Before I write anything sinister, I’d like to take this opportunity to solemnly remember the people of Dubai, because Heeba is going to that part of the world. May God be gracious and merciful to you all my people in Dubai.
On the onset of this necessary disaster, I also think about my brother Riyas Ummer (or Unnika as he’s been called by everyone except Heeba). You can’t help it my brother, so please bite the bullet.
I met Riyas once, no twice — one, of course at that unfortunate day he wore a blue blazer and Kunnamkulam-made black sunglass.
I met Heeba on a damp hot September morning of 2016. As you can imagine, my first impression of this woman was, “Oh My… It’s kindergarten again”.
We instantly become friends because she was so eager to meet a matured guy. It was with my advice she limited number of boyfriends to 3 from 7 and eventually ditched all of them to settle for Riyas.
When I joined the Times in 2016, my weight was 52 kilos. Now, I weigh 49. All thanks to Heeba for shamelessly stealing the major portion of my lunch.
Her mom cooks irresistible fish curry. As she was absolutely selfless, she used to mix the curry with rice before eating all the fish pieces and proclaim with sense of pride “Chaaril mukki nakkiya mathi“(gravy is enough for you scumbag)
Even though Heeba was senior than me, both in age and work experience (Her Date of birth is a matter of dispute and now destroyed Connecticut Panchayath files say she was born 1984 — Yes during the Emergency!) She always respected me. She even copied my style and dedication in my work. She often quote me as her source of inspiration for her punctuality.
We shared some beautiful memories like hiring a Uber cab to Edappally and she paying with her Paytm wallet. I thanked her inside my head for her generosity, but she prove me otherwise when on the next day she waited in the entrance gate of our office to collect that money, 52 rupees to be precise. Oh, what a lovely girl!
She is a very honest girl. I’ll explain it with a simple episode. When Heeba decided to marry Riyas, first question she faced from her townfolk was “This is a love marriage, right?”
“Why?” She asked.
“Because, you both work in the media business” they replied.
Some of the people have done some research to find out the similarities of the companies they’re working.
Heeba works at the Times of India.
Riys works at the Khaleej Times.
“So, Is Khaleej sister concern of Times of India?” An intelligent aunty asked.
She swear to god that this was an arranged marriage and she has never met Riyas before. Pointing at the ambiguity of the statements her relatives and distant friends reaffirm their point that it indeed was a love-marriage.
On this juncture, I stepped in. With a single sentence I put an end to this discussion. It was straight from the heart, without any fallacy.
“Hey you people of Connecticut, do you think Riyas is a fool? Had he been by any chance was in love with this women, do you really think he’ll take a self destroying decision like marrying her?”
People felt relieved.
On a lighter note I want to say the following things;
Me and Heeba were friends for a just over a year. She is one of the prime reasons why I come to office and fight with the mundane. I saw her happy, strong, determined, flimsy and most importantly in tears.
Whenever she cried, those moments as fr as I can recollect, were silly and pointless to most of the hard hearted people. So why does those moments break her? Because she was innocent and sensitive, Because she unconditionally supported and cheered everyone. For that very reason she dared to call me on nine o’clock in the morning – the day I take leave to meet the doctor- shout over the receiver “Eda marappatti ninak OCD onnum illa. Thinnat ellinte edayil kettittilla kozhappam aanu. Office lek vaaa… Ninte OCD njaan maati tharam” (Hey, you mad dog you don’t have OCD. You’re privileged and that’s your problem. Come to office, I’ll treat your mental disease you loser”)
For that spirit I want to salute you my ‘brother’ and dear friend Heeba. I’m gonna miss you, but at the same time I’m super happy for you. Adieu, dear Marappatti! 😊
Featured image courtesy of Bibin Babu. Me and Heeba wearing “Greek style” flower crowns.
(Note: Emergency was declared in India in the year 1975. I’ve mentioned it sarcastically, though I was not sure about the date. Joys helped with it.)