I am so glad that ‘Rekindled Imaginations’ is touching the count of 50 very soon…
You have been such a great friend, always ready to help whatever problem it may be…
Bernard Meltzer once said –
“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.”
I am the lucky one because I know that RJ is one such friend to me who knows that I am slightly cracked but still he’ll always be there by my side whenever I need him!
I have never been able to express what I feel for someone… I am really sorry for being so inexpressive whenever it comes to express what I feel for my loved ones. No words can do justice to my feelings… I am writing an acrostic for you – Arjun, The Humor King!
Awesome talent resides in you
Rekindling the power of imagination
Joyous we are in your company
Unbound faith in you we have
Never will you let us down
The darkest of times
Have been illuminated by you
Endless be this journey, I pray
Happiness and smiles you spread
Unbiased opinions you give
Many stones and gems are found
On this bed of earth
Rare are the precious ones like you
Kindness your virtue
In you I saw my guardian angel
Naïve and simplicity personified
God bless you!
May God be there by your side always… Continue making us laugh…because humor is not everybody’s cup of tea! You are a sweetheart…stay the same always!
[ Tara says this is a piece of crap. Ironically though, it says a lot of nice things about me... hehe... Anyway Tara, thank you so much for writing this and being such a nice friend throughout. It's lovely ;) ]
There is this guy I know
who puts up a great show
Funny, witty and friendly is he
As patient as patient could be
Sometimes serious, most times fun
Everything is packed into one
He makes you smile in times of despair
Now that is a quality so rare
Ever ready with a helping hand
If you've fallen, he'll help you stand
He's rekindled imaginations almost fifty times now
And each time he made us go "Wow!"
May he always be there
to wash away the sorrow
And hey Mr.Arjun Choudary!
You better pay me by tomorrow!
( Hey ppl, jus wanna remind that the stories I write and the characters in them are completely fictional. It applies to all the stories I’ve written till date and so with this post. Please pardon me for the exaggeration (in the posts). Forget logics to enjoy. Enjoy)
7am, at my place.
“Today is your first day of college. College is a temple for students, you are not supposed to…..” my dad continued as I sat wondering which of my dozen blue coloured jeans should I be wearing. Dad went on, as I ran to the kitchen, had a mini breakfast and promised dad that I would follow all what he said, though I wasn’t sure of what he had said. I hurried to the college with a ‘suffocating to death experience’ in the crowded bus.
7am. Roshan’s place.
Flouroscent green coloured shirt, which he had bought for Diwali, a navy blue trouser, in front of a mirror, Roshan set his hair and said- “ Wah!” He ran to the white house, to finish his SOS call. “ Stomach upset? On the first day of college? Damn” he shouted at the walls. After duty, he walked back to his dressing table, combed again, flipped the comb away, feeling like a south indian hero, he announced- “Look out girls, I’m coming.” He jumped onto his ‘second-hand’ Scooty and sped to college, realising that his earlier trip to the white house ensured that he would reach college late.
At the classroom, 15 minutes into the first hour.
I yawned while Roshan entered the corridors like a vagrant, realizing that he was already running late by 15 minutes to the class. As he approached the classroom, he noticed a bald headed professor addressing the class. The professor announced- “Now that I’ve told you about this college and it’s history, I’ll tell you something about myself. I’m Prof. T.H Narayan.” I couldn’t hold back my itchy feel to comment- “T.H Narayan, better known as- Three Hairs Narayan.” Few girls laughed while a few nerds made faces of disgust. Roshan, from the door interrupted and asked in express speed-“Excuse me Saaar, Can I please get in Saaar?” and smiled like Shilpa Shetty. “Why are you late, my boy? This is the first class of your course and you are late?” Prof. T.H Narayan looked worried more so with his zany outfit. Roshan had a readymade answer- “ Tyre puncture Saar” not realising that the excuse was as old as ‘rotten bread’. Prof. Narayan, who was a BP patient, counted 1 to 10 in his mind, exhaled deeply and said out of helplessness- “Get in, but don’t repeat it.”
Most girls in the class recognized Roshan and made strange faces at his very sight. He found a seat on the third bench. “Dude, you look like a door-to-door salesman” my mouth was hard to shut. I continued- “ a salesman who sells socks?” looked around and winked- “ or frocks?” but anyway nobody laughed, so I realised it was a PJ and I had to shut up.
Roshan sat lost, dreaming about god-knows-what when he received another SOS call to the white house. His stomach started to churn. It was making strange grunting noises. The Professor continued- “Last year, when Mr. Bill Gates was here, I invited him to my house to show my…”
“Toilet” Roshan stood up. “Saaar, urgent toilet. Please let me go.”
Prof. Narayan counted 1 to 10 in his mind, exhaled deeply and calmly said- “Go. Get lost.” Roshan ran to the loo, while the professor explained to the students as to how the whole chain of his thoughts break if any one student interrupts the whole class. Anyway, after the small lecture, he began again with- “Last year, when Mr. Bill Gates was here, I invited him to my toilet…….that stupid boy….…I am extremely sorry students…Last year, when Mr. Bill Gates was here, I invited him to my house”
“Can I come Sir?” Roshan asked sheepishly from the door. “I mean, can I come into the class, Sir?” he repeated. Once again, Prof. Narayan did his counting and cynically allowed him into the class. I couldn’t control my laughter nor my ever rattling mouth- “Fully downloaded uh?” i said and giggled away. Roshan did settle down in his seat but was feeling really uncomfortable. He was doomed to visit the loo all over again now. Prof. Narayan for the third time, again continued- “Last year, when Mr. Bill Gates was here, I invited him to my house to see my house. He knows my wife well because of her involvement in charity work and asked if he could take her along with him to my...”
“Toilet” Roshan stood again and said- “Saar, need to go to the toilet again.Urgent toilet Saar”
Prof. T.H Narayan who was a BP patient did no longer control himself, he almost pulled off those three hairs that was left in him, grabbed his ink pen, aimed and flung it towards Roshan and ran towards him.
Now, I wonder- That same fellow is Roshan, my buddy. ‘Fate’ was drunk when it noticed me, I guess.
One Sunday evening, on a Black ‘Ford’.
“Which one of the two routes, Sir?” the driver turned behind.
“Which one’s better? The one under construction or the one under repair?” I was interested.
“Both equal, Sir. Equally bad.”
“Ok. Take us through the road which would make passengers bump into co-passengers.” I winked.
Akshata, who was seated beside me, poked me in my ribs. The driver showcased his smile through the rear view mirror. Akshata peered through the window as the sun reached the top of the tallest building. I sat quiet observing her, unaware that I wore a thin smile on my face. She turned to me and said- “You want to tell me something, don’t you?”
She had flawless antennae when it came to sensing my emotions. I smiled and enquired the driver- “How far from here? The airport?”
“Another 15 minutes, Sir.”
“I asked you something mister,” she pinched me on my stomach.
“2 long years. I’ll miss you.” I said as she held my hand.
He ran across the street, jumping over dividers and pavements in search of another auto rickshaw. Those fifteen or so drivers, who had turned down the lift, threw glances of amazement- “You…… and … Airport??” He ran, ran and ran. He ran for his life.
I retrieved the not yet sampled newspaper from the front seat, and read out from the sports column- “Thumping win for India against the fighting Pakistanis.”
“I feel like crying.”
“Why? Are you a Pakistan supporter?”
“No idiot. I’ll be missing you and this place for the next two years. I wish I could stay.”
“Oh. Don’t worry, time will fly.”
He, on his mad run, hit a stone, tripped and bumped straight into a tall, thick mustached person. A kind of person who wears khakis and makes a lot of money- A Policeman. After some begging and some ‘wallet shaving’, he continued his run. He ran, ran and ran. He ran for his life.
Akshata attempted to pull this tried and tested game over me- “That guy, your neighbour. He’s hot man. But I noticed a wedding ring today, did you notice that?”
“I don’t notice such things.”
“You guys do it when it’s an attractive woman.”
“Nonsense.” But true.
He stormed into a florist shop, and selected a nice bunch of red, fresh, water sprinkled flowers. He shoved the flowers inside his jacket and scampered to the bus station in hope to find a bus to the airport. As he waited, he drew the flowers, rehearsed his lines and sneezed as the flowers tickled his nose. Minutes ticked, when he realised this was going to serve him no good and decided to run and run as though avoiding the electric chair.
Meanwhile I had a secret conversation with the driver, where I told him to retrieve the bouquet from the glove box, as soon as the car comes to a halt outside the airport terminal. Akshata trying to catch our conversation interrupted- “What does the driver want?”
“Your phone number.”
“Why do I ask you questions?”
“No clue.” I twisted my lips.
He was breathing heavily now, one, for the reason that he was running like he had ants in his pants and two, for the reason that the ‘Moment’ had arrived. He put an eye in search of a black ‘Ford’.”
The car cut across from the main road and headed straight towards a relatively empty airport terminal at this hour. As the car moved closer and closer, Akshata grabbed my palms and rubbed it soothingly mumbling words in a thin voice- “I’ll miss u dear. I don’t wanna go…”
The car came to a halt and the driver as instructed, pushed the flower bouquet into my hands and slid out of the car. Akshata looked in amazement, as I held her hand and moved the bouquet gently into her soft palms and said – “ Akshata, I think you know it. I’m madly in love with you. Love you da. Miss you baby.” I saw tears trickling down her cheeks as she grabbed me and hugged me tight with her head resting on my shoulder- “ Love you too da. Love you too.” She wiped her tears.
Just then, we heard a knock on the window, and on lowering the glass, we were exposed to a person, with a flower bouquet in his extended arms. He went on to say- “Sorry Akshata, but I love you. Love you, love you, love you.”
I bent down, to investigate the face of this new Mr.Spoilsport and got drowned in shock as my mouth went dry- “ Hey ..r.r.r…. Roshan..”
P.S - Okay, people new to this blog may not get the Roshan thing at the end. Apologies ;)
Of late, I am realizing that I’m grown up and matured. I’ve started noticing social problems and general public’s feckless behaviour. Ok, what good does it do to me noticing apathy all around?? Answer to it would be - Nothing except maybe that I would end up branded as the youngest BP patient or something. This time its not about our government and their exhibition of neglect, but WE… The General Public. Small issues like Public behaviour, manners, etc…..
Just this morning, on my regular jogging routine in a park I noticed the same two girls who I guess are in their late twenties. The park is a rectangular one, with a walking track outlining the area. Generally, though not as a rule, people walk in the clock-wise direction. These two special beings, as me and my dad noticed since 3 months or so, walk opposite to the general way of walking thereby causing a break in the flow of many brisk walkers. Again, it’s not a rule that people have to follow the clock-wise cycle, but then if it’s only the RULES that rule you, it is sick.
My dad, for once made up his mind to inform them about it and he did so in these exact words- “ Hello… Excuse me… Wouldn’t it be better if you could walk the other way. You are obstructing other brisk walkers and joggers.” One of those girls hit back- “ Thanks for your advice. Mind your business,” after which, ofcourse an argument followed. I mean, how hard would be to say a simple- “ Okay” when an elderly person suggests you something, leave alone following it. Is it fashionable to be sarcastic? “Sarcasm, as long as it is for fun or for yourself is okay. Once you exhibit in public, its no more called ‘sarcasm’ .. Its Arrogance” was one of my point in the argument. Where has manners, simple general behaviour gone?? Is education all about scoring the passing marks or the ‘distinction’ marks?
I read an article in yesterday’s papers that it’s more for the fact that Indian people are very badly behaved in public, that they are being targetted in Australia. Right or wrong, I don’t know, but I’m fed up witnessing it here. On the roads, seeing a few people drive, I’ve got ideas of keeping goats as drivers and still it would make no difference. Yes I know, we as Indians in general are not into following traffic rules (reasons plenty.. government neglect, bribery, corruption….etc), but atleast certain basic unsaid things. Not a single second can a person spare on the road. Also in other general places- arguments, fights all around. Maybe the fact that, excess money into the hands of ill-mannered ( or rather, people unaware of a concept called behaviour.. or manners) are making matters worse. You can still be nice to your driver, your servant maid, a co-passenger, a waiter and end up losing nothing.
Anyway, thinking deep and worrying would take me where?? .. Nowhere .. And hey guys, I’m the same Arjun if you are still rubbing your eyes. I’ve never written such a post, but this was just long pending. Today’s incident just worked up the needed ‘driving force’. Just a request to all- Behaviour and manners go side by side with your BE, MBA.. so on. Thanks for hearing me out. Have a great Sunday.
“When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.”
“Hoooo…hahahah..” laughed….. coughed……… laughed………. coughed harder… Man, I was having the time of my life.
It was a small town which was on view through the caged windows of the train, as it retarded in speed before coming to a halt. I resembled an asthma patient gasping for breath, with the company of this man sitting beside me. He’d introduced himself as- “ Mr. Prasad, a proffessor for class 12 for English” raised his glasses and continued-“One who talks while students are asleep” for which I had let out a bomb blast like laughter, terrorising people sitting around me. I’d then offered him some peanuts, for which he fixed a stared at them, examined them in such a way that it made me feel aweful that I hadn’t had a magnifying glass handy. He continued his contemplation, and finally, like a scientist, gave me some advice- “ Peanuts are to be well roasted. Then salted. Then neatly packed. Then thrown into the dust bin. I hate peanuts.” This time I didn’t quite jump off my chair nor did I laugh like a dinosaur. I had a distant feeling like that of - Kissing a Policeman.
Meanwhile, as the train was back in motion, a girl, whom I had named- ‘The Social Secretary of the Compartment’, came by carrying a small baby of some lady who was seated rows away. I mean, some people, in the name of socialising start pissing you off. She brought the baby close to me and whispered to the baby- “ Say ‘hii’ to uncle” and the baby started playing with my nose. God damn… Uncle?? Anyway, I drew the girl closer and whispered- “ Looking at the baby’s expressions, I feel it might piss any moment.” Needless to say that my plan succeeded and she slid out of sight in a nanosecond. Meanwhile, I observed ‘Mr. Professor’ busy reading ‘Chandamama’ as I tried my level best to shut up.
Anyway, after another two hour long, entertaining journey, the train touched Bangalore, which meant that Mr. Prasad had no other option but to give some rest to his mouth while I made a mental note to visit the doctor with my jaw. As the train and his mouth came to a complete halt, we fetched our respective bags, waved ‘good-bye’ to our social secretary and stepped out of the train as I began a ‘search operation’ for the one and only Roshan, who was supposed to be here to pick me up. I phoned him to find him on the other side- “ Heylo! When is your train gonna reach man? I’m in the third platform waiting for you.”
“My dear Roshan. Third platform from the ‘Front’ entrance not the ‘Back’ entrance.”
“2 mins.” ….Damn…….
In two minutes, I spotted him sprinting like Sharukh Khan ( without a bouquet of course) towards me as I turned to offer Mr. Prasad a drive upto his place. Like all professors, he shamelessly accepted the invitation. I mean, atleast a simple“ no, It’s okay” would have been nice. Anyway, we walked out of the station with Roshan leading us, as though escorting us. After a walk which almost tended to infinity, I spotted a huge, erect ‘No Parking’ sign board and Roshan’s car right below it. The sight, nothing new to me though. Talk about irresponsible citizens.
As we were about to enter the car, Roshan noticed a piece of paper stuck onto his wipers. Roshan retrieved the piece of paper, which said ‘ Parking Fine’. He got back to us and held it with enthusiasm, and said- “ Look at this. Parking Fine.”
The reflexes were enough for Mr. Prasad to reply- “When u find a slip – “Parking Fine” on your car… It doesn’t mean your parking was fine.”
“You dumb head,” I completed the sentence….. laughed…. Coughed… laughed… coughed harder…