Sunday, September 13, 2009

To Terry

Terry you always made fun of how little I write in my blog, and yet you always acknowledged that I only wrote about something when it really mattered to me, so I hope you know just from this rare event of me writing in my blog, how much you really mean to me. This one Ive been working on for a while now...

I can not believe that you just left. Without warning, without a big fuss. I guess you were still that stubborn Terry we all knew and love, right till the very end. That was always the way you were, wasn't it? If you had made up your mind about what you wanted to do, there was no way that we could change it.

Right from the beginning, that day in 1999 that Sanj took me into the ASSU Office from the HBSU table, you took me on as your personal charity case. I guess there was something about me that screamed, "help me!" to you. Although I was not a smart, confident, well-spoken, political girl (generally the type that you took an affinity to) you talked to me and together you and Jane made me feel welcome in the ASSU Office. My memory sucks, which you know, and I wish I was able to remember some more details of those days.

All I know is that somehow I ended up on the ASSU Executive, and the next thing I know Rakhi and you are grooming me for ASSU President. I attribute everything I know and am to those two years in the ASSU presidency. You awakened my political, critical soul, and somehow you knew it was there when it was so dormant, that even I did not know that it existed.

The last 10 years have been rough, and the one constant in my life has been you. You've been a father to me when my own father has not: I knew that you were always there no matter what.

I miss hearing you quietly tell me that you enjoyed the food that I made for you sometimes. If there was one thing you acknowledged about me, you did always mention that you enjoyed my Indian food. I miss cooking for you T-Bone. Im sorry for not being able to cook you that BIG Indian dinner that you always wanted, before we watched that movie you wanted me to see together: Second Generation. And Im so stupid Terry I couldnt even remember the name of the movie, all I knew was that it has a Bengali girl in it, and the last dialogue in the movie is "ami tomake bhalobashi". I found it your collection, and Ill be watching it with someone you would have loved to meet. Speaking of which I remember the social where you used that line, and skipped a Romeo Dallaire speech the night before so you could learn a paragraph in Bengali from Bidisha. You always did the little things that mattered.

I miss our House Hotline sessions in the middle of the episodes. I think you liked Gregory House that much cos he reminded you of yourself. A Quiet, dedicated, straight-shooter who silently works away on the cause. I also remember how much you enjoyed the episodes which portrayed House's softer side. I just hope that you are watching down on me and you know that I miss you everytime I watch HOuse and I miss our regrouping sessions the next day in ASSU.

I miss sharing Brown music with you Terry-yucky. Your interest in Colonial Cousins always confused me! I miss saying, "Terry listen to this! Listen to this!" to make you stroll down to the front of the office and plop yourself down in the chair beside the computer. I miss that amused look that you used to give me as I would bob my head up and down to some brown tune, and try and explain why that piece is so special. Heh. Remember those conversations we used to have when I lived up in Davisville? Id try to explain the rhythm and the melody structures of Indian classical music to you, and you'd just shake your head and say, "its too complicated, I wish I learnt this stuff earlier".

You always figured out the little things in people. And you figured me out too. You knew how much music and dance meant to me, and you always told me that I should continue with it. You told me that I should work with kids and make my passion into my profession.l You felt it was good for me to go to teacher's college, (something I still disagree with you on). Terry I think you knew a bit before you had to leave, Im glad we had that long convo before. You know, Im a scatterbrain, I need to get me some perspective. :)

Im finally growing up, I just hit thirty old man. And I feel a grown up Rini inside somewhere starting to peek out. :) Youd be happy for me Terry: and if you are actually watching down at us, I think you actually are smiling, or maybe trying to hide it. Cos for once I actually am happy and I know what Im doing....and you know why. :)

Thanks for always being that sounding board for me, and Ill always remember everything you said during those times when I freaked out. THIS Ill always remember.

Terry the tickets for me to go to India with your ashes are ready now. Ely is happy, as are Jane and Priya. We are making your last wish happen soon....Soon, youll be getting your last trip to India and to Hrishikesh.

Im sure youre very happy.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Terry Buckland: 1951-2009

Terry Buckland a fixture at the University of Toronto since 1985 (so I think) passed away on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 12:07 pm.

Terry was the Arts and Science Students' Union. With Jane, his colleague of 20 years, he built the student union to the union that it is today. Together they created the Anti-Calendar which is probably the only book of its kind in North America. Its been around for more than two decades and well respected by both students and the administration alike.

Terry was the reason why the student union took up issues like the 24 hours study space in Robarts, the waiving of interest on outstanding tuition in the Fall term, the faculty process for petitions and appeals, sky rocketing fees, the deregulation of fees in certain programs ultimately leading to the deregulation in the Faculty of Arts and Science. These projects were his babies, except he ensured that the Presidents from one year to the next would carry forward with the same work.

Except, Terry was not only all this, he was much much more to all of us. He might not have had his own kids, but he made children out of so many of us. Terry was always there for us. In my case him and ASSU have been the only constant in my life since 1999. When we were happy Terry was in the background, happy just knowing that we were happy. When something fell out of place in our lives, we could turn around knowing that Terry was there for us. And he was there for us like a parent: forgiving, loving, adoring - no matter what our faults were.

Terry awakened politics inside my soul, before I couldnt care less about politics and government. Terry got me into ASSU, told me I could be President, and that I would be a good one. Terry told me that I shouldnt go to SAC (but I did anyway) because I wouldnt like it (he was right). Terry told me that I should work with kids and education because that is what I love, and he was right again.

I was supposed to write Terry a letter once, which I never did, so I will in my next blog post.

Rest In Peace Terry.