I have been in a rather contemplative mode lately. Maybe because it is a stage where you want to reflect what has happened or where you are going next. Maybe it is the constant evaluation and struggle of having to do something you wish you would not pursue if not in the name of duty.
In the midst of the hecticness, I desperately needed to catch up with somebody and Chamat came along. I was late by almost 40 minutes (but luckily I could blame it on the weather - it was pouring cats and dogs).
A few hours passed by so quickly when you are in the company of the people who mean so much to me. Friendships you built from the MCKK years are like drugs to you - you have to prescribe it periodically to maintain your sanity.
Chamat and I went a long way back and any retelling of how we first struck a conversation off Prep School field would have been a punishment for others. In the case of Chamat, our paths kept crossing no matter how far we move in different directions.
Over the years, we have our ups and downs in our trial and tribulations. I'd liked to think that I did not wear my emotions on my sleeve and appeared to many others as a rock of stability, but the truth was I was a lot more fragile than I would like to think. I was too naive in most things so more often than not the initial shock of discovery or disappointment shook me more than I wish it had.
But Chamat had always managed to project an image of calm that did not betray any sea of struggles he was going through. So while others including me went through periods of disappointments in the company of our closest friends, it never crossed our mind that Chamat too would have to go through similar ordeals. He had always been good at concealing it.
Looking back, those are qualities that put him more suited to be successful in whatever he choose to do, compared to many of us. Throughout the years he was the better among us who took challenges in his stride without a tinge of self-pity.
Catching up with Chamat was perhaps the highlight of the last few weeks. We never waste any meeting without discussing what we eventually will end up venturing together. I think this time around we finally have decided on what we will do next.
On 10 January 1995 he gave a card to me at Subang Airport before we left for Scotland. He wrote:
The most wonderful things happen to the most wonderful people.
Looking at him all these years, I can only smile in concurrence :-)