Don’t make the same mistake I did. When I received a telepathic sign to call my friend, I procrastinated calling him. It was for days that he kept appearing in my thoughts, and I only kept wanting to pick up the phone and call him. I wanted to ask him how he was; whether he was still in his village called Chirala by the sea; how were his parents doing; when did he intend to get back to the city of Hyderabad where he had his design studio? There was so much to ask and know. It’s been months since I spoke with him.
Kiran was the only child of his parents. At 42, he was still single. He moved to his village house to be with his parents since the lockdown began. He hoped to be with his ageing parents till the city opened up and the situation got better, being a devoted son.
After a long virtual connection, I met him for the first time on 8th June 2019 in Hyderabad, along with my children. Sadly, this meeting has turned out to be the last too. He was an utterly simple man and nothing was striking about him on the surface. But I remember his soft and affectionate voice, the calming smile in his photos, his zest for quality work, his humble mannerisms in the phone conversations and a chaste demeanour that most of us humans lack today. He had a face and voice that could only evoke the goodness in you. I barely remember how our friendship had started. It was probably one of the social media platforms.
Last December I sent him a New Year gift on his village address that never reached him. He asked me with childlike curiosity in his voice, “Shilpi, what had you sent me?” The courier delivery guys seem to have stolen it. And I was thinking of sending him something this time by Indian Post.
Why am I telling you all this? I am doing so because I deeply regret not acting upon the telepathy. Kiran is no more. He left this world on 11th October 2021. I won’t ever see him again or hear him again. Maybe he remembered me and wishing to talk to me before he left.
Do you believe in this phenomenon of extrasensory perception that unfathomably travels beyond time and distance as the thoughts get wings from the deep levels of the mind and heart? This doesn’t require a network zone, but the indications are pretty strong as they get the strength from the sender’s thoughts.
Hasn’t it happened to you umpteen number of times that you have been thinking of talking to someone for days, and then they unexpectedly showed up in person or called you over the phone? Sometimes I just know who is calling on my phone; just like I have been expecting to hear from them. But I did the mistake of not checking on my friend as soon as I felt the telepathy. This repentance is going to haunt me forever. We humans take much for granted while we and our people are still alive.
He has gifted me something unique for me to cherish his memory forever. I had never thought of it that way until now. Years ago, one day I received an image from him on WhatsApp. I kept staring at it in disbelief. Almost spellbound, I just didn’t know how to react. It was the image of a design created by him. Hesitatingly, I called him and asked him why had he done so. He said smilingly that it was his gift to me, as he felt I needed one. It filled me with gratitude and surprise. It was the image of the logo he created for Shilpi’s Voice & Visuals (SVV) without even being requested for it either personally or professionally.
I found the logo incredibly beautiful, attractive and apt for my professional identity. This logo gave me the impetus to move forward with my work, register and trademark the name, and eventually have a website created to mark my professional presence and brand. I silently feel an inexplicable pride and delight when people express their appreciation for SVV’s logo designed by Kiran. It gets further heightened by the memory of how magically it came into being because of the benign thoughtfulness of the person I would never see again.
It is still a mystery to me how Kiran conceived it and why? I will not have the answers I know, but I feel a huge solace in knowing that it sprouted from the depth of the heart and mind of a beautiful soul. Being a personal voice coach, I harp about the vocal skills, but then there’s also a voice inside us that has no sound. I felt the silence of this voice in my heart, the beauty of his work, his act of kindness and the contentment in not expecting anything in return. The ones who can’t be any bit like them silently envy such souls.
This is the story of how SVV’s logo came into its existence, and I had to tell the story as a tribute to its creator Kiran Kumar Gera while I am deeply grieving his departure.