28-Jun-2007

When we were young

The other day I was hanging out with N and S, both friends from B-School. N and S are friends but not the kind who know intimate details about each other’s lives and have seen each other throw up in B-School. We were talking about this and that and suddenly N and S leapt out of their chairs. They had discovered a common link.

T had a unique reputation in our batch. Unlike most of the batch, which missed its breakfast for two years straight, T consumed his. The fact that it could be nearly lunchtime did not stop him. Nor did little points like having to miss class in the cause. He had his dozen slices of toast, dosas (or whatever Indian breakfast was on offer that morning) and mugs of chai. But before beginning to demolish this huge list of edibles, he did an impressive thing. He used to methodically break open 6 raw eggs and then pop them into his mouth one by one. Any straggler who managed to catch him in action usually stayed well away from him.

N and S were however not stragglers. Infact N was the opposite of a straggler. He went to class bright eyed and bushy tailed, took down notes, did CP and so on and so forth. Where he stepped over the line was in losing his temper one day and informing the prof that his question papers needed changing since they were merely photocopies of the previous years. Suddenly fifty students had to face the prospect of preparing for a course, which they had hoped to pass effortlessly. Most of them took it in the right spirit; convincing themselves that one is in B-School in the pursuit of knowledge and not investment banking jobs. Or so we can assume since none of the came up to N and menacingly told him ‘Tujhe mein dekh loonga’. Which is precisely what T did. Many days later, when a birthday celebration was in full swing, T arrived swinging a hockey stick. N promptly stepped to the farthest point in the area from him. T followed him till they were moving around like a bunch of endangered animals in a strange mating ritual. T got tired of this constant movement after a while and disappeared. He did manage to get his revenge on N’s birthday. Joining in the bunch of guys throwing N in the air and giving him friendly birthday bumps, T gave some well-placed kicks with his spiked boots. It was nearly a week before N could walk without his back hurting.

S had clearly been unaware of any of these happenings. So when T walked up to S just before S’s group was supposed to go on stage for a play and offered to play the flute, S gave him the brush off. After all the play was a part of a 2-credit course and had been lovingly conceived by S and company with no background music. It was no surprise when T turned up a few days later at S’s door armed with a hockey stick (yes, this is beginning to sound like a bad Telugu movie). Luckily one of the guys in the block who looks 7 ft and 100 kgs walked by and told T to buzz off.

N and S reminisced with great emotion about each being beaten up or otherwise. Then they reminisced about the hockey stick and realized no one had actually seen T play (so perhaps it was an accessory inspired by a Telugu movie). Then before they could get misty eyed, they realised they were cool dudes and could not discuss being beaten up. But I am sure they both threw each other significant looks for most part of that evening knowing they belonged to a select group that had seen T’s hockey stick up close and personal.

Brothers-in-arms

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