• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 07
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Vishy the Lizard

“Remember that guy in school?” Ananya’s tinny voice came through the phone.
“Who?” I was too busy replying to emails, hardly paying attention to my best friend.
“He died.”
I paused for a moment at the news, then hit another send.

In class 3, I had found a note in my library book which said: ‘I like you’, with a stick figure of a lizard-like creature with six legs drawn on the reverse. It was creepy, but Ananya had said it was a cute lizard. We wondered who it might be; every boy at that age reminded us of a lizard or the likes.
Years later, in class 9, when his father was transferred to another city, we held a farewell meet for Vishy at the abandoned shed, with peeling blue paint, in the woods, behind the school campus.

I remember Vishy standing awkwardly under the strings of white and blue paper flags in front of a dozen of us. We had demanded a speech. He had shuffled from foot to foot trying to come up with something to say. The boys were sprawled on the forest floor sharing a cigarette. The girls, three of us, too squeamish to sit on the ground stood around leaning on tree trunks, giggling. A warm bottle of beer was making the rounds.

Vishy was the best artist in our class. Someone took pity and threw him a can of orange spray paint. Leave us with something, he said.

Soon the front of the shed had a large orange dragon lizard with six legs sprayed across its surface. Vishy had then looked in my direction and I think he had blushed.