Arun Rao – Cathedral & John Connon School mate and langoti friend
One Hot Afternoon Summer with Webley Scott
There is a stillness in the air, it is the end of May and the monsoons haven’t arrived. It is too hot to be outside. The boys stay indoors at Riard’s bedroom on Peddar Road. Some of us lie crashed out on the bed under a slow rotating fan. Others lounge on chairs smoking Four Squares and Charminar Golds, reading car magazines.
Riard stirs from his bed and walks to his cupboard. From a drawer, he extracts an old Webley Scott air pistol. He says its’ a family heirloom. Grabbing an old rag he begins to clean it. Flipping open the chamber he blows some air through it and snaps the barrel back in place. These actions arouse interest with some of the boys. We ask if the gun still works. Yes, says Riard, but the spring seems busted and the gun has no power. Riard places a .55 slug into the chamber and asks if he can fire at my leg. Not a chance, I say, I don’t trust you. Come on, the spring is really weak, he assures, the slug will just bounce off. Fuck off, I protest, let me shoot at you instead. Riard hands me the gun.
And this, starts an afternoon of much entertainment.
With the pellet in the chamber, I aim at Riard’s leg and fire off a round. Just as he said, the pellet bounces off the denim and falls gently to the tile floor. Hmmm, let me do this again. I load another pellet and fire off another round. Same result.
Watching from the bed is Somi, whose interest is peaked as he finds this act fascinating. Somi always loved guns and this was something he had never seen before, someone being shot at, at close range. Meanwhile, I continue firing a few more rounds at Riard. The spring is weak and the pellets vacate the barrel with marginal force.
Somi gets off the bed and asks me to take a shot at him. I ask him, where on his body would he like me to shoot. My bum, he replies. Good choice, I cannot not miss this ample target and fire a round. It amuses our friend to no end … he has never been shot at. Go again, he encourages, and I comply. Again, again, he roars, enjoying the experience. I fire more rounds into that bulbous booty.
Unbeknownst to us, the defective spring is slowly tightening and falling into place. I hear a click, but think nothing of it. Somi is still bending over baring his denim covered barn door size, bum. I take the shot. The gun fires, this time with power and ferocity accompanied by a loud report.
The next thing we see and hear is, Somi jumping up in the air screaming at the top of his lungs. He continues bouncing up and down for a whole minute. None of us know what he is bellowing about. You shot me, you bastard – he yells. I reply, I know, you asked me to, and so I did. No, you fucker, the pellet has gone through my jeans. In agony, he rips off his jeans, exposing his bare arse to the rest of us. And there, on his left cheek is a grey pellet surrounded by a raging red circle. The pellet is lodged in the fat of his corpulent gluteal. After several minutes of rolling on the floor in side splitting laughter, Riard decides to get a Camlin compass and performs field surgery to dislodge the embedded pellet. A splash of Old Spice as disinfectant followed by some more hollering, our victim is saved.
As the sun begins to set and the temperature drops. The boys gather and drive over to Kobe’s for a grilled steak and sauteed veggies.
And another adventure with our friend comes to an end.
Rabindra Kishen Hazari Jr.
Thank you my dear friends, thank you for your kind words in remembering Sona🙏😃🙏.
It’s been difficult.
We were all quite dazed when Sona departed so suddenly.
It was unbelievable.
My brothers and I have always been very close. Although we differ in professions and temperament, we vibrate as a single chord.
The loss of a parent, in some ways, is expected, as part of the wheel of life.
The loss of Sona left us floundering in disbelief.
We are mostly non religious with death ceremonies being deliberately discarded. Yet rituals have a purpose in structuring grief and channeling emotions. We had none.
We needed an outlet.
We found it in wafting back into time. We were immersed in a river, a swift subterranean stream of memories which swept us into the eddies and pools of our childhood, froliced over our tumultuous teens, skirted swamps where the loathsome lurked, while happily gurgling through the sunny years..
Channeling that gushing river of memories into words was strangely soothing. Words were a balm. Writing was cathartic.
After all, Sona was the ultimate bullshit artist of all time. He liked nothing better, than to conjure up an audience, hold endless durbars and keep us spellbound with his stories, all wild and whacky, and wickedly witty.
How better then to remember Sona, than recount the Legends of Somi 😃
Grief is to be countered with laughter, pain with happy memories.. when I choke and my heart brims over in remembering Sona, I also grin as I recall all the mischief and the mayhem we caused…and you remember that life is for living, death is the retelling of stories of a life well lived to the fullest..God Damn..there was a feast or a fiesta that we missed😃
I couldn’t agree more Vivek [Rabindra Hazari] – the sentiments and emotions are still raw and will take many years for us all to come to terms with. Sona remains a larger than life manifestation in our memories – never to be forgotten. Cheers Sona – to all our good times together!
Dilnaz (Nagorwalla) Billimoria – Cathedral & John Connon Schoolmate of Somi
Lovely memories of Somi
With all of us & specially Homi
You two were an inseparable pair
So much fun, even dare
Plenty of majha & masti
Prompts this ode to dosti
Somi,well read and great at talk
Never at anything would he baulk,
Well known for his love of food
For everyone he wanted good
For animals he had much love
Be it a stray dog or broken dove
To Somi, a man of multi skilled flair
At his loss we must never despair
We all raise a well deserved toast
That Sweet Sambar Slurping Somi we love the most!❤️
Homi Dhunjibhoy – Cathedral & John Connon Schoolmate of Somi
My Dearest Hazari Family members..
Remembering my beloved brother on the 1st Anniversary of his passing.
I still feel a horrible pain and a big void whenever I think of him.. & if that happens for me.. I can only imagine what a huge loss his passing must be to all of you.
Somi.. his devilish humour.. his devious mind.. the softness inside him.. alongwith all our happy times spent together.. will eternally remain fresh memories for me.
I really miss him so deeply..
With lots of love & best wishes always..
Sunil Khanna (‘Kheru’) – Cathedral & John Connon Schoolmate of Somi
Somi Is our sunshine
Our only sunshine
He made us happy
When skies were gray
He surely knows, Fat1
How much we love you
So please don’t take our sunshine away
We will always love you
As you made us happy
But if you leave us there is no other
You have shattered our emotions
Sambar you our sunshine
Our only sunshine
You made us happy
When times were tough
You know our buddy
How much we love you
Why did you take our sunshine away!!!
A year has passed but Somi Bhai’s smile hasn’t faded away nor his witty conversations over simple and at times unusual topics. I miss his full of life, cheerful pics and posts on FB which always invited funny replies and started the chats. Completely down to earth, an all time foodie, food lover,a complete family man, a doting son, a lovable brother and who always stood by your side in tough times.To me, personally he was a great help and a guide and always responded ….no matter how busy he was. Though he is physically not there but everyday his jokes keep popping up in mind and remind us that LIFE IS TO BE LIVED …He will always be alive and an inspiration for all.
I remember Somi’s smiling face. He was always a happy go lucky person whenever we met. Life takes its toll but the focus should always remain on the good times and fun we had as a family. He will always be remembered in our thoughts and prayers.