That was his name. As I mentioned before he was quite small in stature and size. Sanjai was brown or what we would call a "paki" back in those days, but he dressed like every other kid. We shared the same musical tastes and that in itself was enough to solidify our new friendship. I asked him one day why he didn't have a "bun" or "mini turban" (No whammies no whammies STOP!!! 1000 Apollogies for every kid I ever did that too!) like some of the other brown kids at school and he told me it was because those kids were Sikhs and he was Hindu. His family wasn't even from Pakistan, if I remember correctly his family roots led back to the United Kingdom. I always found it comical and ironic? that he had a strong distaste for other Indian people.
They say good things come in small packages and that phrase is quite true in Sanjai's case. "Sanj" or "SanjMan" as I liked to call him, was by far the most funniest, most entertaining, most artistic, most creative AND most skeptical person I have ever met in my life. I don't think I've had more laughs with anyone in my life than I did with him. On lunchtime we would walk around and Sanj would "burn" (insult) kids with his quick wit, wicked words and wisdom. If anyone tried to step to him I was always there at his side to ensure no harm would come of him. We definitely had A LOT of laughs at the expense of others, some of them even fill me with feelings of guilt when they enter my mind.
I always considered myself a reasonably good artist but when I saw the stuff Sanjai was drawing it blew my mind. He was a huge comic book fan and collector and let me tell you this kid could draw any character in any pose and the proportions would be perfect! Not to mention the drawings themselves looked like they were straight out of a professional comic book. Not only that but he would sketch them up in mere seconds to minutes! His eye for detail was incredible and he could draw any person or anyhing he laid eyes upon with ease. Again for our own amusement, Sanjai would draw pictures and make comic strips of people or situations we were involved with or in while we were out burning people.
Sanj was also very creative and he made custom dioramas out of various action figure parts and other crafts. He would mix and match G.I.Joe body parts and then re paint them to create his own custom action figures of his favorite comic book superheroes. To make them even cooler he would create backgrounds for them and have elaborate action sequences frozen in time with amazing detail. Sanjai was very inspirational to me all throughout middle school and highschool. Just like Patrick back in grade school I had once again been blessed with some form of muse to make me want to up my skills. I also believe Sanjai to be the reason why I've been collecting action figures for the last 16 years, as well as the inspiration for some of the creative things I've done throughout my life. This could honestly be a 5 part blog easily, but I'm going to try and wrap things up here.
Sadly after rekindling our friendship years later via the world wide web, Sanj eventually secluded himself from the majority of the people around him. Like myself he too has always had "the darkness" inside of him. Not a day passes without him entering my thoughts at some point. Sanj if you ever read this by some freak chance I just want you to know that I love you my brother and I will always be here for you if and hopefully when you need me...
On another note I strongly urge fans of reading and/or wrestling, to check out one of my former UWA co-workers and friend Sonjay Dutt's new blog "Play on Playa" http://sonjaydutt.blogspot.ca/