This blog post is written by me and Suhas (referred as Kaka henceforth). I wrote the initial draft and he made various suggestions. Some paragraphs are completely his.
We few friends have survived the test of time. We are still friends and still in contact. Not just that we are in contact but we continue our adventures despite the geographical distance that separates us. The sissy talks of losing friends after college life lies buried deep somewhere on the GEC plateau.
My people hating nature, cynicism and ruthless humor has not earned me many friends but those who I have earned seem to be a good lot. This time 2 of us from Mumbai and 3 from goa decided to meet up in Pune with great plans.
The only plan we succeeded eventually was in meeting up at Pune. Surest signs of aging are that we get immensely tensed up even while recreating. It was evident when the pure pleasure of enjoying out was weighed out in comparison with the odds of baking heat of pune summer.
Kaka, Swap and Amey took 7 hours to reach to Pune from Goa covering a vast distance of more than 500km. While Mr. Pavan (Probably in his excitement over the promotion) took more than 7 hours to cover 200kms between Mumbai and Pune. Among all 4 of us he is the first person to get promoted. Me and Swap are demoted to student life where as Kaka is where he is. Being in TCS, I am told, he is already higher than rest of the world.
While travelling, I am told that Kaka’s able and safe hands drove the car through the difficult Ghaat. Once the Ghat was crossed and they reached Pune-Bangalore Express highway, the car was controlled by Swap. His heavy feets pushed the accelerator beyond limits ensuring that Car burn enough petrol to keep petrol pumps in good business. The speedometer touched 120kmph. Once the the sun set and Car was low on petrol, the TCS trained employee Kaka was given back the control car. He immediately put it in economy mode and optimized the resources used . (Readers can guess whose words these are). I think if all drivers in the world were like Kaka (or there were trained by TCS) the Arab countries would have got poorer than African countries with no demand for Petrol. He saved petrol as well as valuable time. They indeed teach amazing things at TCS.
I was told to prepare a plan and all I had was a plan to visit Purander fort and Torna fort. Eventually we visited none. We left in search of Panshet watersports club, when we reached there it turned out to be a mere boating club manned by teenage boys. Some weird boats powered with diesel engines roamed around in the catchment basin of Panshet dam.
Disappointed? Nah. When Kaka (nicname of our senior musketeer) is around we are never short of humor and laughter. No matter what happens this man is always blamed. Whether it is hot sun, potholes on roads, a hot babe who turned out to be a fat babe, spoiled taste of food everything is somehow proved as his fault. The concoction of arguments invariably forms a good recipe of humor.
If we compile the jokes which we cracked on him in last 4-5 years I am sure it will serve as reference manual for Priyanadarshan to make tens of comedy movies full of slapstick and cheap humor.
So the first day of our Pune trip was marked by watersports. 3 falls with banana ride, plenty of time spent in Kayaking, a totaling error by the cashier which saved us Rs 50 and a long drive along the suburban roads of withered Pune city.
After the tiring water-sports we settled in a local dhaba treating our stomachs with pure marathi food like Masala Taak, Bhakari and so on. We devoured the food and our eyes got stuck on the beautiful Iranian babes who had just arrived there for a picnic. Food tastes better then.
A lost phone which was not really lost
I have some personality traits that my friends are not so used to. One of them is, I am unable to find exact English word for it (blame it on my poor vocabulary not the language), best described in marathi as “वेंधळेपना”. After I got down from car, since I was in my sleep, I forgot where I had kept my mobile phone. Nokia 1300, not a asset I am proud of. After some I realized that I had lost it. One one hand I was feeling good that finally I have an opportunity to buy a better cell, I was forced into showing concern because rest all were worried about it. More so, Mr. Kaka. We searched all bags, trousers, we searched the Car, looked under the carpet in and around in the flat. Only to figure out in the end that the phone was just in my bag somewhere deep down.
The whole exercised cost be weird stares and couple of F*** words (in Konkani of course) from Kaka.
Restaurant where no one cares to cater us
I dont know whether God has made us like that or is it the way we carry us, no one probably thinks that we are decent folks with money in their pockets. Whenever we enter a restaurant the waiter never attends us.
From Vimanagar we walked miles and miles to eventually settled in a dhaba where we saw entire RCB inning, but no one cared to attend us. When asked for water we were given warm water. The restaurant apparently was manned by one cook, one waiter and one cashier. Honestly we took it as a “Thappad jiski gunj bohot dino tak bajegi” sort of insult. We vowed that we will not enter there again.
We walked off without eating anything cursing the waiter. We then entered a small Chinese restaurant where we ordered a dish which I cant remember. It tasted well because RCB won the match with a nail biting finish.
The next day belonged only and only to Kaka’s guitar. We had slept deciding we will go out somewhere far. Plan was to visit either a fort or some ancient temple. Each one of us had our own plan and accordingly played mind games on each other. While Swap was adamant on not going out in the hot sun, Kaka was more interested in hanging out in mall. There was a dinner plan also and a late night movie.
All the individual choices here can be represented only as a matrix. There was absolutely no plan where all would agree. Even if we would, chances were that some one will disagree for the sake of disagreeing. Just like Digamber Kamat’s government we were in a complete deadlock. Needless to say like other countless days we spent another one only debating over how to spend the day.
Eventually we moved our ass to get up and reach to Pyramid mall and someone reminded Kaka of his vow to buy a guitar if he can get it for Rs 3k. No one heard my plea to ask to some one about directions to a music shop. Everyone walked on the hot (due to summer) MG. Road without any intent. Only when we reached the other end we got to know that the Shop was present exactly where we had started off and then it was Deja Vu. Then everyone started arguing how they knew that the shop existed there but no one was listening to him. “Janach ashillo hav thai ashille mhanun”
We only had a faint idea about hoe a guitar looks like. It required good amount of guts to enter that music shop with that much knowledge. Soon we were bombarded we several terms which I neither understood nor remembered. So many types of guitars which ranged from 2k to 6-8k were kept in line. The shop was manned by uncleji who was euphoric to see 6 young man (sorry 5 young and one elderly Kaka) entering but got disappointed to hear that we all wanted just a guitar and that too a cheap one.
And finally Kaka fulfilled the dreadful vow by buying off one black colored guitar. Along with it, after a lot of pleading and bargaining he received a lot of accessories which in my opinion will of more use to him than the guitar. He got one T Shirt, one Calendar (Which had a picture of fruits and guitar kept together), extra strings and a book of popular english Hindi songs.
I am waiting to see if he manages to learn guitar. If he can, I too plan to buy one.
Not sure why he is so hell-bent on buying a guitar. May be he is running out of fermones and thinks that guitar can be a good alternative.
The movie plan that never came off
Swap and Pavan had a late night movie plan that evening. 11 pm show which gets over at 1am. The old man (Kaka) among us who is strictly on bed after 10:30, senior in Rank 2 Mr. Amey who is accustomed to working in shifts also sleeps in shifts. Currently his sleep timing falls in the 9:30-6:00 slot and hence it was next to impossible to see him awake during that time. He was insistent that we go for a 6pm show instead of late night. Besides the timing constraints the main reason why Kaka didnt want this movie was the fact that the movie was in English. Unfortunately his employer TCS has not given them any training in watching English movies hence he cant do it with perfection. (BTW TCS has trained him in other things such as how to eat, dress up and talk).Any way, the only thing he had to do inside the movie hall was to sleep.
I and Kaka went out to meet a common friend and planned not to return back before 11 so that we miss the movie. After a good hefty dinner and a horrible ice cream called Cad-B (God forbid never eat that glass full of chocolate cream filled with choco chips) and then appreciating it for the sake of friendship, we returned home. Cliked a lot of snaps with guitar to put on Orkut and Facebook.
When we all met I and Kaka figured out that the movie was probably lame as Pavan , Swap, Amey were completely mum about the movie. They did not discuss anything about the movie nor did they blame us for not coming. May be they envied us for not going through that torture.
Just the way newly married couples sleep late (what they do is left to the imagination of the reader) , Kaka slept at 2:30 am that night (probably a record). It was his excitement (of course about the Guitar) that kept him awake.
Good bye Pune
Kaka thought that no one will get up in early morning the next day. The plan was 8:30 but we internally assumed it to become 11. Surprise awaited us when we saw everyone got up right on time. Well before Kaka. (Dreams of guitar took their toll). We left at 8:30 as planned.
Another eventful (none of which was planned) journey came to an end with we returning to our respective places very next day. Again on Sunday too we had breakfast on the same dhaba where 9 people sat near the table meant for 4 and munched dosas and idli. The dhaba is very efficient. They dont give water in glasses but just keep a bottle full of water. No zanjat of cleaning glasses and all, just take the bottle and sip.
The tea however is not served by the Dhaba, he has outsourced it to another stall. A 10 year old boy ( I bet his name must be Chotu ) is busy collecting empty tea glasses not sure if he washes them too.
The main purpose was to collect Swaps luggage from pune and take it to Goa. Hence the car got packed with a computer, a guitar, some books, lots of shoes.
I lose my ticket
Pune to Mumbai is the only journey where I can afford to travel in an AC compartment of Indian Railways. I had booked Indrayani express’ AC chair car and I was in waiting list at no. 1. Train was at 18:35 and I enter the station at 18:10. Only to realize that I have lost my ticket. First thing I did was to use lots of swear words. That takes you to relaxed mindset from a panic mode. I then tried to see if there is any cyber cafe around. There wasnt any cyber cafe nearby. I had the ticket e-copy on my laptop. Times like these suddenly make me feel religious.
With a helpless face, (imagine Alok Nath as a bride’s father who is asked for a big dowary at the last moment) I stared at the electronic display which showed Indrayani Express to be arrived at 18:35. Tinggg! The announcer suddenly announced that Indrayani Express is delayed by 1 hour. Apparently the Intercity Express had hit a truck crossing the line, hence there was some disruption.
I again started searching for a cyber cafe where I could take printout. I found none. Eventually I asked a security guard who told me that cybercafe is right inside the Railway station itself. I had now again practice my “Swear Words” therapy. Next 20 minutes I walked back to station, took printout and eventually got in the train. That felt like heaven.
The Ticket Checker then told me that if I did not have the ticket but a valid ID card all that I had to pay was Rs 50.
It was due to the superb planning from Kaka who knows to utilise the resources at the right time and right place, much of this skill which he has refined at TCS, the trip was executed with high precision and good budget. [Guess who wrote these lines?]
After a long time I had some photos to be put on facebook. I am sure same was the case with Swap, Pavan, Kaka and Amey too. In the Rat race of career its unfortunate that we need to take out some time and plan to be have some happy and worry free time. But our minds are probably so used to worrying that we start worrying even when recreating.
Its silly that we cant be happy all the times. May its the nature of our country where mere survival is the goal of life. We are probably lucky to get at least the little of time we enjoy.