplessness and finally the decision to return.A part of me died that day , another part was born. The days that followed were probably the worst I had been through in life. One had to appear strong, keep people who were there with you strong, give them a shoulder, not let the people around you feel too broken but inside it was 100 degrees. The feeling that you didnot do anything. The helplessness, the guilt and the nightmares.
Today on the way I got flashes of that day. A part of me wanted to go back while another part of me wanted to face it. I tried to make small talk with my friends but it did not help. As the place got closer the day kept on becoming more clear. And then we arrived there. While walking towards the beach a kind of reel was playing in front of my eyes of that day. Then I saw the beach. Today it was calm, the sun was setting, children were playing on its sand. I looked around and it had changed, there were shacks around enough people around. I sat down and just looked at the setting sun, thinking about everything. Looking around I could still visualise that day but somehow being there was different. I don't know how but it was different. And finally I did something which I never thought I would do. I stood up, took of my sandals and walked towards the sea and let my feet get wet in it.
While leaving I looked back once again. The sun was setting, the day was ending and I thought the nightmares may continue, the guilt may remain always but today I have faced the one of the biggest fears of my life and probably with that setting sun much more may have ended than the day. I thought I had redeemed myself.
Before I end this deeply emotional posts of mine I think some thankyou's should be in order. I would always be indebted to Vishrut, angad, vishal,boxer, Mohammed,Puneet and Purnoor for being with me throughout the next 3 days. To Rao for talking to me and keeping me together as soon as a got back. To Gurveen for making me talk about the incident. To Sethi, Gaurav, Abhinav and Rajat for driving me there today. And finally to the people who were with me on the fateful day for keeping each other strong.
And finally to Punit, Praveen and Hari ..... I am sorry.