Yes, it has been 4 years now. 4 years since I saw that gigantic figure. 4 years since I saw that ever happy smiling face. 4 years since I saw those huge jeans 3/4ths (which probably would have been my full length jeans :P). And yes, 4 years since someone called me “poster boy”.
The very first time I met you, I was a little scared to talk to you. Firstly, because I was in my 1st year of engineering & that fear of ragging was still around those days and secondly, because of your size. 🙂 But the very moment I spoke to you, I knew, I had just spoken to one of the friendliest & caring seniors of my time. You needed a designer to make a poster for the college fest & I had volunteered for it. You were quick enough to give me a nick name then & there. “Poster boy” is what you named me. I loved that name actually and I still do.
Some days went by, I just did some sample posters and showed them to you. Those days, I didn’t knew much of designing. I was beginner then. They were really not good. You happened to like the concept of one of them & suggested some changes. Some more days passed by & I forgot about the posters. I next met you outside the mess. You said, “Poster boy, where are the designs? Don`t delay, you do have the talent, work on it”. I smiled, said yes & again forgot. Actually I was too lazy back then. Well, I still am. Eventually I didn’t do the posters & you got it done from someone else. But yes, I did work with you for that fest, for decorating the college. We again worked together for Utsav`s first edition that was held at the dental college. And I was amazed the way you handled our entire troop. I was amazed at your managerial skills.
My first year went by. At the start of second year, some of our batch students didn’t get hostel accommodation due to some problem. I had got. There was an issue related to this in the hostel one night & many were upset. You came down to our hostel for help. You assured everybody would get accommodation & so did happen. Very next day I met you outside the college & there you asked me, “Hey poster boy, you got your room right?”. I said yes. “tell me if you need anything” is what you said later. Yet again, I was amazed by your caring nature.
In a week or two`s time, a dreadful night happened & then, you left us. You left us forever. They say good things happen to good people & I am a strong believer of this. Then I wonder why did that night happen to you. The college was called off for a day & most of the college was shell shocked. I could not believe what had happened. I was so shocked that even tears didn’t drop from my eyes. I wanted to see you, for one last time. But my friends stopped me.
Things went by & slowly, steadily, things went on as usual. In the 2nd year, I came to the designing team for the very same fest you had told me to do an year back. I did a lot of stuff there & got recognized. In 3rd year, me & a friend of mine did designs for the first ever national level technical fest of our college. People loved our work. In 4th year, we again worked together for Utsav`s second edition. This time, people loved our work even more. We even got appreciated by Poojya Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade ji for designing the logo of Utsav.
My work saw the light, it came into reality. I could see my work on posters, on huge banners, across the city of Hubli-Dharwad & yes, my work even went to many of the colleges throughout India. All of these you could not see. You could not even see a single of them.
Life goes on and things have moved & passed by. 29 August was the day you left us & now it has been 4 years since you left us. They say time flies. Yes it surely does, but memories are still fresh.
RIP Kaushik Rao
Yours truly, poster boy.