Friday, July 24, 2009

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Post 2

Back in high school, did you ever take a pause and wonder where you would be 20 years down the line? What you would be doing? Whether you would be the air force pilot / rock star you had plans for, or you would be the cab driver who lived around the corner? Did you ever extend your thoughts to your friends, and wonder what your best friend will be upto 10 to 15 years hence? Of course you would have thought that nothing would separate you from your best friend (s) but ever wondered what everyone would be doing after “growing up”?

Well maybe you never gave it a thought, but back in high school, we used to have such thoughts every once in a while. After playing cricket for 4-5 hours in the scorching summer, we would be lying down under the cool shade of the largest tree in the colony. Tb, the foodie amongst us, would be crunching some local made chips, the cheapest available in the small store at the corner of the store, and sipping a coveted “Frooti”. Ba would be sheepishly stealing a quick smoke, looking as guilty as a criminal. T would be straining to peek into House no 384, trying to catch a glimpse of the pretty girl who had recently moved in. And then the conversation would start about where we would all be 10 maybe 15 years down the line.

We would have the craziest dreams, and wonder if anyone of us would make it big. If anyone would be a millionaire, if someone would be a movie star, or a pop icon. T would wonder if he would be able to get married to 384 (code name for the girl in House no 384). And we would talk of all the people we knew in school, and make predictions of who will do what. At home, in my colony we were some ‘core’ friends. T, Tb, Bu, S, Ba, and Bb.

T was the funniest of us all. He was 3rd down in the batting line up, spin bowler and used to field in the long-on position. Very emotional and falling in “love” with a new girl every other week. A lot like Saifs character in DCH. He was not the brightest student in school, but was very intelligent and had a passion, the only problem was that he didn’t know what it was for. He loved ogling at girls, hated studies, loved roaming the streets on Bu’s Vespa and spent huge amounts of money buying gifts for girls he had never spoken to. T went on to lose touch with all of us (he got back in touch only a few months back), and hence I have very little information for the in-between period. I heard that T dropped out of college, joined Pantaloons in Sales, did very well and got promoted to a team lead, then changed a few companies and is now an Event Manager with an Event Management company. He was the first amongst us to get married and did not invite any of us to the wedding as he was not in touch with anyone. He continues to be very emotional and I wonder if he would still go around in Bu’s Vespa if he could.

Tb was the most studious of them all. He was the perennial topper, very hard working and very focused and ambitious. He was mostly at home studying, but when he came to play on some occasions, he was 4th down in the batting line up, was a medium fast bowler and fielded at short mid-off. He was a quite guy you would tend to under-estimate, but he was very sharp and very smart. His biggest regret in life was that he did not and could not have a girlfriend, because he somehow got very nervous when talking to girls. Tb went on to go to IIT for his engineering, passed out with flying colors, got a job in a big Indian IT company, was not satisfied, and switched to a smaller company for nearly double the salary. Tb continues to do very well in his job, he recently got a promotion. Tb has still not managed to get a girlfriend.

Bu was the talkative one. Opening or 1st down in batting, spin bowler and fielding at mid-on. Bu was not very studious but managed to come in the top 10 at school. He was level headed and was called the politician and the leader of the group. Usually flitted between being the captain or vice-captain of the team. Known for going up on stage, planning out and directing the drama for the local puja and hosting shows at the colony functions. From a boys school, he also had a fear of girls, but everyone believed he had ‘potential’ for making up for it later. Bu went on to do his engineering from some unheard of college in Maharashtra, joined an Indian IT company, got restless and left his job, did his MBA from one of the better Business Schools in the country and went abroad to some obscure country to work for a global IT giant. He got married to his classmate from college, they say she is quite a babe.

Ba was the notorious one. He didn’t come for practices so in the inter colony matches he was usually an “extra”. The rebel and the spoilt brat he had bikes and gadgets at an age when we were still struggling to have enough money to buy chewing gum and balls for our cricket matches. Ba went on to flunk board exams at school multiple times, went to engineering college but dropped out in second year. I hear he is doing pretty well for himself in some not-so-legal-activities back home.

S was the sportsman. Opening batsman, super fast bowler, and ace fielder in any position. He was our star player, we would declare a walk-over for matches where he could not play. Alternated the captain/vice-captain position with Bu. S used to laugh at Tb for wasting his time studying, realized later that it was such a mistake. S stayed on in my small home town while most of us went to bigger cities to study. I didn’t stay in touch with him, but I heard he is an insurance agent now.

Bb was the guy who never played cricket or football or any game which required physical effort. He didn’t like sports, none of us have till date understood why. But he was a great guy and nice to hang out with. So he used to sit with the batting team and entertain them with his knowledge bank of weird things. He was a TV addict, I have learnt about most TV shows (which later I have obsessed about) from him, which includes “I dream of..”, “Wonder Years”, “FRIENDS” and a lot more. He was the one who got me crazy and obsessed about MJ when I knew very little about music, he forced me to listen to all his songs. He had the full collection of Tintin, and was the reason why all of us still quote Calculus and Captain Haddock in our day to day lives. Bb had an uncanny talent of making small model cars out of cigarette boxes. His cars were SO real that I often told him to take it up as a profession, but he was very embarrassed about his hobby because he thought it was very sissy. He would take apart old radios and TV sets, and even had an old Fiat car to experiment on. Needless to say he wanted to be an automotive engineer. Unfortunately he couldn’t survive the rigors of engineering college and dropped out in between. He is now working somewhere in eastern India, I have immense faith in him that he will, in the end, do something great with his life.

There were more of them (in case you are wondering of the missing slots in the batting line-up), but these guys were the closest to my heart. We have grown up together and then have just “scattered”. If someday we all went back and sat together at the same “adda”, the corner stone where we would sit for 20 minutes after our evening cricket, I wonder if the conversation would be as exciting and interesting, and if we will be able to relate to everyone as we used to. Do we change and evolve to become completely different people than what we were as kids? My heart wants to think that we don’t. It tells me that I will be able to go back, sit at the adda and laugh just as much as I used to, and that nothing would have changed. We would just be a bit older, a bit more mature and with a bit of a different background than we used to have, but it wont change our friendship. Nothing would change our friendship. Heres a toast to all our cricket, our “Saat Pitto”, our Kabaddi, “Maara maari”, football, “Cycle Chhor Police”, “S-T-O-P” and all the other games we have played. “Those were the best days of my life!!”

1. This is the second post in the series of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. posts that I will write when I feel nostalgic, please bear with me. Inspired by the first F.R.I.E.N.D.S post HERE.

2. Don’t try searching for me in the picture above, it is symbolic and taken from a different source, as given below the pic. Though I am very tempted to put up a picture of our cricket team from back then, I will not do so out of respect of everyone’s privacy.

3. I have now installed tracking software to be able to track my stalker and anyone else bothering me. God help the guy/gal if he/she is some college youngster wanting to have some fun, because, thanks to the Swedish vacation, I now have the time on my hands to track them down and call their parents :). Hence comments are now open once again, please comment!!


  1. u made me think back to my good old days...
    kya yaar subha subha nostalgia attack...

  2. What a nice post. Made me nostalgic too. Have you tried tracing your friends? I got in touch with a lot of friends through Facebook.

    I like your blog. Keep writing:)

  3. Hey... thanks for visiting my blog :). Now this got me all nostalgic. I lived through this post. :) Keep writing.

  4. @Panaroma: Those who know how to use a computer are on my FB/Orkut, but I dont think some of them have ever touched a computer, so am not in touch with them

    @Jal Pari: Thanks!

  5. awesome post! it reminded me of my team mates...
    keep writing.