In the spring break of fourth grade, my family took a vacation to Beaches Resort in the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean. It turned out that two other families from my school, Swain, were at the same exact resort, one of them being the Krishnas. Because of Swain’s small class sizes, I already knew of and was friends with Dhruv and Arnav. However, I recall this trip as being the time when I became close friends with the two. We spent our days at the beach, eating unhealthily, and participating in numerous attractions offered at the resort. Although our families did not plan to be at the same place at the same time, I don’t think it was a coincidence. I now believe that our families were meant to become close, to support each other, and to love each other. Because we enjoyed that trip so much, our families have taken a total of four vacations together to other various locations, including Mexico and other islands in the Caribbean.
In our last conversation, this past Friday, Arnav and I were able to reflect on these trips and discuss how much we had enjoyed them, and we both quickly agreed that these trips were our favorite memories together in the 12 years that we had known each other. Arnav also brought up the countless nerf wars and NBA 2k games that we had played together. However, this doesn’t completely sum up what Arnav and I talked about on Friday. When I approached him after he had arrived and gotten situated inside his living room, he was quick to point out how much medicine and drugs that he had been given by the nurses taking care of him. In his words, this sounded like, “Will, bro, I’m so high right now”.
When I heard him say that, I thought to myself how Arnav really hadn’t changed at all, even though he was physically drained and knew that he didn’t have much longer to live. Through all the medicine, drugs, and the cancer, Arnav managed to stay positive, and he did so relentlessly. He wasn’t going to let even something as negative as fatal cancer put him in a bad mood.
Arnav was the kind of person who you could talk to about anything, even if you had never met him before or were a completely different age. He was always willing to connect with people, and this is one of the many reasons why he is so loved. One example of this is when Arnav interned with my father at his job this summer. My father’s field, urology, can be defined as the branch of medicine concerned with the reproductive and urinary systems. Surprisingly enough, Arnav jumped right in, and assisted my dad with procedures which I’ll be kind enough not to describe. In my father’s words, Arnav was very good at connecting with patients, even though they had no idea of Arnav’s own battle.
Although Arnav was one of the most compassionate, kind, smart, comedic, and humble friends that I have ever had, I believe that his best quality was his positivity. Looking back on our decade of friendship, I could practically count the number of times Arnav spoke negatively on one hand. He went through what no one should ever have to go through, and he made the best of it. Whenever I visited him, whether it was at home or at the hospital, was feeling strong or weak, he always managed to smile and talk to me about anything. He always seemed to manage to forget the cancer and have a good time.
Arnav and Dhruv are some of my best friends, and I’ll always appreciate how they’ve been there for me. We’ve made so many memories together which I’ll never forget, and I’m so thankful to have grown up with them. I’d like to thank their parents, Nitin and Sunita, for raising such great boys. I’m always gonna love you guys.
Arnav is a fantastic role model for all of us. Although he was given much less time in this life than he deserved, he made the most of every day and stayed optimistic until the end. Even though he is no longer here in person, I know he wants us all to stay positive and to be there for each other, just as he kept a smile on his face and was there for anyone that needed support.
Arnav, wherever you are, I love you buddy, and we all miss you. Thanks for serving as an example for all of us, and for being such a great friend.