A drivel of thoughts wandering aimlessly pretty much like the person in jolly good spirit and sitting still at the same old table not giving zero fucks to the world. There is an emotion for every season in India but the delirious spasm bore shade of colorful during the routine days, sitting with coffee, shit loads of smoke, zillion crushes, salty conversation, tiny dot of thoughts resembling a speck of light that segues inside the brain.
The still and carefree days of yore staying put at Savera with friends and indulging in mindless gossip for you know more is the merrier with countless cups of chai and coffee. Usual trick is to order two cups of tea or coffee and ask for two extra glasses so that four people can share and gulp at ease. It’s no secret that now and then, order would be passed so that we are not compelled to be chased out of the most loved place. Life could never be imagined without Savera but neither am in the city nor is the adorable place that carved college memories at the same place facing the college gate. The place that sat opposite the alma mater, Fergusson College, is closed for good to be opened at another place.
Last time, saw on a peppy page on Facebook something that spoke directly and sent me into a tizzy of memory, ‘In Pune Friend Circle is Incomplete Without Joshi,.’ I couldn’t agree more and this post in the memoirs is about this wondrous friendship with the junior chick, the Joshi girl who became such a good friend over time. She was junior to me and would call her, ‘NJO’. Calling her my buddy on the campus and outside in front of everyone that people thought that I had a huge crush on her and P once told me to tell her if I like her so much. P was like, “Tell her, she is a very understanding girl.” It was funny since there was nothing sentimental and and people thought so probably because when I saw her, would jeeringly yell her name the loudest and start pulling her with my silly antics. It was all about the vibes and energy.
There are some girls like that who are the buddies and with whom you can speak anything under the sun without inhibition, to discuss love life and what’s not. She was always my dude friend. I always told her, “NJO, you are not a girl but a boy.” She would smile and tell me, “Look at my features and you call me a boy.” There was no reason why I called her NJO but it was like Jenifer Lopez for JLO. Such was my chemistry with her. NJO was someone who showed a keen interest in politics and current affairs discussing the state of the country, corruption or the kind of politicians that we have, making smart and sensible arguments. Can’t even remember how we met for the first time and probably our friends’ circle at Savera.
I remember her passion for singing, everything creative and musical instruments. Once, a friend in our group S asked me if I would like to hang out at NJO’s place. I was a bit hesitant and said, may be some other time. S and NJO wanted to do some jigging and songs together. A landline number buzzed on my modest Nokia 3310 but for some reason or the other, couldn’t pick up and a sms came in no time, telling to call her. I dashed to the nearest PCO at Satish’s panwalla, when she asked if I’d like to come to her place along with S. That’s NJO for you. No airs but simple, heart to heart to convince you. She is one of the easiest peeps that I’ve met.
A rickshaw trip off Fergusson College to NJO’s place at Kothrud and was treated to some passionate, soulful and composed music with S doing the guitar and NJO soft and warbling voice beautifully accompanying the music. I discovered a new aspect in the soft-spoken and calm girl whose music reached the soul. Friendship and the bond that we make with people have seamless layers that stay forever. After some time of watching both S and NJO playing music and trying various genres from Hindi classical to English, I decided to leave past one or two pm on Saturday. She accompanied me towards the door. The genuine and affable smile on the face taught me to treasure people in life who makes us special and unique as a human being. We often take our friends and loved ones for granted but a gentle tap on the shoulder or smidgen of words can work wonders on us.
The habit of going on uninterruptedly was something which I wrote as part of the Pune Memoirs and my trait of blabberED with people that mattered lot in those days. NJO gave me a mannequin challenge. She flitted her way in Savera and casually challenged me, “I want to ask you something. A bet. Can you keep silent for 10 minutes without uttering a single word!” It was quite an uphill task and my mouth was shut, poker face at everyone, people who joined my table wondered what happened to me. I turned mute in no time communicating with the hand and face with people. The whole gang was amused and bewildered how someone who doesn’t let the world breathe just went out for a toss with this loss of words. I was dying to play around with the bet. Somebody was able to delete words out of my words.
The monkey face that I was a maven at making and the ludicrous jokes always amused NJO to the hilt. I was happy to be the joker in the group and perhaps an attention seeker. I don’t know. Aren’t we all at some point or the other! There was another chick P who would always hang out with us and for some reason or the other, she was telling, I am leaving now. She must have repeated herself several times and the sarcastic evil pushed its might inside me, “Go away, don’t come again.” I was just trying to be phunny and P pretended she didn’t hear me out. NJO was amused at the comment and the wry smile she exuded is still captured in my mind that gives the impression of wondering what planet this dude lives in.
Another innocent anecdote that felt like cherry on cake was once, S and Me sat to argue right in front of N, with this battle about hot vs cute. NJO must be fuming inside and wanted to break the faces of two guys, S saying she is hot and I was arguing that she’s cute. Of course, a healthy and silly banter among friends not online but among humans over coffee. I guess, she just ignored us with a grin. The favorite expression, ‘You lost it’ to all my pulling still rings an echo decades later. Some people were calling her the specky chick.
So many instances of hanging out with the favorite people and as the memoirs progress, efforts shall not be spared to recollect moments about the Pune days to pen on this space. Remembering every interesting and tiny detail can be quite a tough nut to crack, emotional at times but a good exercise for the brain. Something that I am learning at the meditation center to always remember about happy moments and the mind always go back to Pune, recollecting the college days.