My Engineering Days

Meeting up on the terrace of a friend’s bungalow on a lovely November evening, having pipping hot daal-chaaval (rice) for dinner, cracking jokes, pulling legs, laughing till we cried, talking for hours without a care in the world, and then everyone dancing like maniacs on the terrace at 2 am on that song at high volume.

6 bikes, 10-11 guys, driving to a hill station an hour away, stopping at a dhaba nearby and having chicken like there is no tomorrow, singing songs and driving around like idiots…

Taking the keys from the owner of the shop, putting the shutter down and playing pool all night while listening to music, then going over to the bus stand to have bread-butter or egg bhurji with tea and heading back home at the break of dawn, supposedly to attend classes a couple of hours later.

Sitting for hours at a chai shop on the roadside, ordering endless ‘cuts’ and talking about God-knows-what till there is nothing more to discuss, but only till the next cut came and the war-stories resumed.

When a bunch of guys from a nearby hostel barged in to attack us unexpectedly at night, the same gang was standing in front of me the next morning with their heads bowed and pleading for mercy. Courtesy my brother and his friends.

Convincing the owner of  a restaurant to open shop after he had shut down at midnight, ordering 3 chicken handis and tandoori rotis, till the dough finished (at a restaurant so imagine the amount of rotis we had) and then standing on the road side for hours sipping cups of tea, till the cops came and threw us out of there.

Watching back to back movies in the day and then another late night movie, any movie, any actors, any cinema hall, just to kill time and vowing to get back into shape to charm girls when the next Yash Chopra/Karan Johar movie releases.

Dressed to kill, dark shades and sitting on a battered old scooter, two dudes driving around town line marofying, till the scooter runs out of fuel and then dragging the vehicle for 3 kms to the nearest petrol station.

Stepping out at 2 am to get some chai, only to get chased by stray dogs, as a result crashing into another nearby vehicle, getting into a fight, and looking up to realize we were at the footsteps of a police station (city chowk). No prizes to guess what happened next.

Going into an internet cafe at 12.35 am (same time, every night, no clue why) and spending the night at the cafe chatting with strangers online in search of new friends.

When not doing anything, meeting up at a designated phone booth and spending hours just sitting there and chatting with each other and calling that place ‘Headquarters’.

Spending night after night during the PLs (Preparatory Leaves before exams), supposedly studying, but actually listening to songs and making study plans, timelines, schedules and then going off to sleep for 2 weeks. Till the morning of the exam and still struggling to understand, ‘What is machine tools?’

And so on and on and on…..

But what really made these days special was the fact that I was not even a member of this group of friends. My elder bro was. And I was just hanging around with them. Yet, I had the time of my life. Till the very end, I was just a younger brother to everyone. And still am. But life would not have been the same without these guys. Engineering would not have been the same without them.

Why this post? Last night while driving back home from work, that song was playing on the radio and I just burst out laughing to myself and recalled the fateful night on the terrace on that lovely November evening.

Here is that song. Imagine a bunch of 20-something guys, only guys, dancing like maniacs on this. Trust me, its a sight you will never forget. Cheers.

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My Best Friend

Today is friendship’s day. Over the years I’ve made some great friends. Some have survived the test of time while some have faded away. But nonetheless all those friends made this life worthwhile. And what better day to honor a special friend in my life than today. So, here I am, dedicating this wonderful song to my best (actually ‘bestest’) friend…

kisi raah mein kisi mod par
kahin chal na dena tu chhod kar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

kisi haal mein kisi baat par
kahin chal na dena tu chhod kar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

mera dil kahe kahin ye na ho
nahi ye na ho
kisi roz tujhse bichhad ke main
tujhe dhoondhti phiroon dar badar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

tera rang saaya bahaar ka
tera roop aaina pyaar ka
tujhe aa nazar mein chhupa loon main
tujhe lag na jaaye kahin nazar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

tera saath hai to hai zindagi
tera pyaar hai to hai roshani
kahaan din ye dhal jaaye kya pata
kahaan raat ho jaaye kya khabar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

kisi raah mein kisi mod par
kahin chal na dena tu chhod kar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

This is dedicated to my wife. Happy friendship’s day, love.

Here’s the video. The song is a sweet romantic number from the film ‘Mere Humsafar’. The film was directed by Dulal Guha in the year 1970. This soft, melodious number is picturised on Jeetendra and Sharmila Tagore.

I will be there

I’m not the sorts who needs a medium like this to express my feelings – specially for my friends. I’d rather go upto the person and blurt it out – good or bad! But I know one such person who I haven’t really acknowledged as much, some one who has been in my life for close to 8 yrs now, and we still sparingly speak, meet up once in a while, update ourselves, but that one meeting is a time when I think I am totally myself.

This person’s name is Khalid or more fondly known as ‘kaddy’. I really don’t know why I write about him but I just felt like taking out some time to collate my thoughts together for this guy. We met back in 1999 when I first landed in Aurangabad for my engineering. And to say that we immediately hit off would be the biggest understatement of the year! Here were 2 dudes who wanted exactly the same things in life – fun, food, films and females! And together, we set off on our mission! Every single day was an adventure and we, almost, did about everything possible! I will spare the details for an other day. But, more importantly, I felt I found someone who was my alter-ego! I’d only heard of such friends but I think I had found one!

And then, something happened. Things snapped between us. I still don’t know the real reasons. Ego, change in priorities, attitude, maturity, misunderstandings – I think each had a factor to play. We drifted apart. We were still friends, only not the best of friends! But I remember the time I spent with him and how I enjoyed every minute of that time. I remember how his presence had made it easier for me to start a new life in a new city after living 17 yrs abroad. I remember everything!

He is married now and, very soon, his wife will be joining him in Dubai. He starts a new life, amidst tensions and pressures in his personal and professional life, both of which are really stretching him. He has done well for himself to come this far. And I am sure he has a long way to go. I am sure he is not going to be pulled down by all this.

And, God forbid, if he does loose his footing, I will be there!