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|My Lost Friend Sastryji (standard:other, 1126 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Nov 12 2010||Views/Reads: 1800/1106||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A sad story about a lost friend|
Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story Bhajanlal always offered Indian pastries, some sticky with sugar syrup and others hard like rock but sweet. Juggernaut had no complaints since it brought some nostalgia of India. Sastryji was well known among the expatriate professors from India on the campus and he introduced Juggernaut to some of them. Professor Krishnan, a dark-skinned and curly-haired professor, after living several years in England, came to Trinidad with his British wife. In social gatherings, he behaved more British than his English wife. He left Trinidad after a short stay; Trinidad was too Indianish for him. While Juggernaut's graduate work was going at full swing, he had serious doubts about Sastryji completing his work any time soon. Sastryji came almost three years earlier and now almost seven years had passed since he came to Trinidad. His work was no way close to completion. He never discussed his work with anybody. Sastryji wasted time and money on Pundit Jairam and Dr. Mohan in socializing at the expense of his graduate work. Though Sastryji sent some money home, Juggernaut felt sorry for his wife and children back home. It was certain that his family missed him. On some days, Sastryji got up from bed in the afternoon hours. He continued to smoke cigarettes like a wood-burning stove, as much as three to four packs of Broadway cigarettes, a local brand. The Indian maid emptied a plastic pail (the regular ashtray over-filled so often, the maid replaced it with a pail) full of cigarette butts and ash so often, the chore disgusted her. The maid was always worried that Sastryji would never return to India to join his family. Juggernaut consoled her by saying how Sastryji may stay put in Trinidad like her forefathers from India. When Juggernaut left Trinidad with a Ph.D. degree, Sastriji was still working on his thesis work. Several years after, Juggernaut contacted the University where Sastryji worked in North India. After several months, he received a letter from the University Registrar indicating that Dr. Sastry died of natural causes soon after he returned from Trinidad. His death could be anything but natural from heavy smoking for so long. The University provided Sastryji's family address living in South India but he didn't see any need to contact them, after all they don't know Juggernaut Juggernaut always wondered about his dear friend Sastryji, how he spent his time, almost a decade away from his family, just to get a diploma for a promotion to professorship that benefited neither him nor his family. He was a loser by any count. Both the Pundit and the Indian doctor wasted his time and money. Juggernaut was not sure how the regular puja helped him either, may be he received some solace from it. Tweet
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