Friends… what would we be without them? My friends from college hold a special place in my heart because we were a big bunch of madcaps. Laughter – the no-holds barred kind – was what kept us together! Years later, there are so many laughter moments that still bring a smile… Here’s an ode to all 10 of them…
Ahem! Ahem! The SRK of the group. He was a brand unto himself. Witty, humorous, sarcastic and also intelligent… who completed three-fourths of a professional degree halfway through the course. We often crashed at his home and had delicious food. He was also a family friend and that meant we would even ask him to fix a bulb at home and he would agree! We wrote long, funny letters to each other while I was at Nagpur and he was completing the said professional course. He’s also the one who never fails to call up on my birthday. From him, we learnt the value of the cliché – Laughter is the best medicine. He hasn’t lost it, the wit and the humour, as I learnt from a visit to his home in Abu Dhabi two years ago.
Priceless memory – I finish a presentation in Managerial Economics class. The professor asks the class if they have any questions. Pin-drop silence. Professor asks SRV: “Hey, ____ (insert name of professional course that SRV was pursuing with B.Com) ask a question. Just because she is your friend, you have no questions, eh?”
SRV replies with this trademark deadpan expression: “Sir, if you have any doubts, you can ask Rekha.”
The tallest of the group. Whose white Ambassador we would refuse to travel in because we had to sit cross-legged in the back seat… as he was so tall! His dad was in the Gulf, his mother had a golden heart and a house full of orchids. AJD wore smart T-shirts with some weird messages. He exemplified ‘forever young’ when he turned to pick us up in an old jeep a couple of years ago. That prompted the kid brother to say, ‘Oh! So cool!’
She is now a hot-shot lawyer in our hometown. Back in our college days, she was often teased for her Anglicised name. Though she got stuck with the name ‘Bachchan’ and I don’t remember why. Smart, friendly and someone who would lead the counter-attack with her own brand of wit.
A professional like the many others of the gang, he came across as quiet and reticent. Until he opened his mouth on special occasions to reveal biting wit. He came all the way from Ernakulam along with SKA. Still chivalrous I should say, as the last time we met, he paid the bill.
She was smart, intelligent and married midway through the course. Hers was the first ‘classmate’ wedding we all attended for which we spent four hours in Broadway choosing a gift. She has not changed a bit since school and college though her look may certainly belie that fact.
He was the one with all the existential questions. “Who am I? What is my purpose on this earth?” and then went onto bleach himself silly just because someone thought it was a good idea. He was also the unsuspecting kind who I could easily rope into my many hare-brained ideas like the Quiz & Debate Club. He’s the only one who has not remained in touch.
She was also the butt of many nicknames… too funny to mention here. Like AA, I also knew her from my school days but got to know her better in college. Every Christmas we would land up at her place for appam-stew and homemade cake and wine. She was also the first person in the gang to go to the Gulf – to visit her aunt here in Muscat from where she brought us many perfume samples. We did not forgive her for a long time because she didn’t make it to the Kodai trip!
She looks like a school girl even now, after 19 years of passing out of college. So you can imagine how she looked back then! Petite would best describe her. Hers was the home closest to college and we often crashed there and pigged out on ghee-dripping chappatis, aloo sabji and green mango sherbet. She was also the most teased and her Malayalam would be the butt of all jokes.
He studied with us since pre-degree but I think getting together with the rest of the boys made him come into his own during the B.Com years. He had the classic 90s Malayalam film humour – that would first shock and then make you laugh! This was evident when SRV and DMJ dropped me at Abu Dhabi airport two years ago with minutes to spare before the Oman Air counter closed.
He was the quietest, at least in front of the girls. Though I suspect that he made fun of us behind our backs. Very studious and sure of what he wanted from life. Doesn’t keep in touch but his spouse makes up for it and sends us cute messages on Facebook as she has, well, heard so much about the B.Com gang.
On my last vacation, I came across my old Costing notebook and on the first page was scribbled ‘SRV, AJD, TA & VPD’. And I thanked God that at that time, I didn’t have a leather handbag like SK that bore the brunt of the boys’ scribbles. But perhaps the most hilarious moments were during the end of the course trip to Kodaikanal. And those definitely are stories for other posts.
It’s heartening that most of us still keep in touch, atleast sporadically and some sort of bond still exists. I think it’s all because of those fun moments – living life, humorously!