Goodbye Clarence, My Friend, Rest in Peace Print E-mail
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Written by Anando   


The sands of time have this ill effect on every person, it blurs memory like a faded picture except few staunch ones which are hard enough not to go. I remember the first time I went to Clarence's house, it must have been good 15 years ago. We were in class 7th and he was already a musical talent worth recognising and I was the guy who understood computers.

The only similarity we both had that some how we both knew that our courses would remain the same. He invited me over to work on 'cake walk' , a music software. I was very pleased by his invitation and went over to watch him feed his talent into a digital form while I tried to make sense of the software. Thats when we started to get friendly and hang out.

He had started to make a name for himself, every musical show in school , he was the star. He was the school darling and he had this cool persona around him but he never got arrogant. After school we got seperated. He went on his path and I on mine. I kept getting news of how fast he was scaling new heights which we never though was possible. Playing all over the world with international bands and all I felt was pride but I never contacted him as I felt that he may think worse of me for my timing. He may think that I suddenly got interested in our old forgotten friendship because of his fame.

One day, I got onto a new social site (not facebook) and it automatically added him without me realising it and he messaged me with great enthusiasm. "Where have you been,Onondo?" as he always called me , trying to pronounce my bengali name properly but always failing. I felt relieved that I had nothing to fear and he was as humble as ever. We had a nice chat and promised each other of meeting soon however the sands of time again had other plans. I fell very ill with multiple TB. When I got a little better , I came to realise that Clarence was suffering from a deadly disease at the same time as me. I suddenly felt there was an invisble bond tying us together.

It was a good 9 months before I felt well enough to get out of my house and one of my first plans were to go meet a brother who was possibly suffering more than me. I bought him a book to read and reached his house and found a bald man with a big smile. His fiery mowhalk was gone and the sight really pained me but we chatted for hours at his place and he faked how much he loved my gift. To all our relief he was feeling better soon and before you knew it , he was back to his old self, playing in bands all around the world but by now we both had got quite close.

One day he invited me for a show where he was playing. I reached and called him to say that I had reached not realising he was already on the stage and was just about to start playing. He picked up the phone and with the usual jovial voice told me, "dude , I am on the stage , Ill call you back!". I looked up and yep, there he was, switching his phone off. I felt like such an idiot but he never made me feel bad about it.

After the show when his other band members were busy signing CDs, we sat together and had coffee before deciding that we should all head out for some fun. He and another member of his band along with me got into his old maruti van and started club hopping. It was a saturday night and every club we went to was jam packed. Muscle bulking wanna be hulks barred entry to almost all decent night clubs and there was unforgivable lines of people jostling to get in but not us. Everywhere we went, they saw Clarence and that was enough. We were in. Once a bouncer stopped me "Oye Kahan ja raha hai ?" he asked putting his massive palm on my chest and Clarence rushed back and said "oho! he is with me" and I was in again.

We were chilling around from club to club enjoying our life with great company of musicians and creme de le creme and yet he had no qualms about who he was. He was exactly the same guy whose home I was invited to sort out "cake walk". Since then we kept meeting on and off and he never changed except one night when he called me up late and I could very clearly hear that he was feeling very down. That was the first time I was feeling scared for him as I kept getting better and he kept hiding his actual condition to me. He said " Onondo , I am getting very tired of this dude. I want to be better, there are so many things I need to do". We chatted for a long time and he soon had actually started sounding better and I thought he would be with us indefinitely. We started making plans of trips to hill stations and whether we would drive there or be driven. Everything was getting back to normal, atleast that is what he made me constantly feel and then , he left us.

This humble musical genious who always made me feel special had gone to a better place where we all soon would be joining him but till then you shall be dearly missed my brother, very dearly missed. Take good care of yourself and trust me, we will have that trip we both wanted to and Ill drive you there .


Rest in Peace dear friend,

Clarence Gonzalves

24th October 1984 - 13th April 2012

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