Inside a DTC bus, above the left column of seats, it was supposed to be written:
Some fading or scrapping resulted in:
The queue was long. We were waiting, talking. Suddenly I noticed a man in hid mid-fifties in the queue opposite to me. His t-shirt caught my attention. It was bright orange in colour with a blurred kind of picture of a long white thing with a round head. Anyone would have guessed it to be sperm. More so when the text read: ‘File picture of my earlier years.’ But the man sporting it obviously did not. He gave the three of us some good fifteen minutes of smiles.
We were discussing films. Bhondu suggested Parzania and Shaurya.
“These are awesome movies. I don’t know why they can’t make it big. Rahul Bose is such a nice actor!” he said.
“If a movie recovers 75% of its cost in the first week, it’s declared a hit,” I said. “And people are pulled in multiplexes by the likes of Salman Khan, not by some unknown faces.”
Long back, in a film-making workshop I attended, a director had criticized Salman saying he can’t conjure any expression on his face. That’s why Salman Khan was the first name that came to me.
Myself and Bachcha made a mental note to watch Parzania and Shourya. The queue was almost static.
Gradually, the talk drifted to travels.
“How many places have we covered?” asked Bachcha.
“Pondicherry, Kodaikanal, Ahmedabad” Bhondu replied.
“Tirupati, Arunachal Pradesh,” I added.
“Do we have time left?” My question steered the conversation to some other way.
“We have so little time left.”
“Yes. After this? What happens once we graduate?”
I had an answer: “It will be exactly like the present life. Back in Chennai, it was friends all around. We stepped out of our rooms and there were friends in the neighbouring rooms. Here? There are rooms, but unknown people.”
“Exactly.” Bachcha nodded.
“We are kind of alone for the weekdays, until someone joins for an outing at the weekend. I guess the next phase of our lives would be the same.” I said.
“Yeah, you are right,” Bhondu said. “This phase of our lives is going to end soon. And the next will be drastically different. We will be very alone.”
“Until we start our own families.”
Again, some smiles. Sad ones.
Everyone around says he/she is fine. Mast. Enjoying. I reply I am enjoying too. I am enjoying. I am definitely supposed to. But, some part of me refuses. A second thought came to me: We are becoming distant. Are friends supposed to find true feelings? Is it necessary to express them? May be it is a grudge. Sometime ago, I had thought of starting letter-writing with my old school friends. But never spoke about it. I silently made up my mind to try it.
It was starting to get dark. We got up to get something to eat. Meanwhile, the queue was as static as ever.
It’s been a week in Delhi now. I am doing my project under a professor of IIFT (that’s not Indian Institute of Fashion Technology, it’s Indian Institute of Foreign Trade!). Me and Bachcha got accommodation in IIT Delhi, Nilgiri Hostel.
Delhi has been a welcome change after Chennai. Better food, less humid, more girls!
Meanwhile, we are trying for some part time job in a newly launched venture called TransWeb. It is about online education. Interestingly, their office opens at 8pm and closes at 5pmthe following day!
Shaastra work is going on, full fledged.
Yesterday, I met some school friends after a long time. Will post pics of the reunion soon.