One Year Later...

Monday, 2 July 2007
Last Saturday while Princes William and Harry put together a concert for their mother’s 10th death anniversary with Duran Duran, P.Diddy and other stars in attendance, my cousins and I put together something small, but equally significant, to celebrate the life of our cousin brother Raj, who passed away last year before he turned 32. Behind his one-bedroom apt. on Chestnut St. in Philadelphia was an open alley. There, in front of a few dumpsters and next to a shuttered establishment was McGillan’s, the oldest Irish pub in town started in 1860. Raj would frequent it often with his friends on hundreds of occasions. “It was our place,” as one friend told me. Some of us wondered if it would be right to commiserate in a place which helped him in his downfall – but in the end, it was about being at a place where he made some happy memories with his friends. And so we remembered him: we watched his childhood videos, drank Guinness, ate chicken kababs, laughed out loud, danced all night and sang to Bon Jovi, Chris Isaak (he once played “Somebody’s Cryin’” 30 times on a loop) and U2 (Bono was his God). I’m sure he was with us cheering us on.


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