Life's Like That

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friends

A friend is getting married. Well, almost all my friends are getting married, but T is different, she is the first friend from my circle of friends in school to get married. I dont think any of us expected T to be the first one...we though maybe TR or SD would be the first...but look where life takes us.
There were 6 of us...there was T, and SD, and RD(not me the other one) and MC and SR and myself. What brought us together? I dont know really, we were all so different...school was thwe common factor I suppose. Although I became friends with them at different points in time. SR and I have known each other from the time we were 2 years old..we plan to celebrate 25 years of friendship next year. MC and I got to know each other pretty early too, I think we were in Lower Kindergarten..or Class Infants as we called it in my school. T was next..we were about 10 years old in class five. SD and RD were both befriended much later in class nine I think. All 6 of us, as a group came together only in the last two years of school..ninth and tenth. My closest friends from school.
I remember the Annual Day Concert when we were in Class Two or Three..it was some sort of a circus thing and SR and I were supposed to be acrobats. We were to crouch on stage and these two girls were supposed to climb on our shoulders and we were to stand up with them perched on our shoulders. Which was all very well, except that the girl I had practised with fell sick at the last moment and they replaced her with a much much heavier girl. At the crucial moment, on stage I discovered that I just wasnt able to stand up with this new weight...so I did what any desperate little girl would do..I grabbed SR's shiny purple shorts and pulled myself up...which of course meant that her shorts slipped down..on stage!!!! She still gets upset whenever she remembers the incident, although in my defense, noone in the audience noticed that her shorts were lopsided..they all just laughed at me!!
I remember T as a tiny skinny little girl with two ponytails...the baby of the group. She fell down once on the terrace during tiffin break and hurt her hand very badly. We took her to the Dispensary for medicines, but that bitchy lady who sat there just kept shouting at her for breaking the rules and running on the terrace. Poor T took 2 minutes of that shouting and then burst into tears...I remember getting very angry with that female for making T cry (yes I was always very short tempered).
I remember playing passing the parcel at MC's birthday parties. She shared her birthday with her gradnfather and there would always be two cakes at her party and both she and Dadu would cut the cake. I remember the "day spends" at T's house. I remember my own birthday parties with all these and more kids screeching and shouting and laughing.
Got to know RD and SD much later...RD was the clown of the group. She was hopeless. And we all loved her for it. I remember covering her Physics file 10 minutes before submission for ICSE markingbecause she was just wandering around the room vaguely saying "ei tora keu eta ektu molat diye de na..aami molat dite jaani na"(please cover this for me I dont know how to do it). I rememebr getting together in SD's house to copy and fudge Physics experiments from her (she was the only sincere studious one among us all, RD just sat and giggled throughout, so in the end, not only did SD, T, and I do our own fudging, we also completed RD's file for her. She arrived to write the first of the ICSE exams without her admit card. Thanks to the alphabetical order of our names we were next to each other.During the mandatory session of praying that happened before everything (convent school extra pious nuns...you get the picture) I heard this vague sniffling from behind me and when I turned I saw RD sobbing. Her mom had apparantly gone back home to fetch her admit card and not yet returned so my friend was panicking. School fortunately had anticipated such things from us, and had a bucnh of duplicate admit cards ready...so she could thankfully write her exam. She giggled at me throughout the Geography exam because she didnt know anything while I (according to her), was writing furiously.She also threw up on me one early morning because she arrived well prepared for a Biology exam while in fact we were to write a Chemistry exam that day. She also threw up all over her Computer Science homework T's homework both their feet and the Computer teacher's carpet (they had gone to her house to submit an overdue assignment). None of s blamed her or got angry with her for any of this. We just "its RD" and proceeded to clean up/look after her etc. She was the crazy fun loving girl whom everybody loved and who could make us all laugh at any given point in time.
SD...well she was the serious sober one with a cutting witty sense of humour. Her one liners and their timing could have you rolling around on the floor helplessly. We went to the same Bangla tuitions, and how poor Aunty managed with both of us I really don't know. She gave us this reeeeeaaalllly difficult passage for comprehension once, and one word that we had to provide a synonym for was "marjar". Being rather weak in Shudhdho Bangla, we both had a whispered discussion as to what we thought the meaning could be, and after much deliberation I wrote Jhyata (Jharu) and she wrote jomadar (sweeper). Considering that the actual meaning was "cat" its a wonder Aunty didnt box our ears...she merely laughed and laughed and laughed.
When I think back on those years, I remember carefree days filled with laughter and giggles and fun. We seemed to find everything funny (Girls really do giggle a lot don't they?) We would go for lunch on shoshti(1st day of Durga Pujo) to Peter Cat and then walk back to T's place on Ballygunge Circular Road. SD would be grumpy and would complain incessantly, RD and MC would be on their own trip..giggling, waving to random boys etc , SR after a point would take off her shoes and walk barefoot much to SD's chagrin while T and I would just march ahead (T was the only one who would walk as fast as I did). We would stand in a row under the Grand Hotel Boulevard(or whatever that thingy is called) hold each other around the waist and walk together while we chanted soem ridiculous rhyme that went "There was.. a girl.. so tall..so fair..."(have forgotten the rest) the idea was to walk to the beat of that rhyme. Of course people stared...we just giggled and laughed and ignored them all. I remember standing on the road near T's house and jumping up and down to pluck leaves and these fruit thingys that looked like pine cones for our Geography project. Truck drivers smiled and passed lewd comments, people stared and said nasty things about "aajkal kar meyera" (girls these days) but nothing upset us, we collected our foliage and cones amidst much giggling and laughing and went home.
We talked about boys in general and of course in particular. Good looking boys , a rarity in Cal in those days (dont know if things have changed) were given the codename "hariyali" so that other people wouldnt understand. We burst into fits of helpless laughter if ever any teacher told us to "do it". I acquired a boyfriend in class 9, much to everyones excitement. And RD went on and on about the "pleasures of life" she was sure I would be enjoying ( of course the fact was that we met once a month if we were lucky, on a crowded road..but convincing RD of that was a tough job). T and I belonged to this group called LTS and we met boys during the interschool events. Much giggling and confiding happened about a few of those boys...needless to say, nicknames were given to each one.
So many memories...the visit to Presidency Jail, mad murderess woman demanding T's watch, wanting to throw Pepsi over the quizmaster's head during some fest, our first taste of beer in RD's house...we washed the glasses with Aramusk soap ( we couldnt very well go and ask her mother for Vim bar could we?) and sprayed perfume in them to make doubly sure, walking into DBPC to deliver soemthing and being stared at by all kinds of boys. One group of boys waited for us to come back and nudged each other and said in very audible whispers "look look thsoe girls are back.."! Talk about raging hormones!!!!
The one piece of news about T's wedding has thrown me into this completely nostalgic mood. Things changed you know, we grew up, moved to different cities, changed. We still laughed and giggled, but not in as a carefree a manner as before. Complications set in. Was it the times that was complicated? OR was it just us? We resented T for choosing new friends over us, of course she always denied it, but we felt that she was happier with her new friends. We still kept in touch, but not as passionately as before. I havent met T in I think over 5 years. Ive spoken to her about 5 times in that time I think. I have no idea where MC has vanished or how to get in touch with her. I am however in touch with RD, SD and SR. But even with them so much has changed. RD has become soooo mature. She has lost that irresponsible laughter. Events in her life have turned her from this naive lovable girl into this strong sad woman. While Im glad she has grown up and is strong, I wish it didnt have to be at the cost of her happiness. SD and SR have changed too. Caught in the mundane boredom of jobs, responsibilities etc they too have become more serious. Have I changed?? I dont know. I guess I have. As RD said the other day..we all started out together but life has taken each one of us in different directions.
Then T called. To tell me that she is getting married. And to insist that I be there for the wedding. In a moment of bitterness several years ago, I had decided that I wouldnt go out of my way for T. Then she called. I dont know how, but the bitterness just vanished. In that one moment I made up my mind that I would indeed be there for her wedding. Theres no way in hell that Im missing my friends big day. I hope she and RD and SD and SR and MC(wherever she is) will be happy. Life may have taken us in differwent directions and treated us in different ways, but we will always have each other. Changed, more serious, more depressed, less cheery, richer, poorer..who cares!! We have been with each other from pigtails to perfume, ( a line stolen from T's entry in my slam book)..that's gotta count for something right!?

26 Comments:

  • very well written...'from pigtails to perfume'..oh yes, it counts for a lot. i hope u guys meet up and have a great time at the wedding. Its not often reunions like these can be arranged these days. make best use.

    By Blogger Abhishek Chatterjee, at 3:06 AM  

  • ronita i cant tell u what am feeling right now. while reading i have laughed..i have cried. am impressed with your memory! u made me revisit the best years of my life.......

    By Anonymous RD, at 6:31 AM  

  • Oh my god. I think I was laughing and crying at the same time... all while I was supposed to be building the prime time show. I love you and all you guys. Also have finally traced MC. Please be at my wedding. I know I've been completely hopeless, but I do think about these things too. And if it's any consolation, I still think you guys are the best friends I've ever had! And I've learnt that the hard way, trust me!

    By Anonymous T, at 6:47 AM  

  • umm...have the feeling am intruding on private space, but wonderfully evocative, and brought back many memories as well.
    Also, blog is fine, has just changed its name. Do mail, and will give you URL. But, umm...don't link to it now- kinda want to keep it private. And, err...it'll have mostly poetry and more poetry for the foreseeable future.
    Thirdly, talk of a meet (the long delayed one) next weekend. Will call. Do turn up.

    And oh, Happy New Year!!

    By Blogger the still dancer, at 10:00 AM  

  • oh my god! your friends read this and commented! this really does feel like intruding, but this was a delicious post. absolutely wonderful. i realise again what i missed out in school...25 years of friendship before you're out of your twenties, that's something!

    in other news, why haven't i seen you at my blog? hmmm?

    have an incredible wonderful new year, by the way.

    By Blogger Rimi, at 10:24 AM  

  • Hey Ron!

    Wonderful post!

    Do you think that by bringing out such nostalgic memories, we just feel a little older and worry that we cant be the same, innocent, stupid kids anymore?

    have fun!

    anand

    By Blogger Anand, at 8:48 PM  

  • @abhishek: thanks. this wedding will be loads of fun im sure...specially if MC can make it and the whole group can meet up once more.

    @rd: you and me both sweety!! it was wodnerful revisiting those years wasnt it??

    @t: i dont really know what to say!!! we were and will always be around for you, youknow that!! am so happy for you. totally looking forward to the biye..although the logno timing is rather intimidating. oto bhore uthbo ki kore? :)

    @arka: you are not intruding :) will mail you and wont link to your new URl..promise. as for meeting up..sure..lemme know when and where and will do my best to be there :)

    @rimi: you know, i couldnt believe they commented either. they just made my day...now i feel like crying and i cant coz i am at work. thank you for commenting too. and you are not intruding at all:)
    tomar last post ta besh JUDE related chilo...i couldnt figure out what to say honestly, therefore i didnt comment. happy new year to you too.

    @anand: siiiigh!!! yes it does doesnt it? makes me want to run back to 1995 and relive the last two years of school. what i wouldnt give for a day of innocent stupid childhood.

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:22 PM  

  • Hey Ron, I have heard these stories from you before, but it was a differnt experience altogether to read it. Very well-written.

    By Anonymous Gauri, at 4:13 AM  

  • Ron, may be you should really take up writing more seriously!

    By Blogger Deep, at 6:31 AM  

  • So, er, are any of your friends cute :) ??

    And free this weekend?

    By Blogger 4WD, at 10:44 AM  

  • Wonderful nostalgic post. Everyone has beautiful memories of childhood and growing up. remember this serial called Wonder years that used to come on TV? That's what this reminded me of. Thanks for sharing with us.

    By Blogger M (tread softly upon), at 1:11 PM  

  • @gauri: thank you!!! :)maybe ill write about us next!!

    @deep: awwww!!! you mean that!!?? *beams and blushes*

    ps: how does one go about taking writing seriously??

    @4WD: ALL my friends are cute!! but no, sorry i dont think any of them are free this weekend. also t is the only one in your city and shes getting married...soo....heehee

    @m: thanks. yeah of course i remember the wonder years..to tell u the truth, thats how i think of my childhood and growing up years..the wonder years!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 8:51 PM  

  • hi ron,

    very nostalgic indeed! you seem to have 'lived' every moment. believe me it takes that to minutely pen down moments down 20+ years :-)

    By Anonymous aratii, at 10:25 PM  

  • @aratii: yes i most certainly did live those moments and wish i could go back and relive them too :)

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:43 PM  

  • That was a lovely post. I read it after S told me about it...

    By Blogger AB, at 11:26 PM  

  • Hi,

    Lovely post. Have quite a few friends' weddings coming up, and your post made me all teary-eyed. Have heard a lot about you from Rosh over the years. Would like to meet you some day. Cheers to old friends and good times to come. P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:46 AM  

  • @ab: how sweet of S to ask you to do that..am very touched.will i see you in cal for the wedding? would be nice to meet you.

    @anon(P) : hello, welcome to my blog. if you are who im guessing you are then yeah ive heard loads about you too. lets meet up the next time im in cal or u are in bangalore! what say?

    By Blogger Ron, at 4:33 AM  

  • Wow! That is a great post! Wishing your friend T a very happy married life! :D

    By Blogger Rita, at 2:38 AM  

  • @rita: thank you(on T's behalf as well)

    By Blogger Ron, at 3:53 AM  

  • That was beautiful Ron ..totally seeped in nostalgia and sepia and full of all the warmth and tears and silliness that only the memories of old friends evoke.
    I wanted to comment much earlier but blogspot was playing up.

    By Blogger Dreamcatcher, at 9:24 AM  

  • Beautiful post. Absolutely breathtaking.

    By Blogger rainbeau_peep, at 6:25 PM  

  • @dc: and that was a lovely comment. "seeped in nostalgia and sepia:...how nicely you put it. and thank you :)

    @rainbeau peep: thank you :)

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:09 PM  

  • Nope, that doesn't count for something. That counts for everything!

    You have inspired me to write about my close friends too1

    By Blogger Accidental Fame Junkie, at 4:11 AM  

  • @afj: you should!! friends are among the best-essstttt things that life has to offer!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 12:28 AM  

  • I know this is a late comment. But, I was reading random blogs at work(boring day :P) and I came across yours. I read most of your blogs and was thinking this is place I should come when I want to cheer myself up. And, then, I read this one. These are the exact same feelings I am going through now.
    A very dear friend of mine is getting married soon and she wants me to be there at the wedding. I have known her for 9 years now, but we hopelessly fell out of touch in the last 2 yrs. I have tried to get in touch with her a million times, but she was busy all the time. Then I decided maybe when she tries to get in touch with me, I will get busy with my life. But, when she called me up and asked me to be there at the wedding, all the ego and plans of acting busy just vanished. I just cannot wait to see her again at her wedding. It's my best friend's wedding and I am not going to miss it for anything on this planet.

    I think I strayed off a little bit here :D
    All I want to say is, a wonderful post.

    Wishing your friend T a happy married life.
    And, also hoping that your friendship remains untarnished by time.

    - Bart

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:54 AM  

  • U brought so many years back....n so may relations left behind...but still made me realise we are bonded till date...God bless us

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 AM  

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