I have many fond memories of growing up in La Romaine but every opportunity I got would be spent vacationing in Avocat at my grandparents’ home.
During these vacation times I developed a close relation with Beran, who lived just at the beginning of the street leading to my grandparents’ home.
I met Beran whilst spending my time in Avocat and we became not just friends but more like family.
These were enjoyable times in the countryside, most of the days were spent roaming the bushes picking mangoes, cashews, barahar and any other fruits we were able to get our hands on.
We grew up in a time when there were no cellphones and few televisions around so you can just imagine the amount of time we had to roam around.
This gave us the opportunity to do the things we loved to do nonetheless, our time spent together was perhaps the best of them.
During my teenage years I lost contact with him for quite some time until we met again when he started working at Ritchie’s Drug’s Store in San Fernando, now Pennywise, on Pointe-a-Pierre Road.
Thereafter, our friendship grew over the many years until he had to move from working in San Fernando to Port of Spain, having gotten a job with the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
After that I once again lost contact with him. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about his teenage days growing up but later on I heard he got married and had a number of boys whom I met a couple of times.
In 1995, I started working in Port of Spain when I accidentally met Beran again through one of my cousins Sunil, who had grown up with and attended the same school as Beran.
Beran was very outgoing and had a lot of friends hence he always had somewhere to go, and this was fun for me because I used to accompany him as he was almost always being invited by someone. There wasn’t a weekend he did not have to go somewhere to a river lime or to cook for someone’s birthday, wedding or prayer meeting.
In those times I accompanied him I met some of his regular friends like Charlie, Joan, Doc, Harry, and Drupatee.
There were times we had three engagements in one day. We used to sneak into bars early in the day and then to the river in the evening.
Today, some of my closest friends are because of him. To me, Beran was not a predictive person, he always had to meet someone at a different location.
If he picks you up in the morning, rest assured you will be back home at night. He was a beacon of light among us. We can learn a lot from him, his simplicity and tenacity, his boldness and humility. A man always willing to help.
Recently, his health declined because of a stroke but just the day before we had a lime at Harry’s residence in Fyzabad. He seemed very happy and excited as never seen before, as he and some friends were going to Tobago the next day.
After falling ill things changed, as I missed those times we used to hang out together. Thereafter I started visiting him at his home regularly. It used to be short; we could not have a conversation as he had lost his voice. But you can see the joy when he sees me. That smile, no one can forget.
I sometimes teased him by saying I am here to pick you up to go on a lime, which often resulted in a hearty laugh from him. He always seems to look 30 years younger.
I have known Beran to be very hard working yet he never missed an opportunity to assist others. He often helped people securing their birth certificates, deeds etc, things that are not easily obtainable. He was a gentleman indeed, honest in his dealings while helping someone.
Today I am reminded me we are not here for very long. We will all one day pass through this door.
In these times when life is uncertain, we have lost a friend and mentor; an irreplaceable icon.
Some of my nights now seem to be very long as I keep thinking about him. I will always remember him as a genuine and true friend. So let us continue to pray for strength for all who mourn to be comforted.
Without a doubt he would be sorely missed. I’m sending condolences to the family, friend, colleagues and loved ones of the dearly departed.
To his wife and children, I say be strong, find solace in each other to get through this ordeal. He is your inspiration and I know he will always be proud of you all. He spoke very highly of you.
Love you, my friend.
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