Saturday, October 09, 2004

Bon Voyage

I walked out of the visiting room with an unusual sense of emptiness. Anmol and my parents just left me. We spent over three hours together enjoying each other's presence. I should've been feeling happy and content, but I wasn't.

It was a beautiful day. The temperature was about 77 degrees. THe sun was shining and there was a light breeze. As I walked amongst the prisoners on the yard, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. I was breathing and telling myself I don't belong here. It was like my body was in a different realm looking at the prison. I was thinking, How did I survive bring in prison for the last 18 years?

Today will be the last time I see Anmol. He'll be leaving for New York to start a new chapter of his awesome life. For the past two years he had dedicated himself to help me to secure my freedom and fought for the rights of other Asian prisoners. I remember telling him in letters and during our visits in San Quentin's death row that I felt undeserving of his unconditional love and devotion. Aside from my family, no one has been there for me as much as Anmol. He never fails in what he sets out to do for me. My parents said that it's rare to see such a wonderful human being these days. I feel so fortunate to witness and benefit from Anmol's kindness. Words cannot describe my appreciation for all he has done for me and my family.

It'll be a huge loss for the Bay Area's progressive community without Anmol's presence. He's an awesome organizer and researcher who inspires changes in people's lives. He told me that he's not a front man, but rather works behind the scenes. Well, he could've fooled me because he was definitely able to take charge and come through all fronts.

Maybe my sense of empitness derived from our lack of closure during the visit. We didn't really know how to say goodbye. Even as Anmol is facing the many uncertainties and challenges of his relocation, he was expressing concern and anxiety for my upcoming parole hearing. How can I not be grateful to such a good brother?! It hasn't really hit me that Anmol is going to be gone, but I'll miss his presence tremendously. I'll be doing plenty of letter writing to New York.

Pleae give Anmol a hug when you see him or email him to say thank you. He deserves it.


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