Pune Memoirs, 2005-06
Third & Final Year
Fergusson College Road:
Relationships were bound to be altered. No friendship would remain the same. Suddenly, I found myself jerking like a yo-yo, swinging from one side to the other. The people who were close to each other almost locked horns into a fist fight. Don’t get ideas, there was no drunken brawl and was not part of the morning fight that grew louder like a chorus inside the apartment.
I slept well on Saturday evening. It must have been the effect of alcohol, ganja, and smoke as I crashed into the abode of pals which was a regular affair, albeit, a daily trip for me since learned the art of avoiding my PG for a couple of months. You know how refugees live, right? Between the kitchen and the hall where someone slept was separated by a curtain, I found a place in the extended hall where with legs kicking the mattress and my skinny body. The perfect way to get up in the morning! At least, thousand times better than that place I call a room in my PG where the wide wooden green or blue colored window doesn’t close properly and leaves from the huge tree fall is sprinkled inside the room and the sill is the dancing floor for pigeons cooing to madness.
The Sunday is vividly remembered when I jettisoned out of the bed to witness the huge fight and familiar voices roaring their might out with R trying or ‘pretending’ to play peacemaker between C and A as their girlfriends watched helplessly. Silly manipulative games were played that provoked this fight. I later got a hang of things. The other two occupants were confined to their rooms. I woke up drowsy and it took me a while to comprehend what was happening with my friends turning into barking dogs. I know what the fight was all about but came as a shocker since it was about another common friend who wasn’t present but made a scapegoat. Someone took the side of that innocent friend and the other refuted the arguments that turned ugly.
The squabble was not alien to me but it wouldn’t make sense to pour the entire things on this space after more than a decade when everyone has moved on in life. It did catch me off guard. There shall be no denial. The reason is simple: I was close to everyone involved in the fight. It’s not that I was alien to what someone or the other was doing with their views or political and social activities, but then why should I meddle into all this? Let everyone get along with their personal ideologies of doing things to change the world. But, I was also aware that the two people I was close to and particularly one person, were getting along very well with the movement, rightfully so, to create awareness for a better India or a better world. They decided among themselves for quite sometimes not to let me in the loop of what they are into! I mean, I knew about all the things happening but pretended to ignore. I am always good at that. Another story that on one lazy Sunday, both made me sit with them to narrate the entire idea since they wanted me to be part of it. Naturally, I played along and not that was sold to the idea.
Tension wore thin on my face. It always happens after a fight. The challenge is how to behave with one party right in front of the other. Am I supposed to take sides? Maybe tacit. I mean, how do I interact with both? It got me in a thinking mode for the entire day and I sneaked out of the room to come later at a time when the troubled waters became gentle. It worked out. The most interesting thing is A who was in a relationship with one of the guys became the Philosophy teacher for both me and N for the exams. She is a brilliant and patient girl who would at times get angry and losing it to finally break into a peal of laughter. The reason is that at that time, both N and I never used to like each other but were still on speaking terms. Our fight was mostly by pulling silly pranks on each other. At times, I would react angrily but mostly by pulling silly antics, pretending to hit him or pulling his arms. A would always say cheerfully, “Guys! I don’t want any fight near my books and table.” She would order us to sit down, one by one. As good students and son to this maa, we obliged. Our friend was amused at her useless students and in her own words, one always laugh for no reason. That was N. “The other always looked for coffee and smoking break every 30 minutes. What kind of students I have!” she referred to me.
This fight always came haunting me whenever I would meet this group split into two. As for me, I managed to keep a good relationship with both sides at that time and there was no pressure on me to cut the chord with the other. Yes! The house was divided.
Having good friends is like being in a frame, a perfect film never short of entertainment or conflicts. It was Holi, I remember and almost veering post 5 p.m when A trudged the stairs outside since she was out for the entire day. We knew her steps by heart. There were K and me who decided to play a prank and the moment she opened the door, we ran towards her to give her scare and pretending to sprinkle colors on her. Our hands were empty but A turned into a wounded tigress who started yelling and lambasted at us. The mood was spoilt and we went inside. Back to the kitchen to make my cup of coffee when A walked inside and sported a feeble smile before breaking into tears and apologizing for being rude. K didn’t take it too kindly but I listened saying that it’s alright. I was upset but knew that A is a girl who has always been good at heart or like K’s boyfriend said in a compassionate manner that may be something pulled that trigger of fear with the colors.
Many months later and after graduating out of college, I met M along with A at Savera since all of us would be moving out of the city. For Me and me, it was Mumbai while A was heading to UK. We hanged out together, visited the Fergusson College campus, took a long walk at our various classrooms and departments when we laughed at this silly incident. A had a peculiar way of laughing at things that made her the person she was always and very charming to the core…I shouted at this guy!’ The conversation about the incident was funny.
It was the season of drifting away from each other with the sudden change of mood. Some people sensed that I was changing as a person with my sudden mood swings but the truth is that I was getting into the withdrawal symptom. One thing is the sudden mood swing and remembered that once G, a former crush, told me to join the gang but plainly said that I am sitting with other friends. I like my space as a person but then ain’t justifying anything that went wrong. In fact, I didn’t really like what someone may have said and was keeping my distance with some people who were close to me at some point or the other. I can’t remember what someone said which offended me or that matter, didn’t take kindly since it’s been a really long time. Thankfully, with time, the road was mended but things were not like it used to be. But, then, each one of us must get on in life with their respective priorities.
The gang almost split with everyone going their respective ways. Some friendships stayed and stood the test of time while the rest went kaput with the storm. It was bound to happen but what remains are the precious memories of spending wonderful moments together. I am no longer in touch with C and A, but one thing I will never forget how both stood up for me when the owner of the room that I was staying was hell-bent in throwing me out which he did. That’s quite an interesting story during the final year in Pune when things booted out and deserve a brand new chapter of Pune Memoirs.