In 1991, a huge 25 foot tidal wave hit Chittagong, and a hurricane; that ravaged the city.
I was part of an NGO back then and went down there.
In the course of time I met someone and we became really good friends.
After I left 3 years later, we continued to write to each other regularly and kept up with each others lives.
But her letters became more and more erratic and sometime 3 months would go by without any news of her.
Then 1 year, I got very busy with my own life, time flew by and a year had passed and I had no letter from her.
The next letter I recieved was from her husband. My dearest friend had passed away.
The shock and pain of the loss of that friend still lives in my heart today, as every year when I get the new calendars and mark out everyones birthdays I never fail to circle the 9th of Feb and write her name next to it.
It is not denial, it is being unable to say goodbye.
It is 100 questions that stay unanswered. Why did she not tell me she was not well. I would have flown down and donated my kidney without a second's thought.
At times her radiant smile catch me unawares. I almost reach out, call out and then I remember.
At Umra one dawn while I was praying I heard a voice call my name, in a moment that is so eerie I looked up and for that split second saw her there smiling at me.
The next Umra I did in her name.
There is a theory that everyone can be linked by 6 degrees of separation. That is to say, between any two people, the first person knows someone who knows someone who knows the other person, within six people.
The last two weeks I have spent trying to locate her husband, and her two daughters. I have been calling up people trying to find them.Finally I did.
This is where the 6 degrees of seperation comes.
She passed away in 2000. I wrote to her husband and got back a reply. After that no news for so many years.
Someone I know, her sister knew the sister of my friend, who taught in the school where her kids used to study.
The husband of my friend's sister finally managed to get hold of my friend's husband.
6 degrees later he called and I spoke to the family.
The daughters today are grown up young women. The last time I saw them they were 5 and 7 and barely remember me. I myself barely remember them.
It was a very emotional phone call and I marvel at how the time has flown by.
When I spoke to her husband he told me that his very good friend's daughter, is now married to my brother.
Small world HUH!
6 degrees of seperation