Thursday, December 12, 2013

Reunion diaries

Around a decade and a half after passing out of our Alma Mater, Government Medical College, Trivandrum, we are now hopefully all set for another reunion, planned tentatively somewhere in the middle of 2014. Sounds exciting and really looking forward to seeing the old guys and gals. The ‘old’ part being unfortunately both literal and figurative now!
Things have really changed over the last 15 odd years - other than grayer hairs (for those who have hairs remaining) and the varyingly impressive grades of central obesity.
We were a little more than kids back then and more than a handful. Now we have kids of our own who are quite much more than a handful. We were all excited to get a little prefix of Dr. back then….now the Dr. thing is a bit like taken for granted, but the excitement remains. We were elated to finally be doctors, yet a little insecure of our futures …..Now we’re mostly settled and secure, but many have probably starting getting insecure of the future of their children. Back then a stipend of less than 2000 bucks was enough to survive for most of a month…..including the absolute basic essentials like junk food, movies and petrol. Now many of us have added a couple of zeros to the earnings…but our needs seem much more. Back then we didn't mind waiting in line for hours to get a chance to call the ladies’ hostel from the single phone in the hostel, now we have one or two smart phones with ‘full options’, but unfortunately don’t have the option of calling anyone else other than our own ‘bitter-halves’. Back then we were ‘us’ and the faculty/famous practitioners/teachers were the ‘them’….many held in awe and respect, some ridiculed, some hated, some ignored. Now many of us have become the ‘them’ …mostly held in awe and respect I think (and I hope).
Life seems to have come full circle…or at least a good regular semi circle.
Three people will be really missed – Ranesh, Easaw and Pushpalatha. Three good souls who left the stage a bit early. When I sat down to write this piece I was beginning to get a bit uncharacteristically senti….but then I realized that those dudes would probably get nauseated themselves seeing all this overdose of mush. So to hell with the senti…I mean we feel sad about them, but they must be laughing their butts off, wherever they are, seeing us poor haggled idiots –getting up every day to mushy ‘good morning pictures’ or stale, recycled forwarded jokes on Whatsapp, checking Facebook to count the number of likes for our latest stupid irrelevant uploads….running around under stress for that one new house, one new car, one new wife/husband……
I was in a special position to know two of them as I was the only guy who was a room-mate to both of them (Obviously it had to be the two guys I’m talking about, coz for some weird reason males were not given accommodation options in the ladies hostel. This in spite of some males being around thereabouts most of the time. There should seriously be something like a ladies hostel naturalization/ citizenship option for such characters).
Being roomies with Easaw (that was the correct nomenclature by the way, we never used his first name as a rule) and Ranesh were two distinctly different yet equally fun experiences. Being a room-mate is bit like being married- you get to know all the good, bad and ugly and still end up enjoying the togetherness. You can talk about anything from irrelevant things like studies to important stuff like non-existent love lives.
Easaw had been demonized as a ‘difficult’ room-mate. However it didn’t take long to realize that the poor guy was probably one of the most misunderstood persons around. The thing about Easaw was that he was brutally honest. I mean if I had to deal with a difficult idiot, I would go on diplomatically on the lines of something like “ Dear respected and honorable sir, I know you are not understanding what I am saying, but please could you try to understand what I am saying…..” with a combination of honey and sugar dripping from my mouth. On the other hand Easaw’s approach would be something like “ Listen you idiot, do you understand what I am saying….if not…..” accompanied by a not –so-innocent rolling up of his sleeves to expose his massive biceps….and more often than not Easaw’s approach got work done more effectively. The guy could still makes friends damn easily. Wherever you went with him…railway stations, restaurants, cinema theatres, people would recognize him, smile at him and offer little favors.
Otherwise he was just another regular guy – hardworking, great at sports and very helpful. As far as girls were concerned Easaw was more into his own type…the slightly more than moderately built and nourished kind…his favorite actresses were Kajol and Kate Winslett. I remember because the guy gave me a pretty solid headache after he kept on waxing eloquent on the leading ladies and not letting me sleep after seeing‘Minsara Kanavu’ and the ‘Titanic’ respectively.
Ranesh of course didn’t have any specific likes as far as girls were concerned. Any XX chromosomal pattern was good enough for him. For that matter the guy wasn’t particular about anything I suppose. He was one of the guys who always seemed to be smiling (even under fire from the artillery of good old Dr Sudha). I still remember the day when we returned from a long vacation to see our whole room – mattresses, undies, books (in that order or importance) all soaked from a leaking roof in the monsoons. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown but this nut, my room-mate, was laughing away to glory…this in spite of the fact that his side of the room was definitely more devastated.

Ranesh was one of those misfits…a high IQ guy, a guy who got into the IIT, but ended up in medicine……but happy all the same. He was a genius with anything electronic and proof of the concept lay in the bedside operated light switches he set up in our room, which were absolutely perfect for lazy bums like us. I really miss the good ol’ days in the hostel when we would go to Nelson chettan’s exclusive ‘kattan chaya+ bull’s eye place’ during exam nights, allegedly in order to get rid of our ever present sleepiness. Of course we would come right back and end up snoring away to glory in a few minutes. Over the course of time we developed a kind of tendency to go have a cuppa tea whenever we were having insomnia. Worked perfectly!
I could go on and on with the memories, but like I said, the way I know them, they would both be a bit nauseated at hearing extreme senti of any sort…especially when it is in their own names. To put it simple it was fun being with you guys….but life goes on….. You’ll miss the reunion but the reunion will definitely miss you more…….