Sometime around a year back, I had been tangled in my sheets, my iPad resting on my lap, curled into a warm cocoon, thinking I was cut off from the world- in the most beautiful way possible. However, suddenly, a mail notification popped up on my screen and I realised I wasn’t quite isolated as I thought- but this too, in the most beautiful way possible- for that slight disruption brought into my life the presence of a person I truly treasure. And it is not only I who respects him beyond measure- countless osdotme folk and those outside of it look up at him with adoration in their eyes for the many, many feats he has accomplished- as an author, an entrepreneur, a sportsperson, a father, a son, an uncle, a friend and so much more- one of my favourite people to talk to- Hetal uncle.

His comment had been like no other- while praising my post to be perfection, as he often flatters people, he pointed out an imperfection- metaphorically teaching me the lesson of constant improvement, as he often does- leaving me with a piece of wisdom to chew upon, a piece of wisdom whose existence shall never be exhausted by the muscles of your mind for it can have a thousand different interpretations and applications in life.

It’s been such an honour, merely to know him. Sometimes, scrolling through his posts makes me feel truly fortunate to know him personally, and makes me marvel at the immense amounts of talent he possesses- how can someone not only manage and balance but also practice with incredible amounts of enjoyment such a myriad of activities? One seldom gets the opportunity to forge such a unique friendship with not the heart or body but the very spirit of another person- the ones that are ‘kindred’ souls, as Anne from Green Gables (Who uncle says is like me, God knows why.) would say- a friendship extending beyond the concept of age or time.

Sometimes, words can’t quite capture the beauty of another’s person or your relationship with them. I cannot for the life of me describe in loopy letters the sheer glow that his eyes give out, like reflections of the lustrous gold medals that hang proudly upon his wall; the smile- it could easily pass off as a dentist’s advertisement neither could words describe the messages he sends- filled with concern, knowledge and humour, but most of all, i could never amount to language his heart, filled with gratitude, love and sweetness for those close to him- this not only shows in his Hinglish calls, but in whatever he writes or does. His book on his incredible father also provides a glimpse into him- how he aims for perfection at everything he does in any kind of relationship he shares with someone- and being one of the rare few to secure it for life.

He- a child at heart, yet his heart has the speech like that of a wise old sage. It’s his birthday today. Hetal uncle, it really is a privilege to be chatting with you at 6:11 AM in the morning, to be receiving scenic photographs of the sunrise and sunset, audios proving your talent as a marvellous singer and a life update from time to time. And a part of me will always be sending gas balloons of gratitude to God for that- for you being such a fun uncle to hang out with- allowing the child in me to blossom while all the while giving lessons of maturity to her. You’re a rare person to have in life- literally too, I think your name is rather unique. Anyway,

Happy, happy birthday! Keep smiling that emoji ke laayak waali aapki smile on your face forever.

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Hemanya Vashishtha

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