*Warning – Long post ahead about my friends and college days. Please read at your leisure time.
This post was drafted to talk about my “love to talk” but as I was half way through it took a whole new turn and I realized that the post spoke more about friends and the good old days spent with them so the title has been changed and I dedicate this post to all my good old friends.
In my school days I had a best friend from 6th grade. She was the topper of the class and I was an average student still we got along very well. It continued till end of 8th grade as in 9th grade the head mistress came to know about our friendship and placed us into different sections for the next two years Still we continued to meet during breaks for a while and then gradually the friendship died as we moved to different schools for the higher secondary classes and choose different stream in college. I don’t know the whereabouts of her now. Hope I will trace her someday but I was happy to find some of my other school friends in FB recently. I was so glad to see them with their family and kids. The happiness in connecting with them again was boundless.
And then happened college. In college days I was always part of a gang of people. I had a handful of close friends fortunately with whom I still maintain the contacts. We can pick up our talk from where we left last time where the last time can easily be months or with someone even years before. The gap doesn’t really matter as we recollect all our gang/private talks verbatim. My home was the center to assemble for all events be it group studies, project demo or a casual get together. Amma used to cook for all of us and serve us as we sit in a row on opposite direction. Most of the veggies in the process of cutting will be swallowed raw by my friends and they will be more interested to chat with amma though the group would have assembled in the name of group study. Every other weekend there will be at least two friends at my home. Even now when we talk their first Q would be how is Aunty?. There were days when I have picked up fight with them as they have to choose either me and amma as their friend and they tease me by choosing amma over me. That would have described my amma’s nature to you We had a gala time together.
Every semester one difficult subject will be kept aside for group study. That means around 5 to 7 of us will assemble at my home for 5 consecutive days and study one unit per day. Some will also stay back at home. There was a poor intelligent good scorer soul in our gang who is supposed to teach us that difficult subject. That means he has to study that subject ahead of us and be ready to teach us. When he will be shouting his lungs out at one room, a part of the group will sneak into the kitchen to help amma with cooking. And then when this good soul pretends to scold them they will say that its amma’s fault as the aroma from kitchen is naturally attracting them
Few of us always preferred to study at night. I need pin drop silence to concentrate. In other words if I study at day time I will get distracted easily and will take an half hour break for every 10 minutes to step out of the room and check what amma is doing or join her arattai (chit chat) with the aunty at next house or the lady who sells vegetables/flowers/fruits. So, I always preferred to study at night during study holidays. There will be no way to get distracted. Start at 8pm and study till 5am and then as the day dawns and people start moving around I will hit the bed to get up late afternoon for lunch. Then I will relax till 8pm and get into the next day’s schedule. Amma will store hot Tea in flask with cups next to the study table She also used to sit along with us and read magazines until she feels sleepy that’s around 12am or so. If you thought all this is to get that gold medal my dear people you have mistaken. All this is not to get arrears. I told you already I was an average student but luckily I didn’t flunk even one subject and managed to get an aggregate of 70+% (almost close to distinction).
In third year the Industrial visit happened on my special day. To keep it even more special my parents suggested that I can share cakes instead of chocolates that year. The bus started from college with most of the hostel students and then the plan was to pickup day scholars on their way. I wore my new birthday dress (a green chudithar with chamki works) and appa dropped me at bus stop with 3 big boxes of pista flavored cake pieces from Mc.Rennett cake shop (one of the famous cake shops on those days). As the bus reached my stop and I was stepping inside the whole bus started singing the “Happy Birthday” song. I was dumbstruck. I didn’t know how to react. I was shy and happy tears filled my eyes. Then cake distribution happened followed by fun, fun, fun and more fun. I was given a special treatment the whole day by boys and girls I knew and I didn’t know. Almost all of them greeted me with cards and roses. Some of them who didn’t know in advance bought cards on the way and gifted me . We visited beach in the afternoon after Industrial visit and played games. I was asked to go first on all games Its my special day na. A day that I can never forget in my life. I came back home exhausted around 10pm with enough beach sand to build a house The cards are still safe with amma. She and only she knows the value of those hundreds of cards I received on my college days as she had witnessed every part of it and the emotions I carry for them.
In the final year we planned a trip to Ooty as there was no tour organized by our so-called strict college. The trip was planned only for girls (around ten of us) with two adults. My mom and friend’s dad accompanied us. It was a three day trip that’s still fresh in my memory. We pretended to have party every night by having coke in plastic glass and saying cheersss to match the cold weather at Ooty On the way back to Chennai we made the public bus driver take a break as one of our friend had to attend nature’s call . On the last semester every other weekend we were visiting each friend’s house. I have been to Vellore, Vizhupuram and Pondicherry. It was a big deal for me as on those days I had never traveled out with friends for more than a day. In last semester we organized girls only farewell party at a house shared by few girls. They preferred to rent and share a house outside college to have better access to outside world and also to have flexible timings for the project. As my home was closer to the rented house (15 minutes by bus) the girls used to stop by my home anytime they feel homesick. We christened ourselves as “galattagirls” 🙂
I had a best friend at college too and all staffs remembered our name only in unison . We usually address each other as loosu (“mad/mental case/paagal) and that holds true till date. . We have watched so many movies together ditching classes in the afternoon. I was a very obedient child so I used to call amma from the telephone booth near theater and inform her that we are going to watch a movie and will be home on time. Amma never objected. We were best pals in doing effective group study. Believe me. We can finish a subject with 5 vast units in 2 days if we study together.
Looks like there will be no end to college stories Its 11:30pm. Let me stop here and hit the sack with these happy memories.
To be continued…