Friday, September 23, 2005

Do D Dee

D & I go a long way since our first day in college. I did not know that she lived next-doors and we spoke like strangers whose only meeting ground was our mother tongue and Richie Road in Kolkata. Imagine our surprise next day when my Uncle took me to her house and told me that she could show me the way to college. We started giggling then and we have giggled ever since. In crowded Delhi buses where the seats never emptied, in front of the chat trolley at the college gate, while sipping Bunta in college, ogling at men in the auditorium, at bus stops, at CP, at Sarojini, at Kamla Nagar and when we famously stood outside a cinema hall where I had lied to my folks about attending an important class.

We roared with laughter while ordering a fourth helping of Gulab Jamuns, and when we went to gorge Makki ki Roti at Pummy's instead of returning home after college like good girls. We laughed because both of us took three attempts to get past the first chapter of 'The God of Small Things' and because a day before our exams, we were eating 'Gajar Ka Halwa' and playing the guitar and pretending to study.

We smiled with glee when we managed to bully the keeper to sell the kurtis and pyjamas at CP for less then 50 bucks, and we gasped in delight when we found long-sought-after books selling at half prices. Partners-in-crime that we were, we forged bus passes, befooled teachers and clerks.

We parted, because destiny had different plans for either of us. Lived in different cities, different countries and different continents. Still we kept in touch, we mailed, called and chatted. We shared everything from Chicken Tikka Masala to secret crushes.

It’s been sometime now that I haven't heard from D and I know that even if she wants to keep in touch it is difficult. You are badly missed, D. There are some things in life that we can take for granted, and to your friendship I do.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Twenty-three men including my static Module Leader and electrostatic Project Leader rampaging the field more or less summed up the activities of Sunday morning. Frayed tempers in place of shipping orders, fouls in place of cursors, penalties instead of defects, cuss words instead of staid remarks and free kicks instead of time-sheet entries were the order of the day. It rained and they played on. Sometimes, its seemed that ball willed itself to get stuck in the mud after every two meters, yet resolute in their determination, to make it move, they went on and on.

I wouldn’t blame them of course. It isn’t everyday that a bunch of part young, part middle-aged, part pot-bellied and part washboard abed, part in shorts and part in Bermudas, part in spikes and part barefoot, some balding and some sporting pigtails motley group of software engineers abandon their PCs in favor of the lush, green, wide open spaces. Welcome to the Annual All-Matches-In-a-Day Football Tournament.

There were the obvious concessions given to our players. They weren’t exactly professionals so, behold! Each match was played for twenty-five minutes, (ten minutes a side) During the five minute break, they gulped glucose prepared lovingly by us – the only four women who cared sufficiently for our year end appraisals to prefer the football ground to the cozy comforts of the bed on a sleepy Sunday morning.

Well, we women pretended to enjoy, we groaned when they missed goals, clapped with joy when they did not. We cheered whenever we thought there wasn’t sufficient noise on the field and gasped when a fight broke out between two hotheaded colleagues. We served water, and glucose and lunch and let the guys know that it was their day. I finally felt like an archetypal Balaji Telefilms Bahu. We pretended to get embarrassed when the men took off their shirts after the match, and felt nothing with all the sweat, muck and mud all around us.

And when our team lost, we wept copious tears. After a day full of histrionics, when I couldn’t take it any more, I begged D to atone for all the horrors and do the one thing that would make us feel better. We went shopping!!!