एक रोज़ बस यूँ ही दोस्ती का हिसाब करने बैठे मस्ती, समझदारी, वफ़ादारी और बेवक़ूफ़ी के नाम हिस्से बटे कुछ दोस्त इधर बटे और कुछ यार उधर बटे कुछ तो ऐसे थे जो सोच से ही छटे एक रोज़ जब यूँ ही दोस्ती का हिसाब करने बैठे सिर्फ़ मस्ती करने वाले दोस्तों की कसर न दिखी बेवक़ूफ़ियों और बेवक़ूफ़ों की गिनती भी कम न थी जब आढ़े वक़्त ने आज़मा के देखा तो एक-आध वफ़ादार भी मिले एक रोज़ जब यूँ ही दोस्ती का हिसाब करने बैठे हमने जाना की कुछ दोस्त ऐसे भी थे जो किसी भी खेमे में न बट सके कुछ नायाब जो दोस्त से ज़्यादा थे, कुछ वो जो दोस्ती के ही क़ाबिल न थे
न पूछे क्यों न सोचे कभी दो बार लड़ जाए भिड़ जाए सुन के बस एक पुकार रब करे सबको मिले बस एक ऐसा यार खाए जो बड़ी क़समें उठाए जो नख़रे हज़ार निभाए सारी वो रस्में झेलकर भी सितम करे प्यार दुआ है संग सदा मिले बस एक ऐसा यार पूरी करे जो तलब कश हो या जाम मिले तैयार महूरत मान ले फ़रमाइश को न दिन देखे न देखे वार जब मिले तेरे सा मिले बस एक ऐसा यार
OK here is a different take on growing up. One that does not involve alcohol. Well, after all its not just alcohol that makes people do silly things…. right?
Yes, this one is about Love and to some measure about Sex and Dhoka as well 😉
The late 80’s and the early 90’s had lots of stuff happening for, around and to us…Trysts with alcohol, Driving Licenses, Rock Music and Girls!!!!
We were in our mid-teens and the other gender had started making its presence or need felt amongst us. Believe me, for those of us who spent long years in Boys Only schools they had a lot more importance a helluva lot more early!!
My final take is actually about 2 different takes on what the protagonists thought was “First Love” and the instances that made their way to for lack of a better term “friendship-lore”. So brace yourself for a longish read.
Mr. Fool for Love (FfL) was an average student. He was an average looking guy too. But…the young man had a phenomenal voice. Not the singing kinds though; it was one of those deep throaty voices that were tailor-made for voice overs.
Staying with our theme….Our man had the hots for this rather petite looking girl (for the sake of this story we will refer to her as Ms.G) who stayed 2 blocks away in the same residential complex as FfL. This tale is about the lengths that FfL would go to just to get a glimpse of Ms.G.
FfL had decided that he was in love. He had also decided that it was time to announce it to the rest of the world (i.e. classmates at the Deprived Boys School or DBS).
One fateful day he did just that. The close friends were promised what was called an “Intro” during those days with Ms.G and who knows a possible intro with ahem..Ms. G’s school mates. The final bell was eagerly awaited and a bunch of us were outside in a jiffy. Meeting Ms.G had its share of logistical challenges as well. It meant we had to go all the way to FfLs house and then home. Now cycling the additional distance just to meet Ms.G was not exactly an appealing thought for the rest. FfL quickly sensed this and a deal was worked out. We were to leave our bi-cycles in school, FfL would sponsor return auto-fare (the equivalent of which in current day terms would be someone sponsoring a stretch limousine with booze and blonde’s thrown in)
We piled into the auto and reached the rendezvous Ms.G’s bus stop and waited. FfL had ensured we were well in time and Thums Up was promptly thrown in to prevent anyone of us from complaining about waiting. A rickety DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation for the unaware) school bus pulled up and a flurry of students Ms.G amongst them got off. FfL marshaled all of us and we were hot in pursuit when we finally got in-step with Ms.G.
“Hello G, how are you?” said a visibly excited FfL. “These are my friends from DBS.”
“Hello guys” was Ms.G’s reply and even before one of us could put his hand out for a shake, FfL nodded in the other direction hinting/pleading for us to vamoose. While FfL walked 10 more steps with Ms.G till her doorstep.
“What? No Intro?? What about meeting Girls???” said one us grudgingly promptly being hushed by the others and making the disappointed and oddly silent ride back in the auto.
That examination year, FfL took a major chance as a proclamation of his love and memorised only 1 Sanskrit essay that had Ms.G’s name in it. He got Lucky!
Last heard, FfL got another opportunity to walk with Ms.G. He did not invite his friends this time.
6.2 Sex aur Dhoka
It was the first winter in college (grad-school). Mr.High on Hormones (HoH) had now been dating Ms.Aphrodite (Ms.A) for over a year now.
The passing out of school and entry into college had brought along with it a new found freedom. Freedom from wearing uniforms, having to attend lectures or classes continuously and freedom to spend more time with a certain “special friend”.
HoH and A would invariably bunk a lecture or two and make sure they got “Quality” time together. A day spent scouring the streets of Delhi on foot, sitting and talking endlessly in a favourite joint or sometimes cosying up at one or the others homes.
It was one such occasion HoH and A made their way back from their respective colleges to A’s place. A’s mother was out of station and her dad was driving to the next city for a meeting and was expected back only late that evening. This meant a lot more “Quality Time” for A and HoH.
They got back ordered some take-out and settled down to watch a movie (that was, at least, the stated intent). Some way into the movie the door-bell rang. A and HoH froze, they’d already received the take away!! A tip toed to the door and peered through drawn up curtains.
She came back running and uttered “Its Dad!!! Hurry Up!!! Hide!!!”
Those are not exactly the words one is waiting to hear while cosying up.
“Whoa!!! Where???” HoH sprang up. “I don’t know… anywhere” said A, almost bursting into this rather rare tearful anger. HoH promptly slid under the bed.
From underneath HoH could hear A’s Dad narrate how he had got a flat tyre someway out and had rescheduled his meeting for later. Having done that he thought of returning home and changing into a fresh suit!!!
Well it was a rather interesting view from the “spot” that HoH found himself in.
I am sure all of us know it was not really A’s Dad that HoH had hoped to see undress!!!
To officially bring to close this series that occupied my mind-space for over a year some lines from a song which sums it up for me.
Love, love is strangeAs made popular by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
Lots of people take it for a game
Once you get it you never wanna quit
After you’ve had it you’re in a awful fix ….
They say going through the grind of an engineering course does, if not anything else, hone inquisitive thinking. You question the way things work, move yada yada yada. Mind you the inquisitive thinking takes an experiential form when slightly inebriated.OK, that is just a technical way of saying you get stubborn and stupid when you drink your self silly.
This was the final year of engineering for some of us. The last few months of any course often witness an increased level of bonding (read alcohol consumption) between friends.
Our institution was located in Tumkur a fair way away from the city of Bangalore, a town devoid of any night life. This particular incident is about one of our nights out in the city.
About 8 of us joined up for dinner and a session of beers. Post the sizzlers and multiple rounds of beers it was time to say our goodbyes and go crash at the pre-assigned pads of the friends who were from the city.Being from the city meant all of the following possession of a bike or a “Kiney”, knowledge of liquor vends that would oblige and a list of must do drives.
As we stood around in the parking lot over the mandatory parting smoke
“Awesome weather man, would be great to get some wind on your face…” said the Adventurous Guy (AG)
“Dunno about the wind but I wouldn’t mind another beer” said Silly Guy (SG)
I did mention that there is a cast of characters, so you will have to bear with all the names (which obviously have been carefully coined)
The Teetotaler Guy (TG) said “You guys have had enough..lets just get back home” to which the Profound Bong (PB) started to nod. He was not even half-way through the nod that the Tam Dude with his face beaming came up with
“Machan lets drive to Nandi Hills that way AG gets his wind on the face and SG his beers, God knows I can use a few too. If we start now we can catch the sunrise”
The normally Reclusive Prof did some mental stuff and said
“Yeah! You know guys, this probably will be the last time all of us can be out together… the semester end exams start 3 weeks from now”
I guess none of us questioned the finality of the what had just been said, not even the Overbearing Guy (OG).
We all set off in the direction of Nandi Hills a 65 km drive from where we were.
True to the promise the drive was laced with a lot of wind on the face for the riders and more beers for those on the pillion.
We had stopped for a bio break, we were now on the ghat section and barely a kilometer or two from the top.
Suddenly Silly Guy said “Hey! I want to ride the bike too..”
“Shut Up and sit behind AG” said Overbearing Guy
“Its just a kilometre to the top…Come On!!” said SG refusing to listen.
“Is it OK with you if I take your Kiney?” he turned to the Matter of Fact Guy (MfG).
Tam Dude butted in and said “Guys we are going to miss the Sunrise if you keep arguing”
Overbearing Guy continued ” No Da..this bugger can’t ride the ghats here are steep”
“Let him do it OG…” the Adventurous Guy said “I will sit behind him do not worry”
“Yeah..its just a Kiney…all he’s gotta do is balance it” opined the Prof which was met by yet another nod of approval by the Profound Bong.
That said the group set of OG and PB zipping out first in anger and protest with Teetotaler Guy and Prof taking wing side to OG-PB duo.
Murphy’s law “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”
Spotlight on the Silly Guy. Bolstered by all the support and mildly irritated with the OG, SG set off with AG riding pillion and having achieved the initial momentum started to negotiate the bend.
SG realised he was almost off the road, saw a small rock jutting out, tried to avoid it, swerved and ended up sprawled on the road. AG somehow sensed the impending disaster and managed to jump off.
Meanwhile, Tam Dude and MfG riding the other bike took the bend only to find SG sprawled on the road with AG laughing away.
MfG ran towards them saying “Shit! Shit!! Shit!!!”
Seeing him run one would have almost thought it was his love for his roomie of 4 years who lay sprawled. Well as I said almost.
MfG ran and picked up his Kinetic and his cry of angst was because the sides were scratched and the rear view mirror broken.
SG for the life of him could not understand why AG was laughing away to glory and the fact that the Kine got more attention than him from MfG had not escaped his notice.
Adrenalin rushing in his stream and blood oozing from his eyebrow SG declared “I am feeling very hot”, suddenly unbuttoned his torn shirt, pulled down his jeans and plonked himself on the embankment.
Tam Dude came around and said “Machan you want me to light a cigarette? You’ll feel better.”
The other four had made it to the top in the meanwhile and were getting restive wondering what was taking the rest of us so much time. After a few minutes decided to turn back and check.
They reached the spot to find SG on the embankment with Tam Dude, MfG and AG standing around him.
“Damn you SG….I told you its not your cup of tea you stubborn prick!!!” shouted OG “You’ve spoilt it all..now lets head the hell back”
Adventurous Guy continued his devilish laughter, while MfG rued the broken rear view mirror.
Teetotaler Guy the only compassionate soul took a look at SG’s bruise and said “Guys this ones deep..this guy needs some medical attention”
In this entire melee someone, I guess the Reclusive Prof said
“You know guys..in the beam of the headlights of our bikes..with SG lying half naked and you guys standing around smoking..it looks almost like a highway gang-rape”
Even SG managed a smile on that one.
The rest of the story…
• The guys did make it in time for the sunrise (must admit it was a sight to behold)
• SG got 4 stitches across his eye-brow albeit four hours later that too without an anesthetic at some shady nursing home in the village nearby
• SG never ever rode a bike again
I forget the year but this incident happened during one of my visits back to Delhi from my engineering college.
It was a cold winter evening, of the sort that called for a rendezvous with friends and needless to say a couple of stiff-ones to beat the chill. Money was scarce and we were consciously frugal. The venue invariably used to be one of the parks or parking ares in the neighbourhood. The colony folks had kinda resigned to the fact that these kids were incorrigible. We would also get by scott-free because we were the kids who did enough and more for the Residents Welfare Association during the annual Diwali Melas.
Be that as it may, we were a few drinks down, and catching up with things that had happened during the interim (those were the days when internet did not mean anything, mobile telephones were gizmos only the rich could afford and you could not do a conference call from and STD/ISD booth). During the course of conversation one us mentioned about some trouble his parents were having with their next door neighbours over parking. The irritating neighbour would invariably park her Scooty where his parents used to park their car. After a minor argument in this regard the neighbour would do it at times just to spite his parents. That was it, the group decided it was time to teach the errant neighbour a lesson.
Here is what followed:
The group reached the scene of the reported offense i.e. the place where the Scooty was parked (our friends parking space).After a few moments of whether the best way to teach a lesson was to deflate tyres, drain the fuel, etc.
One wise guy said “Park in a manner that they themselves wont be able to remove it!”
Even before someone could ask what he meant there was another voice that said “Let’s put the damn Scooty up on the terrace!!”
The group tried lifting it up and they could! And the next fifteen minutes were spent taking the Scooty to the common terrace of the block up 3 floors by the stairs!! (The block consisted of 2 flats to a floor on the Ground, First and Second floors with a common terrace on the third)
The next morning, imagine the surprise of the old lady on the second floor when she went up to dry clothes and found a Scooty parked over there!!!
The neighbours were only too happy to have found the Scooty which they thought had been stolen. For some strange reason though that Scooty never ever got parked in our friends car parking space.
Alcohol has the strange ability to aid seemingly rational decision making. Cinema of the day contributed with plots wherein the end justifies whatever means are used to reach it.
My take on it does have some measure of regret. But, to this day, I find it extremely funny when I think back what justice meant in this case and more importantly I always wonder where we found the strength to drag that Scooty.
This is a fairly long one. It was the summer just after the Class X board examinations. Most of our gang, to the surprise of many, had cleared the dreaded exams with flying colours and had therefore earned our right to the Science stream in Senior School.
Our take “We had arrived….BIG TIME”. Thus began the seasons (I use the term because it did not last very long and the plural because it lasted long enough) of unbridled fun. Studies, attending classes regularly and paying attention when we did was something we stopped believing in.
We were boys turning into men; it was time to move on from school boy crushes to dating. This obviously needed to be done during the school time and ours being a boys only school it meant it could not be in school.
Here’s a tale of one such date disaster.
The tale has 2 main characters let us in order to save embarrassment call them Stud Boy (SB) and Complying Friend (CF).
Complying Friend (CF) was a popular guy in school. The reason, he stayed very close to the school and by virtue of the fact that both his parents were working, the house was “available” between 8 AM and 2:30 PM on working days. By the way CF insists there were many better reasons than the one just cited.
Stud Boy had a way with girls (Note: In an all boys school the threshold for qualifying as one is low). SB had managed to befriend not one but two girls. It was the era where computers were just becoming visible and qualified resources were short. These girls who had just finished senior school had been hired as part-time assistants in our school Computer Lab. They used to take the same bus back home as SB. Be that as it may, our man had not only befriended them but some how managed to convince both of them to go out for a movie-date.
Here was the plan. CF was to stay back home (pretending to be sick) while SB would (intentionally) miss the school bus and make his way to CF’s place. The girls would report sick/have important personal work (they were employees of the school remember) and reach CF’s place too. They would all then leave for a movie, ofcourse, after a while.
On that fateful morning CF duly had a severe tummy ache, the girls turned up bright and cheerful at 8:15 AM. Pleasantries exchanged CF and the girls waited for SB to turn up.
After waiting till 10 AM all of them became restless. CF hired an auto and the 3 of them rushed to the school hoping to make it for the 10:20 AM break time and see if SB had come to school.
The school principal during those days had this habit (a rather nice one) of mingling with the boys during break time. He’d usually walk down the main staircase and hang around the the school’s main gate talking with the boys.
CF asked the girls to wait in the auto and walked across the road towards the school main gate. The move had risk (professional for the girls and academic for CF) written all over it.
Minor Disaster: The school principal spots CF talking to the school darwan and walks upto him and asks “Why you are not in school and what are you doing here?” CF wriggles out of the situation by saying that he was actually unwell was there to turn in an important assignment and to enquire about the test scheduled the next day. Smart, one would comment except he also pointed towards the waiting auto-rickshaw to emphasise the fact that he really was unwell enough to hire one instead of walking the 5 minutes he would on a normal day. Whether the Principal saw the occupants of the auto is a question CF still ponders over, what he knows for sure is that the road wasn’t (isn’t) that wide and that the girls were curious.
Major Disaster: Here’s what happened to SB in the meanwhile since morning. Our man walks out of his house late pretty sure that he’s missed the bus. He’s wearing the school uniform (lest his folks become suspicious) he packs in a change and a pair of sneakers in the school bag instead of the regular course books. Steps out sticks his thumb out to hitch a ride (A: It was cool to hitch-hike during those days and B: It saved money for the date). A strangely familiar Blue coloured Maruti Van screeches to a halt. The door slides open and the Vice-Principal of the school greets SB and says “Hop in son, missed your school bus have you?” SB complies, his sheepish grin trying its best to hide utter shock and disbelief. SB reaches school and spends the day in school standing outside the class. God bless the teachers for that’s all that they would do to students who turned up without assignments or course books.
Rest of the story:
The date never went beyond that moment outside the school gate.
CF was disappointed that SB was such an essential component for the date to carry-on.
The girls did not last beyond a few months
SB,CF and the rest of the gang had a tough, very tough time clearing exams that year
The storyteller will return.
Like I said, there are more where these came from 😉
Are you one of those people who always have ” A similar thing happened to me once….” story? Doesn’t matter whether you’re sitting over a leisurely weekend drink or taking that quick smoke break at work you most always have an anecdote that’s related.
Confession time….I think yours truly is also one of those for the lack of a better word or phrase “notorious recounters”.
No excuses but here’s where I feel the first mover has the classical advantage of being considered origninal. So here’s a new series of officially recorded anecdotes(for the wives..sorry you still got to hear these everytime) and my claim to the high ground forever for as the copyright owner.
Disclaimer: All characters and incidents in this narrative are rooted in truth. Resemblance and reference to people and places is intentional and not in the least coincidental.
Another Disclaimer:I wasn’t necessarily involved/present when some of these happened hence some amount of artistic liberty requested.
It was New Years eve and once we had been officially invited by someone who was a friend of someone whom we barely knew. But what the heck!!! This was one of those must attend “Farmhouse” do’s which were very “in” as far as Delhi of the early 90’s was concerned.
We all decided to rendezvous at around 9:30pm (only loosers hit a party early) at DefCol Nirula’s before we headed towards the party somewhere in Mehrauli. The gang duly converged and as things stood we had 1 car more than what was required. The wise men conferred and it was decided that the one of us would drive the extra car and park it en-route at a friends place and join the others. Sensible too since the lady who did come in the car would need it to get back home and DefCol Nirulas was not exactly on the way home for her.
So the gang drove off “happy” only to realise after a while that both the extra car and driver were not to be spotted. Suddenly, amidst the traffic our lady car owner spotted a bearded grin typical to our driver friend a couple of cars away…only problem wrong car!!!
Our man had gone into the parking and tried the keys on the first Maruti 800 in the parking lot…not exactly a unique identifier one would say and as we learnt it neither were the keys!!
Well the rest of the eve was spent driving back and earnestly hoping the real owner of the car hadn’t reported a stolen car.
The long and short of it…did not make it to the party that year!!
Young blood. Young blood with alcohol thrown into it… not very smart.
Getting back after that public service message…this in my book is one of the most recalled responses in my friends circle.
Here’s the scene… empty streets wee hours of the morning…race is on!!! One car zips past the other goes round the bend, the other car slows down goes round only to find the driver of the car kicking the air in disgust.
Our friend has rammed his car into a tree/parked car do not remember exactly.
We get off, ask him why in the heavens name he’d not veered clear coz we’d slowed down and there surely was room and he went “Dude…I was committed!!”
….to be continued and to close the first chapter a relatively unknown song called The Storyteller by Ray Davies.
I‘ll tell you a story to pass on to the end,
as told to me so long ago by my good friend
As we hollowed round the log fire, we laughed the whole night long,
As he told me a tale passed on to him by a wanderin’ vagabond
My friend told me the story and I’ll pass it on to you
It was handed down this century and he swore that it was true
And in the morning I could see him fade
Was it fact or fiction? Who can say?
(Storyteller) I believe ev’ry word you say
(Storyteller) I bet you told a good tale in your day
He tried to tell the people, but the people wouldn’t hear
him spinning yarns and telling tales from yesteryear
Then he smiled and finished his story
He said “Will you pass it on for me?”
(Storyteller) I’ll tell that tale for you
(Storyteller) Somehow I’ll get your message through
My friend told me the story and I’ll pass it on to youRay Davies
It was handed down this century and I swear that it is true
Walked into Coffee Home at CP after a very, very long time. A thousand memories walked in along with me, but that is not what this piece is about. Sitting at the table alongside ours was a group of elderly gentlemen.Seemed like old pals catching up over coffee and snacks and that’s what set me thinking.
Watching them break into occasional laughter, pulling each others leg and then shift gears into a serious discussion on a story playing out on one of the news channels for some strange reason evoked a feeling of time travel. It was as though I was looking at my circle of friends through a telescopic lens through time.
Will we have the pleasure of meeting up like this when we are 70?? How many of us would still be in touch??
Friendship, unlike other relationships has a wine like quality and each passing year makes it special.
I have mentioned in one of my posts that friends are family you can choose.
They say that God could not be every where so he made mothers. Friends in my book are on similar lines…only difference,they are a joint venture between Angels and Demons.
Friends are trust worthy;you can trust them to lead an expose of your most embarrassing moments at the most in-opportune of moments. Equally so, you can count on them to bail you out of awkward situations (well at least they always try).
I remember this one time when a bunch of us wanted to go out partying late. We had to get this friend of ours out of his house (his dad was a terror codenamed Phantom!!). One of us volunteered to be the birthday boy. All was going as per plan till Phantom for some strange reason wanted to know what the date that day was. He looked up and asked our helpful birthday boy who went… “Umm..Ummm…Uncle 10th. No no no uncle… 11th uncle”.
Old jungle saying “Only a fool crosses the Phantom”.
Whether we were able to get our friend to party that night is anybody’s guess..
Coming back; friends like lovers often talk about growing old together and wonder how they would be when they are older. They dream of togetherness forever.Take the quintessential Jai-Veeru kind of friendhip of Sholay or the more contemporary Dil Chahta Hai.
Friends perhaps are individual pieces of a jigsaw. It is loads of fun putting them together, making mistakes as we go along- putting the wrong ones next to one other. You make, you break, you make again trying to re-create what once was was or what it ought to be, because it takes all pieces for the picture to be complete.
Trouble is, sometimes some pieces go missing.
So here’s to the existing pieces sticking together and living everyday like a Saturday night!
Float back to the days... Where the days were long and the nights were longer Times when we were young and the nights were younger To the days where our thoughts were free Times when the breeze was cool and so were we! Bottles emptied through the night A minor argument, a big fight Things that went wrong and those that went right Endless movies and highway rides Guys who spent hours in front of the mirror admiring their looks Guys who slept through the night while others sat with their books Guys who topped, yet others who flopped It all comes back when you walk down that lane A drink in your hand without bothering who pays Beautiful memories……..those Halcyon Days
The memories of my past are fast fading Idols of my childhood years are disappearing Takes a moment for me to realise age has caught up Decades have passed since, that mid-life has struck The question I ask, is it living in denial? Some persistent experimentation or obstinate trial Or an inexplicable belief that there’s time left on the clock That the ship of life is setting sail not readying to dock Such is and fortunately so, the journey of life We hang on to the joys to help us tide the strife What better time than youth, times of unfettered existence High on life, dreams in our eyes, oh! that exuberance Wish one could order some of those days “to go” Our little perk up snack when life hits a low Then you look up and find that helping hand The party pack you did carry, your friend!