My clearest memory of us spending time together was a crisp Saturday during my first autumn in New York. We met up for some time and walked around Alphabet City and the East Village, talking (and disagreeing) about movies and comedy. He told me about a comedy club near his place where he saw a number of good shows, and we made plans to go together. I helped him pick out a leather jacket for him at a nearby resale store—I remember it was a worn, soft brown, and I caught him checking himself out in the mirror with a tough-guy face.
All the little details of our time together have faded away (I think I’m starting to feel the wear-and-tear of an aging brain nowadays) but despite that, I can clearly remember feeling an ease, a warmth, when spending time talking to Kavi Shekhar. In the end, I don’t remember if he bought that jacket, or which comedians or movies we argued about, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Over the years, we had developed a friendship that transcended those things—one built over years of family gatherings, wild parties, and, mostly, the times in between—the quiet moments of friendship that sustain you for a lifetime, when you can stand next to each other waiting for the M15 bus without saying much, not knowing when you’ll see each other again exactly. Those are the moments in which you can truly just exist, with all of the familiarity of your past but none of the weight of it, and understand something about each other’s hearts. That was something that felt effortless with Kavi, and I’ll miss it dearly.