Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The things I took to school*

Yesterday, during the course of a long (in terms of both distance and duration ;) ) with a friend, I was reminded of my school days. Having passed by my school quite a few times on my way to and from my friend's wedding while in Chennai, I was already experiencing a wave of nostalgia.

Last week, I happened to wash one of my bags. I'd tried to reduce the load in it a few days earlier, but I ended up discarding just a few bus tickets and putting everything back into my bag. Anyway, point is, I had 'cleaned' my bag, and then I started talking to my brother. He suddenly reminded me of some of our school days.

During most of my school days, I used to leave everything to the last possible minute - be it doing my homework, polishing my shoes or packing my bag according to the time-table. Sunday evenings would invariably find me ruing the waste of a Saturday while doing my homework and then polishing my shoes just before going to bed late at night. (Back then, I used to sleep by 10 p.m.) Every single week would find me resolving to 'improve' myself by finishing my chores earlier, but then, as I've said before, resolutions are made to be broken :) (It was only towards the end of my schooling that I realized it was simpler carrying all the books around, than to break my head over the time-table each day)

Alas, I digress. I was going to write about a certain incident with my brother. Once, I was doing my last-minute hurrying and throwing into my bag any book of mine that I came across and finally reached school. During the course of the day, I put my hand into my bag to take out my geometry box, and my fingers came into contact with something round and smooth. I decided to investigate the matter after the class, and when I did so, I found this rubber ball we used for playing cricket. I wondered how it could have possibly gotten there, and it was only when I was talking about it at home later that evening that I realized that my brother was the culprit, the reason behind the ball being in my bag. He'd counted on my not having time to check my bag before leaving for school, and I'd proven him right. (Truth alone triumphs,eh?;) )

Being the dumb creature that I was, I still hadn't learnt my lesson. I once found some clothes in my bag, and another time, a comb. (Which eventually ended up on the top shelf of our classroom, don't ask how...)

Just last week, my brother jokingly asked me to leave my bag with him, but I warned him not to put in anything. Thankfully, he didn't. Though he did ask me if I'd found anything in my bag, thus making me search my bag frantically for a while before I realized that he was pulling my leg.

More later. Maybe. Maybe not.


* - the title is 'modified' from 10cc's "The things we do for love", a song I like :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Out for a bit

So, folks, I'm off to Chennai to attend a couple of weddings. 

MS has been periodically giving me updates on the menu. She's promised me that there will be two varieties of sweets. As if that isn't incentive enough, she told me that many of our friends, including our seniors would be coming. I thanked her, saying "so you have arranged some Mallu items for me?", and she gets all hot and bothered just because I called a senior (whom she had a MASSIVE crush on - you could tell just by looking at her face whether that guy was anywhere in the corridor) an 'item', a Mallu one at them. Anyway, I have pacified her, and she's confirmed that the food will include my favourites. And so, I can't deny her the honour of my presence in that august gathering :)

Plus, there's this other school friend of mine who is also getting married on the same day, and he too seeks the honour of my presence...Looks like I'm in demand :)

Talking of being in demand, my brother is blaming me for deserting him this weekend, as he's coming home for a couple of days. And yeah, he kindly informed me that he's going to 'my city' next week. Now, he refers to every city as 'my city' - Madrid, Eluru, Cochin, Kolkata, Delhi - every city is mine (except maybe Mumbai ;)) He clarified that it's Kolkata he's going to this time. Sigh!!! 

Anyway, see you later when I'm back.

In the meanwhile, pray that I get more 'items' (food & otherwise). 

(P.S. : I shall be following Mercury's (HG in my previous posts) - the Bong Boy is on a new mission. (I suddenly remembered my high school chemistry and realized that Hg is the symbol of mercury) )

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I was just speaking to my friend SSK (not to be confused with SSSK), and she was telling me about how she'd been talking to her friend about me. (Why do I seem to be the topic of conversation with so many people? Every time I call my brother these days, he tells me he'd been talking to his fiancée about me. I call my friend, and she tells me how she was just then speaking to her fiancé about me...).

Anyway, back to our dear Miss. SSK, or Star(-in-the-making) SK. I still remember the first time I met her. I'd been in Bangalore for a workshop, and having reached there early on a Sunday morning, had gone food-hunting with my friend RS, who'd come with me for the workshop. Before going on the food hunt, we'd checked in into our rooms, and upon inspection of the names in the register, my friend assured me that we were both doomed to suffer with our roommates-to-be. And so, it was with a heavy heart, and a heavier stomach (we finally found a little Mallu place serving what they called parotta (an ambiguous term, used to refer to parathas, porottas (thanks to a Mallu blogger for having made this distinction somewhere in his/her blog), or parottas, which is something they serve in Hotel Saravana Bhavan...), and a so-called veg-curry for me, which I suspect was more of a leftover from the previous night, but still, it was food and tasted quite good (whoa, that rhymes!) (OMG... The effect of all these programs I have been writing - I've become almost compulsive about opening and closing brackets!), that I returned to my room, only to find it bolted from inside. I knocked and waited, and then the door opened slightly, and a face peeped out asking me what I wanted. I replied that I was to share the room with her. She then opened the door and let me in, and we just introduced ourselves and made small talk.

It was then that the FIFA world cup was on. I asked her, with some hesitation, if she minded if I watched the match on TV. And she said she was a football fan too. As the fortnight of the workshop progressed, I discovered how similar our tastes were. We'd spend a lot of time chatting and swapping stories. I remember how daintily (sorry, S, but this is the aptest adjective) serve us tea/coffee every night, and then wash the cups and put everything back very neatly - she was the 'perfect hostess' for our daily 11 P.M.-1A.M. discussions. I remember how she came back soaking wet on the night of the finals, and then going to sleep at midnight. I remember waking her up to tell her that my Spain had won :)

The days sped, and much too soon it was time to part - me to visit a friend and then back home, and she to catch her flight early the next morning. And as at any farewell, we exchanged numbers and promised to stay in touch. I'd gotten her a card (another of our friends, K was teasing me about it), and had also penned her some verse. She texted me from her flight the next day. I thought that was it, we'd be back to our routines and we'd just drift out of each other's lives.

But Life had something else in store. After the initial "How-are-you?How-is-your-research-going?-keep-in-touch-bye" mails, we slowly got back the camaraderie we shared earlier, and we were soon back to laughing like crackpots. She was supposed to come down here to our city, but it was not meant to be. It was again destiny which prevented me from going to Kolkata to watch Messi and Tevez in action. We did have a reunion an year after we'd met, and we reaffirmed our plans of visiting Spain together, and watching matches at the Santiago Bernabeu and Camp Nou.

Fast forward to the present, she's been entered into this group of people I've pestering of late, with my renewed interest in Bengali. (and Bong boys, my friends would add). She's the one who patiently corrects my attempts at speaking and writing the language. She was recently telling me about how her colleagues had asked her to join the NSD, and I told her that she did have the potential. I asked her to go ahead, and just not make me jealous by starring opposite Rahul Bose. To which she replied she'd do just that. Sigh! First Kaka, then Rahul... She's set her eyes on them. Without considering the plight of this poor little girl sitting here, with dreams in her eyes (and secretly praying that Villa and Iker don't enter her SSK's scanner :P )

Damn, this post is turning out to be so different from both the versions I'd envisioned :( Anyway, to cut a long story short, (and to stop rambling), SSK was one of the best roomies I ever had, someone who could be my friend. 

Maybe someday when I'm not this sleepy and muddle-headed, I'll do a better post on her, as she does deserve much better (as the BSB song goes). Meanwhile, I'll try to improve my Bengali skills, and learn to prepare aloo poshto, so I can give her a treat when she comes visiting. Good luck, SSK. Dhonnobaad :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Conned!!! (Well, almost...)

This morning, I was on the bus, looking out of the window... I'd just taken a break from the novel I was reading, and enjoying the breeze and the beats of lively Bengali song. All of a sudden, my phone rang. I looked at the screen, the number seemed to be an unfamiliar one, and it didn't seem like the usual Idea-Vodafone calls offering me caller tunes, health tips and other such useless stuff. And so I answered the call.

"Good morning. Am I speaking to Miss. S?"
"Yes. May I know who's speaking?"
"I'm calling from a website. I got this number from your friend. You have won our lucky draw. Would you be interested in going on a blind date?"
"May I know who this is? And who gave you this number?"
"I'm sorry ma'am, but that is confidential. Please let us know if you'd be interested in the blind date"
"I'm in a bus right now, and the line isn't very clear. Could you call me after half an hour?"
"Sorry ma'am. This is a limited period offer only..."

Click. I cut the call.

My phone rang again. It was the same number. All this time, since I said hello in the previous call, my mind had been sounding alarm bells and saying that the voice sounded exactly like my best friend, M's. But I ignored the warning bells, but they started again with the second call. And so, I answered the call again and asked cautiously, "Is this M?"

Sound of laughter at the other end.

"OMG, S, did you not recognize my voice?"....

Laughter and more laughter.

Lesson of the day : My best friend has an alternate career as a con artist, so I should be more careful hereafter.

Sigh... If only the offer had been that of a drum kit and not a blind date, and if only the offer had been real... But still, life is like that...you can't have everything :(