Yet another memory!

Birthdays are a whole lot of fun! But most of the times, I end up forgetting the birthdays right on the day of the birthday. Jugal popped up on my Gtalk and asked me how I was. As one would with very close friends, I began to rant about how stressed I was and all that. The gentleman that he tends to be, Jugal continued to talk to me and just when I was about to close the window, I remembered it was the 14th of July!

It was Jugal’s birthday and I was busy cribbing to him. That’s that. I wished him, he said thank you and there was no cake… What non-sense! Anyway while I figure out how to get kanjoos Juggy to part with some cake for me and Sneha, you guys read the story ahead.

It was a rainy day in June. I was driven all the way down from Pune to appear for my personal interview and a group discussion at Vivekanand College. I wanted to get into BMM at Vivekanand even though I had secured my admission at KC. As I took my seat in the classroom, I looked around me. There were absolute strangers and some of them were potential classmates. All of them seemed pretty quiet and reserved. Most of them were science students who were in a limbo with their medical or science admissions. The fellow next to me had the most curious questions ever. We struck a conversation, and soon when the group discussion started, we had a heated debate. ‘This classmate would be fun!’ I thought.

Much later, when the time came to make a decision, I chose KC. I graduated from KC, did my MA and then joined a Yuva. I was pretty excited about being a part of a newspaper launch team. “The initial team is always close knit,” is what the editor said to me. It was true. We spend 10-12 hrs a day together. And suddenly we were told that a new dude from Mid-day was joining us.

Now, our team was already pretty friendly and this guy, was not exactly the friendliest creature on earth. He came and kept doing his stuff and asking us questions and answering ours exactly to the point. We brushed it off thinking he’s just another ‘khadoos’!

Slowly and steadily as we approached the launch, all of us worked closely and got chance to know Jugal better. One day he just asked me casually. “Were you very fat in college?” Yes, I could have smacked the guy right on his face, but I tried focusing on the fact that he was indirectly asking me if I am thin now. He continued. “I think I remember you attending a GD in Vivekanand, but wasn’t sure it was you.”

Wham! The realization struck me. I had met Jugal before and he was that inquisitive and possibly fun classmate. Now we were team mates. As time passed, we realized that our initial impressions about Jugal were wrong. He was very reserved but when he considered you a friend, he was right there for you.

He will crack the silliest joke when you’re talking to him about a ‘dharam sankat’, he will be brutally honest and he’ll ask questions to which you may not have answers. That’s Jugal. I, Sneha and he hung out back in our ‘Yuva’ days, and we continue to hang out together today. We discuss human rights, politics, sports (sneha and jugal talk, I listen) or films with a passion. We plan trips to Matheran (though they are cancelled at the very last minute). We are the trio- and sometimes I do wonder if I’d have ended up in Vivekanand BMM and Jugal and I were classmates, would we still be the thick buddies we are today? I don’t have the answer but I have the buddies, so who cares anyway!

PS: Jugal… Now can I have that cake?

BMM memories…

Nostalgia is wonderful. I like listening to an old Bryan Adams track after a long time and close my eyes. I see the Podar auditorium and can smell about 300 sweaty students swinging to ‘Summer of ’69’. I open my eyes and realise that time’s gone. But for those 3 minutes, I recreate my first jam session and love every second of it.

I like smelling an empty bottle of a perfume I used to wear back in my degree college. I take in the citrusy smell and close my eyes. I am in my car, loads of friends with me, driving along, singing to songs. I open my eyes and I am back in my room, smelling an empty bottle of perfume. The projects, the songs, some places, they just take you on a minute long ride back into the past, the moments you’ve cherished and miss deeply. And you come back to the present, with a smile, realising that you’re older, maybe wiser but most importantly, how much you miss the people from those old days.

When a girl from KC called me and said that as an ex-student, I have to come for the BMM orientation, I decided to take the long and winding road back into the past.

BMM was the best thing that ever happened to me. Nah, academically it didn’t do wonders, but it changed a lot of things. I mean college does that to everybody, but I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I’d chosen to do a BA or Bcom.

If I ever wanted anything badly enough to give my life up for, it’s BMM. I strived hard through 12th to get the 50% (yeah I remembered I had to study a month before the boards!). I prepped myself up for entrances and made sure I was well-rehearsed for my personal interviews. When I got into all the colleges I applied to, I almost thanked Paulo Coelho! The universe had indeed given me what I wanted.

See! I am doing it again… Just getting lost on the long and winding road. Anyway, I landed up at the orientation, excited and all that. The same gates, the same audi…awww.

Once seated in the ‘alumni’ row, I looked around. Not a single familiar face! Once upon a time, I could’ve identified each and everyone in the audi… And just then, I saw Mr. Gupta. And, I was glad to see a familiar face. Ankit Gupta and I were classmates, project-mates and very close friends… We joked around like the good ole days, giggling but something didn’t feel the same. Ankit had changed through those years and so had I.

But we were trying hard to recreate the old days. But we saw that there people who had taken our place in the course. Our time was back then and it’s gone. So we ran for the HR Canteen, where many a love stories had bloomed, many fights materialised out of thin air and many kilos were put on. The same old hakka noodles, same old crispy noodles, we tucked in. But the fun factor was missing yet again. There was no juicy gossip on the side or eye candy for dessert. It was just not the same.

So much for nostalgia!

All of the experience left me depressed and on the ride back home, I realised I wasn’t the only one. “Our lives revolved around this college. We shouldn’t have to try so hard!” Ankit gushed. It was a shocker. Ankit was not the emotional types back in those days. We started talking about the old days, the new days and everything and I realised that though the college doesn’t hold much for me now, it is people like Ankit, Mruns, Pooja, Pranali, Satam, Lathi, Sapna, Suraj and so many more, who make me miss those days. I am glad I have these people, who each have a piece of the jigsaw puzzle of our college memories. And when we get together after 4 odd years at a random coffee shop at Bandra, we still create a halla gulla like we did in college. We still tickle each other and make screwed up faces in photos. Who needs nostalgia, when you treasure the ones you love through the years…

So this one’s for you…yes I am going to take everyone’s name here, as if it were my Oscar speech!

Sapna- My first friend in KCBMM

Nausheen- For saying ‘penneka’… haah

Sanket- for being a good sport with all the jokes made about you

Mrunmayee- A friend, fellow ponderer and of course my partner in crime in scaring couples on AC buses

Ankit- for the late night phone calls, advice on dealing with a certain boy, fighting with me through most of BMM but still being a friend I can share a laugh with.

Riddhi- for being the bholi bacchi I could educate 😉 ur welcome lol!

Lathia-For singing with me in the car! Na sur na taal bus dhamaal!

Ashwini- For just being there

Pranali- For being the one and only friend who knows me better than anyone else, for so many things… I can’t include it all in just a line…

Satam- Same goes for you, thanks for chasing away my body consciousness and having faith in me throughout! LOL and of course- ‘guppa bus Shakti’! HAHAHAHAH

Delu- fellow music lover, radio enthusiast and guy basher… you have no idea babe, when I met you in London, I felt like I finally had family in a foreign land!

Shraddha- the drive to and from college, muthia and a lot more…

Nikita- my very own Maniben… never seen sans a smile… keep smiling

Sneha- her crazy jokes about the management prof… she took lectures to a whole new level!

Suraj- Haah… I have no words for this guy… Loved verbal thrashing around the whole place with him!

Mansee- The true free-spirit! Loved the little bit of hangin out we did…

Mathew- the 6th October lunches… burrrp… thank u Mat, thank you aunty!

Suhani- I haven’t met her for years, but I know that the day we meet we will connect… She and Mruns are the reason I decided I want to be a writer!

Pooja: The most straight-forward person in the class! Love u 🙂

I will keep adding names… I am too overwhelmed to write more… Love you all boyses and girlses…

Crushed in Movieland

Shakespeare said that life is a stage and all of us are actors. But I object; I say life is a set in Universal studios and I am the leading lady. Yes it totally sounds moronic doesn’t it? It sounds moronic to me too. But then I have lived many of those eternal love stories of Hollywood. Only, in my case they turned out to be not so eternal. Through my phase of obsessions with movies and guys I guess I forgot to differentiate between both altogether. My first crush was Shah Rukh Khan. Yes the actor. Now almost half the nation was in love with Shah Rukh at that point of time and I am sure, they are still, so I had to do something to stand out amongst those millions. Well I met a friend who was equally in love with Shah Rukh and we decided to be two special ones amongst those millions. We didn’t mind sharing SRK at all. So we started with skimming through 65 Filmfares that I had managed to collect and cut out all the possible pictures of SRK and yes there were fights because most of the times we both wanted the same picture. Finally we had our own scrapbooks ready but my partner ditched me and left for her school. So it was I all by myself to win Mr. Shah Rukh’s heart. I wrote poems for him, I went and saw each one of his films, only to realize that half the nation was already doing that. Any new way I found to win SRK, a million people would already be doing that. Finally I decided to quit and try to win the heart of some less sought after person. In the complete madness of school affairs and giving advice to my girl friends about their boys and giving my guy friends advice about their girls and setting them up, I fell in love with one of the boys in the school. Now boys and girls weren’t really allowed to mix a lot in my school. And the funniest part was, till date I have never spoken to that guy. Heck of a clueless love story I tell you.Chatting with Ajnabis was the in-thing and I started off too. I made a lot of friends online and a couple of them became my phone friends too. But one among them became special, why? I still ask myself. Again thankfully, this movie was incomplete. And I was bored of having crushes for more than an hour. So a guy on a bus stop, a guy at McDonald’s, a guy who comes for a jog to Shivaji Park everyday at 5 pm, went on to be a part of the historical list of my crushes. Now came a time to start another movie because these trailers were too short to to teach me a lesson. So I started a new movie again. This time it was my own version of Best Friend’s Wedding, only there was no wedding and I wasn’t trying to break them up at all. Basically I fell in love with a very very close friend of mine, and here’s the catch he was in love with someone else and this chick wasn’t giving him any ghaas or even phuss for that matter. But I managed to somehow get him to fall for me, or so I thought. Now after the mahashay turned his affections to me, the chick realized that she loves the mahashay. Ab meri prem kahani mein yeh naya twist aa gaya. Bass after cracking a million brain cells over it, this particular movie didn’t have the usual vanilla ending. But the moral of the story is this last movie that I cast myself in, has taught me an important lesson. Now I shall only be a casting director and watch the fun during both the making of the movie and the movie itself. Cause love stories are synonyms to disaster stories…only for me though.