HIV Positive

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College days bring back a lot of memories for one and all. Some make you laugh, some hurt and some are just like treading an emotional line. Irrespective of what they might bring out in you, they’re beautiful. So, when I received the invite for my college alumni meet, I could barely contain my excitement. I had to make it.

The long-awaited day finally arrived and I attended meet. It was a wonderful evening, as batch mates came together again. The feeling was like finding my precious old ornaments that were lost in time for so long. The evening was eventful, filled with felicitations, the principal’s speech, and performances by famous artists, followed by a lavish cocktail party. For me, all the colors of the rainbow were present in the party plus a very special old friend of mine. We studied in the same college for 5 years during graduation. He was fondly known as Professor.

Diganto alias Professor was like a father figure to me from the first day we met in the college canteen. No, he was not of the scholarly first-bench types; on the contrary, he was very mischievous but very funny and inspirational. Every single word of his was a teaching. On the first day, he introduced himself to me.

Hello, I am Diganto. What’s your name, dude?

Cool name brother, but what does it mean?

Diganto means horizon, a new world, where the sky and earth meet.

All my life I had been taught that sky and earth never meet and when I heard this young man creating a whole new concept, I was impressed and interested. He surely had a light in him.

Soon, we became the best of the friends. Professor always helped me look beyond what I actually saw.

He once told me about a very funny incident from his school days. His class teacher gave the students an assignment to do. They were supposed to write a sample love letter and present it before the class the next day. Like everyone else, Professor also wrote a letter, but a very erotic one. The letter described the fantasies of a lover and towards the end; it described the lovers making love with each other. The teacher was furious on reading what he had written.

She pulled him up in front of the whole class and asked him whether he felt there was something wrong about the whole letter. Our Professor was always a man of parallel thoughts, so after a long pause he agreed that there definitely was something terribly wrong in the letter. The teacher thought he realized his guilt and was expecting him to confess in front of the class.

Teacher, I apologize but I completely forgot about the contraceptives.

The entire class, including the teacher, burst out laughing. Such an innocent and unique confession completely overshadowed her anger and she was extremely pleased with such a different approach from her student. Such was our Professor; a very different human altogether.

I was not a very bright student and kept failing several times in Economics, but Professor always stood by me with his army of words. I can never forget a thing he said to me when I was extremely frustrated by my continuous failure in Economics. He held both my hands and said something unforgettable.

Failure is not a person but an event. You really fail when you don’t try to get up again and fight. Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow what the caterpillar calls the end, and the rest of the world calls a butterfly.

His words always motivated me to keep striving forward. He was a man of strong attitude and will. He made me realize the true motto of our college—I will, I can. he taught me that even the word impossible says that I M POSSIBLE. It’s a matter of perception. This inspired me to such an extent that I changed my name to Agastya that means the doer of impossible.

Life was much easier thereafter.

I remember another incident soon after graduation. All of us decided to meet one day for lunch. We were taking a stroll along the beach, when crow droppings hit Professor’s eyes. I was expecting him to react but I should have known him better after all those years. Our dear Professor simply looked up in the sky, smiled.

Thank God, cows don’t fly.

Yet another time the children near his apartment scratched his car with stones. He noticed many lines and shapes on the car. He knew who did it. In the evening, he went to see the boy’s parents. They really thought that he was there to instigate a fight, but the conversation was something very different.

Your son is growing and has shown interest in drawings. I think it’s a good time to get him some canvas and colors. Art on metal is not as interesting as compared to canvas. I see a potential artist in him.

He did not even utter a word about the damages. This surprised the parents and completely changed the naughty boy’s life.

Professor has changed the lives of so many people around him, especially mine. He still has a deep impact in my heart and I always stay in touch with him. Although, he is not a professional teacher but his words are like pearls of wisdom. I really wish all the people in the world become like him.

Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. I always invite him to all parties and introduce him to all my other friends and guests. I always say that he is my close friend Professor and he-is-very-positive.

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