Pune Memoirs: Second Year 2004/05
There are a couple of incidents that took shape to refine, define and reinvent yours truly in the second year spent in Pune. It turned to be one of the most blissful years as I learned to open up and make new friends by moving out of my comfort zone, flitting between being more an extrovert than the introvert that I am by nature. It was my participation as a volunteer in our biggest college festival, Oorja at Fergusson college that helped me to open up and make new friends.
It was the time where things ranged from being hilariously funny to bonding with mates and flirting with danger, traveling with a drunk dude on his bike. I was in SYBA, the time for the major crush on someone and getting so much used to her, between waking up each other every morning to attend lectures and hanging together. We also clicked several pictures in college one Saturday afternoon, walking throughout our college past noon and walking to the Kodak shop in the sun to finally end up having lunch together. To be honest, I was in love with her.
It took me two whole days, Saturday and Sunday to travel on the bike around Pune to fish something for the crush. Bad luck! It troubled me to no end and her face kept popping into my head. Finally, I laid on something cute and fancy. It was a colorful cotton bag to win and woo her.
I traveled all the way from college to her house, braving the traffic and humidity to press the bell like an uninvited guest where she was surprised to suddenly see me landing on her doorsteps. It was crazy, I swear. She almost threw me out together with the fancy bag but I pressed on her. She didn’t have any choice but to accept it. I knew deep inside that she was pissed with me and felt stupid while going back home after speaking to her for hardly few minutes. I didn’t have any intention to sit inside her house. It was another story that, prodded by the best friend, I ended up proposing her via Sms with 1,4,3 which she dubbed as a stupid game played in school for I love You with the ‘You know I have a boyfriend’. But, the next day, it was all cool between us when she sent an apology SMS for being rude. We spoke on phone and on her birthday, I gifted her a Ganesha and what I got in return was a tight hug outside the college entrance while she was on the phone with someone. It felt so romantic and thank the sky, for moral policing didn’t spot us. Ha!
It was the year that I made several friends and met Adi in the house where Manish and people were staying. We bonded over alcohol and the time I learned and loved the taste of Vodka with orange juice. Courtesy of our mate, Chandana who concocted the cocktail. Over the years, Adi became my best friend, pulling my leg for every small thing and berated me for lacking the money sense. He colored my hair, as we sat on the stairs for our end of year party on 31st December where we traveled all the way from Fergusson College (FC) Road to MG Road to buy triple 5 cigarettes box from the seller who would ship the ‘maal’ from Dubai and for which we got a good price of 60 bucks. Just imagine for imported fags!
Once, I took a rickshaw and ending paying 15o bucks to buy two cigarette packs worth 300 rupees. It made him very cross with me. He would call me very weird for along with someone, we were chewing pan before having alcohol. He just snigger at me, ‘weird.’ Our Saturdays were spent spilling the alcohol down the lungs, smoking and smoking up the pot together with all kinds of stupid jokes where we turned into crazy beings. It’s the kind of bonding that we had. Once, he got himself a huge ceramic pot, big enough to put mud and flowers which he proudly called his, ‘pot of knowledge.’ He didn’t want anyone to throw the fags’ end and he had every intention to fill it till our exams ended, which he did.
Crazy! That’s life for us. I enjoyed making the trip to his house in the Peth areas at Shaniwar Peth and often lost my way despite visiting his parents’ house now and then. I enjoyed the animated but fiery discussion he had with uncle. Aunty made the most amazing Maharashtrian lunch and once he got the Bob Marley haircut with the dreadlocks and bee wax. Naturally, I laughed at him and earlier during the day told how he’s looking like a ‘chut’. Uncle looked at him seriously and told, ‘Adi! You looking like Pharaoh of Egypt’. Naturally, I couldn’t conceal my laugh and sent an SMS to someone to report about the time he’s having with his Dad but ended sending it to him. He laughed and threatened me with his finger. It took me a while to realize that the joke turned on me.
There are so many such incidents which I am trying to recollect but somehow the brain drained over more than 10 odd years and is going Kaput. Once we traveled on his shiny red bike for some shopping at Fashion Street on MG Road, which he found as too nalla. I was shopping for pirated VCDs and he was hell-bent to dissuade me from buying there. I took the VCD of Phir Milenge and in front of the dude selling the movie, he said, “Arre mat kharid, yeh bakwas picture hai.’ The hawker was pissed and just said, “Arre! Bakwas picture nahin hai achha movie hai.” I found it hilarious. But, it’s another story that the VCD didn’t play at home.
It was the year where I made a record of sort, staying at different locations, right from Vishrant Wadi to Kothrud and changing two apartments on FC Road so much that one friend told me to stuck to one place that way I’d have enough money to visit places. It was in Kothrud at Paud Road that I flirted with danger in the bungalow of the Mahajans, Bhagya Chintamani at Bhausari Colony. The owner would stay upstairs and the ground floor would be given to tenants. Uncle and aunty were very nice to me and would often invite me either for lunch and dinner with them upstairs in their spacious bungalow and the only thing that scared me to death was their dog.
I believe that the studio rented out to me at the end was the best room which I got for 2.8 k at that time and I had as neighbors, two brothers from Germany who most of the time were drunk. I would often hear them involved in a brawl with their girlfriend who would often visit them. Once, it got to my mind that I need to change the cylinder at Bharat Gas at Karve Road and when I was carrying the cylinder, one of them insisted on taking me there. I could have died as the dude was shit drunk and riding the bike, stumbling from one end to the other. I almost got a panic attack and fainted. Finally, as the deed was done, I came back relieved that I was safe. I vowed never to pillion ride with someone sloshed.
I shall end on this hilarious situation where I was staying in one room as a PG behind college and at night was listening to cassettes on my CD player gifted by a friend and how suddenly, I had a regular loose motion. What happened was hilarious. I needed to have some medicine to ease the pain and in a hurry, I inhaled Vaseline skin care rather than microgel syrup for stomach pain. It left a weird sensation on my tongue and stomach, where I spit it out at the washroom. I was like, what the fuck I just did. I washed the mouth a couple of times and poured water inside my stomach. Thankfully, there was not much harm done to the system. The hitch is that both bottles were placed on a shelf and in a hurry, I mistook Vaseline for the syrup in a hurry. That’s what stomach ailments do to your mental state.
PS: I have every intention to finish the Pune Memoirs and racking my brain to retrieve moments spent more than a decade. It is painful and tricky but worth the effort.
Love, Shubbh Ratri and Good Night