Gone Are The Days……

It was raining heavily…….

I boarded the bus with the wet umbrella and my bag.
It’s August and is bound to rain cats and dogs in Goa during this period.

To my delight, the stereo in the bus played some old classic Hindi songs.
“Pukarta chala hu main, gali gali bahar ki…..”

What a song!

The bus gradually gathered the speed.
It was Saturday night, so there were hardly any passengers in the bus.

The conductor of the bus came to fetch me a ticket.
I handed a Rs. 20 note to the conductor.
In return, he gave me the ticket and he returned a Rs. 2 coin as a remainder.

The bus reached the Margao bus stand.
Still one and a half hours more to go, I thought.

The bus had stopped and some 5-6 passengers boarded the bus.

Suddenly, someone came to me and said “Hey Durga……..”
“How are you??”

I startled.
“Hey Kunal…….”
“How are you man? It’s been ages since we last met. All is well with me. What about you?”

Kunal was my best friend while in school. In fact we were like ‘chaddi buddies'( What else can you say when you were together since your kindergarten days??? )

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It was in the Sharada kindergarten that we met for the first time.

It wasn’t that we clicked instantly. In fact we barely knew each other until the devilish teacher Miss Klita accidentally brought us closer.

The story goes this way.

Being the most talkative boy in class ( the coveted title which I held for several years in school and can still give a run for the money to the best in the business!!! ) and Kunal being quite the opposite, Miss Klita made us benchmates ( a measure that did appear to me as monstrous at that time) to restore the silence of the class.

The effect was obvious.
Oh no…..
Not what you think….
I didn’t stop talking, in fact Kunal started talking much more than he previously did.

As the time passed we became really good friends. I at times felt as if I was incredibly lucky to get a friend like him.

We shared anything and everything, nothing was a secret then.

Days passed and we were in our early teens.

I remember our grading system to judge the most-attractive-girl in our class.
And how we both fell for the same girl in our class.

I remember how we used to pass those nasty comments on our teachers.
Those after-school hours on the playground that we used to enjoy, is just a distant memory now.

It appears as if it was yesterday.

Time passes.

After the tenth standard I chose science as my stream and he opted for commerce.

Both of us were really sad that we couldn’t be in the same class together after 10th.

But we promised that we will meet at least twice a week and call each other everyday. We even did that for a while, 2-3 months may be.

Slowly but surely, that changed. He got busy with his life and me with mine. We remained occupied with our classes, our new friends, new surroundings.

Nothing was intentional, it just happened.

Those ‘weekend’ meetings were now taking place once in 2 months. We spoke once in a week on telephone.

After 12th he went to Pune for further studies. As a result the gap widened so much that we couldn’t even found time for some FB chat.

The whole roller coaster of emotions was going on in my mind.

We chatted on various topics……..our classmates, teachers and lots more.

Finally, he got up; he had reached his station. I bade him a goodbye and he did the same.
He said “Good bye. And be in touch”.
I said “Yup, you too.”

We were so close as friends, I always wonder what happened.
Where did we miss out.
I miss him sometimes.

But somewhere I do realize that priorities have changed…………for both.
Perhaps, my place in his life has been replaced by someone else.
Someone much better than me.

“Be in touch”, these words really look hollow sometimes.
I know it won’t be the same as it was in school.

All of this made me nostalgic.

I got up as the bus approached my stop.

And suddenly I noticed that the stereo played this below mentioned classic Hindi song by Kishore Kumar

Zindagi Ke Safar Mein
Guzar Jaate Hain Jo Makaam
Vo Phir Nahin Aate
Vo Phir Nahin Aate
( The destinations that we leave behind in our journey of life do not come back ).

My First Post

Hello Guys………..
It’s been quite a some time now that I am thinking of writing a blog. And finally I am here writing MY FIRST BLOG!!!( Butterflies in the stomach ).
I don’t know what your reaction will be, but still I am making an attempt( hope it won’t be a suicidal one though ). I just want to enjoy each and every moment of being “the new kid on the block“.

Lets go back in time…say 2-3 years. During my engineering I did participate in quizzes (I guess it is probably the only and the best thing which I did during the college time). Once we(me and my partner) participated in a quiz but lost in the preliminaries. We were really disappointed because we lost to cheaters. Ego hurt!!! We went to the organizers, asked them about this. The main organizer was a guy named Amey Parsekar, our senior. That was my first meeting with this guy. He told us that he saw what had happened and that arrangements were made so that it won’t affect the finals. And indeed the CHEATERS didn’t win.

Last year, once again I met Amey. Reason…….The quiz, again . Since he passed out from our college and joined prestigious Goa Institute of Management(GIM), we both were rivals this time around. Result……..A close finish, they won and we came second. After the quiz, we chatted for an hour or so. In this whole process, I got to know how his path to the GIM was obstructed by financial hindrances; when all seemed lost, how his friends arranged the fee amount(2-3 lakhs I think), how the banks initially refused him to pass the loan and loads of other things. The term “friend” all of a sudden sounded like Almighty’s.

This year, my brother got admission in GIM. And for the reference I took Amey’s contact number. My bro spoke to him regarding the college, the admission process and lot of other things. And my bro also told him that the scene for us was more or less similar to his path (The first installment, this year was 4 lakhs and I guess it’s a huge amount for any middle-class family). Amey offered us an amount of Rs. 25000 and told that once he started working he’ll give even more. My bro thanked him and informed that the financial arrangements were somehow already done. But the most important thing was the moral support, someone convincing you that it’s OK, this is just a phase that will pass away, everything will be alright in the end.Some days later, Amey called and told my bro that he got the job offer letter and now that he has a job, he is willing to help my bro with all the monthly expenses while doing MBA. I don’t know, but a couple of seconds later I felt something, something that came out as slight moistness in my eyes.

This entire episode was really very emotional for me, my bro( idiot wont admit that he was about to burst into tears.),my family. After all, I barely knew this guy. I mean 4-5 meetings doesn’t impose any compulsion on you. And helping your friend’s bro, in this case is really GREAT. In these times, when people are really busy with their own lives and have no time for others, this was a complete myth-buster. In this highly complex world, humanity still exists. Amey’s words give me new enthusiasm, a different outlook towards society. We might not recognize it sometimes, but the society helps us in numerous ways. And its our responsibility to help back, at least return a fractional piece of what the society gives us. One always remains in debt to society.