“You can never learn to play the guitar Parth. You’re just too mechanical with it. Just like a robot”, laughed Vinayak while smoking the half-finished joint that Parth had been smoking before he walked into Parth’s room in the hostel. Vinayak was a nineteen year old boy with curly, thick hair and with dark, unrevealing but expressive eyes. He was not a boy of many words. He had friends but always stayed reserved. He would joke sometimes, sometimes he would laugh but Parth never saw him having a personal conversation with anyone or revealing things about his personal life. Sometimes Parth wondered if anyone knew what he really was. Maybe Parth himself did not know what he was.
Vinayak was a year younger than Parth and a year junior to him in law school and in spite of Vinayak fitting perfectly into the definition of an intelligent, introvert person, there was something about his personality which drew people near him. Nevertheless, his reserved attitude, in most cases, distanced anybody who tried to be a close friend. Even though a year younger than Parth, he seemed much more matured. To most people in law school, he appeared to be a no-nonsense kind of a guy. Parth knew Vinayak was an introvert who had somehow opened up to him. Vinayak was not Parth’s best friend. Parth did not even like him when he first met him and sometimes Parth wondered if Vinayak was even his friend but with time they had become good friends and Parth called him Vinny.
Every conversation they ever had was remarkably fascinating even when there were very few things which Parth and Vinny could talk about. They shared a passion for music. They would talk about music endlessly. Vinny was learning to play the guitar and he was learning very fast while Parth had tried so many times and given up so many times already. Every time Vinny brought his guitar to Parth’s room, Parth would give playing it a shot but Vinny would always say, “You have to feel it. Try strumming the guitar in a flow and identify the beats in the song”. Parth had been trying to play the guitar for over a year now but could only learn four chords while Vinny already knew many after his few months of dedicated practice.
Apart from music, Parth and Vinny would talk endlessly about Vinny’s longtime girlfriend and the two girls from the law school itself who Parth had dated briefly in his fresher year and the second year respectively. Vinny would talk about his girlfriend quite a lot. He would tell Parth how much he loved her and the things he would do for her, some of which Parth understood and some of which he did not. Parth had never seen Vinny talk about his girlfriend so much in front of anyone else. Parth did feel privileged sometimes because of this fact. It was then that Parth realized that Vinny was a good friend and probably his only friend with whom he could have a real conversation about anything.
When Parth got to know that Vinny was dead, it was a huge shock for him. Vinny had called Parth a day before he killed himself asking for some consultation but Parth was too busy doing something which seemed very significant then but he did not even remember what it was after Vinny ’s death. ‘Vinny, I’ll call you in a couple of hours, I am busy doing something right now. Don’t worry all shall be well.’ Parth had said. Those couple of hours never came to an end and Parth had indeed forgotten to call his friend. Two days later Parth got to know that he’s dead. Parth did blame himself for not giving his friend a chance to consult him, for ignoring his last call for help. Parth tried to find comfort in the fact that he did not know how grave the problem really was but that did not help and it had to be a life changing episode of his life. Parth knew it was a foolish decision made by Vinny but he was his friend. Parth could probably never get over it and didn’t want to and knew that Vinny ’s family will always be devastated.
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