The writings of Birju Patel

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Death of a childhood friend

On the 22nd of July 2006 one of my childhood friends “Rajiv Shah” passed away after fighting a battle with cancer for the past 4 years. Rajiv was a very handsome young man, he was full of life and he used to make everyone around him laugh. I have known him since we were kids; we used to be very close. Rajiv was in Daytona doing his masters when he found out about his cancer. He went through a series of treatments in Daytona, later on he was admitted to Moffit cancer center in Tampa.

I remember his sister mentioning that he would be in so much pain after his chemotherapy. Rajiv once made a funny comment that he looked like Barney after the therapy, because he used to turn purple. He was such a strong boy; he had the courage to crack jokes about his situation. Only a real man can have such a heart, humor is the best weapon against pain and sorrow. Rajiv had returned to India as a cured person, but after sometime the cancer germs started to return.

Rajiv was being treated in the Tata memorial hospital, Bombay. He went through a new stem cell procedure a few weeks back, and the operation was a success. But life can be so cruel; when everything was going smooth some kind of infection took over his body. The infection proved to be a fatal one, it had spread all over his body and he went into coma. Rajiv gave a good fight and almost had cheated death. I just wish I could have met him before he left this world.

His death had a great impact on me; it has made me realize a few things. Since the accident I have had grudges against many people. I felt betrayed by some of my friends and family members. There is not a day that I don’t think about the friends that I went to Ybor City on the night of accident; those friends just vanished from my life. I am hurt by most of my friends that I was so close to then and now they don’t even keep in touch. I am hurt most by few of my family members that I loved so much; nothing hurts like being ignored by loved ones.

Every single day I would pray to god that someday I could get my vengeance. But today all those feelings have been suppressed. Rajiv’s death has taught me that life is very unpredictable. I just thought of all my supportive family members and friends that have loved me even in my bad times. Rajiv’s death has made me realize to treasure my relations with the loved ones. Instead of wasting my time on thinking about the losers that left me, I rather invest my energy in strengthening my relationships that stood by my side

I am really blessed with some awesome family members and friends, I might not have a large list of friends like I used to have, but what ever I have at the moment is pure gold. I am happy that I am in touch with my real friends through phone, emails, chats, Internet groups and personal meetings. Anyways I had to tell you guys how much I appreciate your love and support; I wish I had a chance to tell this to Rajiv.

I hope you guys can learn something from this story. There are many people suffering from illnesses and sorrows, you should go and support them. I am sure a family member or a friend is going through such ordeal. If you don’t know anyone like that, then you should volunteer towards a cause, it would definitely put a smile on someone’s face. Well many of you might feel that things like this happen and LIFE GOES ON, but believe me life doesn’t go on for the person that is going through the tribulation. Anyways, I just believe in writing down what ever is on my mind and heart, I don’t expect anyone to agree with my ideologies.



Anonymous said...

Hi Birju, this is Jay's brother, Abhijit. I was just wondering what sort of cancer your friend had, how old he was and did he get it because of bad luck or because of something he did like smoking, chewing tobacco, etc. ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Birju,

Vey touching posts. You know I was in USF when your accident happened and I had heard your name before and after the incident. Infact I have even seen you during the SIA cricket tournaments many times both as a player and as a spectator on wheel chair.

You seem to have matured a lot in these years and, for some reasons, I feel good to see that. Back then you always came across to me as a brash young man who had a very wrong approach to life and just the kind of guy I would not even like to talk to but I can see how that has changed.

I am glad you can now see what was wrong with your lifestyle and you can atleast teach something to other from your experience. And since you now come across as a better human being to me I feel no problems talking to you directly hence this comment.

I wish you a life filled with love from everyone who matters to you. Remember, you dont have to have a perfect life to live a perfect life..its what to make of it. What if you are on a wheelchair, you are many many times better than all thos ephysically and economically sound people who are empty from the inside and never happy about theor life!


Birju Patel said...

I would love to get in touch with the person who wrote teh above comment. There is so much honesty in the words, please write to me at would love to get to know you.


pharmacy said...

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Aishwaria said...

you friend left you with a very precious present.....he taught you to see positive and constructive and affection helps one build everything.