Monday, January 02, 2006

College Reunion

Taking the wife along and meeting undergrad classmates and their spouses is a very wierd and refreshing experience. Ofcourse we found out that we still haven't outgrown making fun of each other with gay/porn/matter jokes. I don't think we ever will. But it was bloody embarassing to be "ottified" (made fun of) in front of my wife. It was like getting an atomic wedgy in front of her. But I loved the expression of "what you watched movie like this?" given out by spouses when it was revealed that her dear husband had visited 'Raja' theatre to watch an 'art' movie. That eventful day, 10 of us left college early (at 11:30 AM) saying we were going home to catch up on some sleep. We split and started home in different ways (bus/bike/train). One thing led to another and instead of going home, I entered 'Raja' theatre with a friend. As I was searching for a seat (in a theater which has pillars inbetween the seats and the screen) I heard my name being called from the back row. It was one of the other guys. Hearing my name being called another two guys from the front row turned back and yelled "is that you?" Finally we found out that all of us independently ended up in the same theater and none actually went back home. I think Sirocco is the most popular 'art' movie to get released in Madras. Man! if living those days was great. Reliving them is a pleasure in itself.

It was finally nice to "get away from it all". The past 4 months have been quite intense. The 4 hour/day sleeps, the cramming all was getting to me. When you read the prep books and listen to career search advise from MBA2s - you come across lines like "it is easy to over prepare and burn out. take a break during the new year". You think "thats for others, not for us - we are used to all work and no play". But a lot of us found out the stupidity of that assumption. And by Christmas we were begging for rest. So most of the students began to make plans for vacation.

Thanks to a quickly arranged re-union by one undergrad friend, I had a chance to go to Chicago to meet some old college friends. I am one of those folks who likes to look back at the past frequently and fondly. I think this will happen to most people. Someday all of us will get married (well most) and get buried in everyday activities. Suddenly you are pulled out from the routine and presented with a chance to meet old classmates, who are also married and equally curious to find out the whereabouts of their past classmates. The thrill of seeing old 'dogs' in a family setting is too valuable to pass.

I guess when we are in college, we don't really imagine the future as 5 potbellied/bald 50 year olds meeting each other up with our spouses. In college its all about 'today'. Education is an incidental thing. Its the friends, the fun that forms the main purpose. At that time we are all a bunch of half-shorts playing cricket on the beach, eating in Gangotri, going to Saarang and sqeezing out mileage from the last drop of fuel in the Kinetic Hondas, Yamahas and Chetaks. In my mind that was the last of the carefree days. I seriously had no purpose in getting up on Monday morning and going to college, except to hang around with friends. Today that is unimaginable. Bunking classes and sitting in the canteen/under the tree seems like being in heaven today but it was nothing then. I understand that nostalgia makes the past appear much better than it really was. But still it is so sweet. We talked about the guy who tried to take a running catch in front of a girl, missed the ball, which hit his face and he fell flat on the ground. We talked about those nervous proposals, who ran behind who, the paper rockets on new teachers, dorm escapades, and beasant nagar beach episodes. Our friends had names like jollu babs, kaatu panni, idea mini, booman, cholarajan, psycho, periappa etc. I am pretty sure most ex-college students can relate to this.

Seeing the same half-pant dudes and dorks - today - is a gift. Because it compresses time and teaches you the vagaries of life. From Potheri to Chicago may not be a big leap in todays age. But it is still a leap. Beyond geography, it is the people your friends end up with that is more interesting. There are dreams and then there are college dreams. 8-10 years after college is an interesting time to take stock and find out how everybody started and where they are right now. Who married who? Will two classmates end up with each other? Who has progressed where? This is not seen in a judgemental/evaluative way but in a more romantic way. In an effort to understand the fickle nature of life. It provides an interesting setting for extrapolating how we all might end up in another 40-50 years. Sometimes I ask my dad about his childhood friend and he said this about a friend who passed away "He was a great person. he was poor, no father and two sisters to sustain. he studied under the street lights and rose to become secratary to the government. my village has produced great people". I am thinking if that friend knew he was doing this. I am also thinking what one-liner will be attached to me by my friends. And vice versa. The big picture is interesting and scary.

Anyway. I return to reality. The big push begins tomorrow. To where I wonder...

38 comments:

anantha said...

I haven't done that.. i mean.. "art" movies in theatre. More than compensated for it, though. So no regrets ;)
Chicago friends huh? Same guys who came down to meet our common friend in Athens before the USGP 2003? Hmm, those guys were fun :) I actually met all three of them again in a desi restaurent in Chicago, I think on Dec 31 (or was it Dec 30) last yr. Btw, our common friend absconding without answering phone. Called him a couple of weeks ago!

tilotamma said...

wait you know each other already Anti.You seem to know every blogger there is. do u know me as well :-)?


Hawkeye seeing your spouse being 'ottified' is hardly fun either. I wanted to ask the guy are you making fun of him or me for picking him :-).

Hawkeye said...

tilo,

the interesting thing is anti and me have seen a movie together. i think it was either harry potter - II or LOTR - II. I picked him up in my car and went to the theater. ofcourse both werent blogging then but realized later that the guy was anti..

my wife tried defending me and got ottified as well.. sometimes it is better to watch ur hubby get nailed than to protect him. she learned that very well :-)

anti,

these are the very same friends...

the common friend will be branded as gay if he doesn't get hooked up soon or stops hosting other men in his house.

tip: call his home number. works better than the cell.

Hawkeye said...

tilo,

clarification: we were a big group when went to the movie. i dint pick up anti on a blind date or someethin like that... have seen enough gay jokes for the past 2 days..so i am still careful in choosing my words.. :-)

Nilu said...

tilo,
wait, let me reproduce an email to tell you who aNTi is...

******begin email********
Arvind Ramanan wrote:
Nominating Anti for Nobel peace prize...or Tony blair of india...or
watever we choose to call it...
"Raapi... cool it machi.. dushtala kanda doora vilagu.. after a point of time no one is even gonna give it a thought :D
aNTi | 08.14.04 - 5:58 pm | #"

kindly buying tkt to austin

********end email*****

Anonymous said...

Even if Paravai Munimma decides to blog, Anti will post a comment or two in her blog:)

"More than compensated for it, though. So no regrets ;)"


Glad that you mentioned it:-)

-Prabhu

anantha said...

Nilu: Dei.. appadi paatha.. naan Gandhi maadhiri. First time enna reject pannitu, after sometime if they choose me, it means that the guy who won over me earlier was a better person. So, i am gonna go down in history as someone who did not win the Nobel ;)
Tilo: Adhu oru periya kadhai.. As you would gather from the conciliatory correspondence that Nilu has so kindly pasted here, I know Raapi too. Its a vicious circle! And the world's a small place as well!
Hawkeye: I have a faint idea that the common friend is already hooked up. I hope he reads this and calls me back, just to refute these "allegations" :)) And I don't know his home phone! And if another regular commentor here knew it, why did he not give me? :O

anantha said...

Dei vennai Prabhu. Ellam, the pursuit of knowledge dhaan da. And as I mentioned earlier, sometime in the future, oru Nobel Prize kuduppanga nu oru aasai dhaan. After all, neither Evan Williams nor Tim Berners Lee eloped with someone in the Nobel family. At least I hope they did not. So there is always a chance that in the future, there will be a Nobel for blogging and I hope to win it...

tilotamma said...

nope wasn't planning to make any gay jokes so u were quite safe hawkeye.

aNTi - nothing wrong with commenting on interesting blogs :-). I spotted you last on Anna's post on Mallu actors.

You are right the world is fast becoming a kugramam........

Hawkeye said...

anti knows everybody here. i saw a comment in bosey.com also. infact in another completely unrelated place also.

anti's peace keeping efforts and nobel prize.. i love irony :-).

anti are u by any chance in dialog with this crystal blur character also :-))))

anantha said...

Hawkeye: No.. boss. Read that post of hers, smiled and left it at that. As for my peace keeping efforts, I am sure you will appreciate the problems being in the middle of a college senior junior type thagararu. I honestly hate taking sides in such trivialities. Bosey.com was so long ago. I got there from Minorscale.
Tilo: I am half-mallu. Actually both my parents are mallu, except that my mom has totally lost her sense of mallu-dom and once sang a love song at a kolu cos it had "Devi Sridevi" as the first line and she assumed that it was appropriate. Apparently my pop's face went red! :)) he is still mallu at heart and so mallu movies are kinda my interests. And I seriously have a crush on Anna.. There... I said it :))

anantha said...

Nilu: So am also included in Aym Gramd? Wow...

Zero said...

Anti doesn't know me :). Do you, Anti? :))

Anupadmaja said...

Let me join the gang! Anti knows people in the comments sections too it looks like :)

anantha said...

Anupadmaja: Ennada aale kanume nu paathen.. vango vango.. nanna irrukela?
Zero: Do I know you? ;)
Hawkeye: Sorry :D

S said...

oh ok. Now I understand why Anti's views are what they are. He is a typical TBCM* !

* Tamilnadu Born Confused Mallu.

anantha said...

Now.... who's s? And what you talking about, my views? What views? Specifics pls.. :p

s said...

Firstly,You don't know me.

And,You want me to recapitulate all those comments you made at various blogs that i happened to read ?

It's just a perception.

End.

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

The one-liner would be, "This guys wrote a great blog" :)

I have just passed out of college, am working now and hope to go back to post-grad college somewhere in the US. So I guess my 'squeeze the last drop of petrol' days are still here. But I can relate to the feeling when you meet old friends. Too much fun to miss :)

tilotamma said...

Aha! aNTI admits it.
Yes Anna seems like a fun person.Where is she based? NY?

anantha said...

Tilo: I dont know :))
S: Ouch, that hurt. But I will survive. Thanks for the enlightening comment, though I don’t seriously understand what prompted your “perception”. I guess this is not the place, but I would like it if you cared to elaborate, since my understanding of things as they are is that any perception is usually preceded by careful analysis and if not, it's not worth it.
(P.S: Hawkeye, things seem to be going off track, so feel free to use a "virtual" rubber, er, i mean eraser.)

Hawkeye said...

no i am thinking maybe i should quit talking about oter stuff and write blogs about anti's blogs and comments...this seems to generate more interest.

anantha said...

Hawkeye: Thank you. I myself am planning to go to all the blogs I usually frequent and consolidate all my comments there into a separate comment blog. Howizzit? :)
Mebbe I'd then understand why i am being labelled a TBCM or TCBM or whatever it is I was...

Zero said...

Anti,
I was once half-way commenting in ur blog about exactly the same thing - how I see your comments on every blog I read crossing regional, linguistic, age (:p) and "cult" barriers. But, I am lazy. Just wanted to tell you this here.
At the expense of some big "rigmarole" in bharath's blog (I am really sorry, bharath; last time I piped in, in a very informative post, to ask why you call posts as blogs :D), this is serious fun - "A thesis on Anti who reads and comments on the most number of indian blogs"!

No offense if this comment is deleted. It deserves to be.

Hawkeye said...

cha...kashta pattu senti ellam pottu ezhuthnaa..anti vanthu ellathaiyum allikinnu poittan..

anantha said...

Oh God... Now I am being targetted... :(
Its just that I frequent desipundit whenever I take a break from work and I have a few blogs where I extremely comfy with the bloggers concerned and get into a conversation mode with them. Is that a crime?
OTOH, my non-internet reading habits have declined a lot :(

tilotamma said...

Don't worry Bharath - na HerStoryla poi vathi vekkaren.

You can have your revenge :-))))))))))).

Anonymous said...

bharath,

did u see this?

http://gauravsabnis.blogspot.com/2006/01/some-people.html

some ppl, I tell you..

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Blogs have become a place for mud-slinging,throwing attitudes and ego hassles and who-is-better-you-or-me sort of place?

Anupadmaja said...

"Why is it that Blogs have become a place for mud-slinging,throwing attitudes and ego hassles and who-is-better-you-or-me sort of place?"

Do you really think this happens uniquely in the blogosphere. I thought that is the way of life, atleast in the one i am seeing :) Sad but true!

Anonymous said...

Yeah ! in my world too....but here in this blogworld people who dont know each other start passing judgements and it is actually becoming more like pen-fight or should i say keyboard-fight...

it is sick....

Nilu said...

anon,
if it is sick, i have an idea - quit visiting what makes you that.

Anonymous said...

but there are some good ones in this mess too nilu...thanks for such a wonderful suggestion....never thot of one!u seem to be a smart one !

VC said...

nilu - allow me.

anonymous - you really don't know nilu, do you!!!

Hema said...

Good Blog, made me feel nostalgic remembering those lovely days in college and missing all friends.

Has your wife ever tried doing the same? I mean her malarum ninaivugal with her college mates with you around. Trust me that can be quite hilarious too.

Had recently been to one of our alumini meets with my hubby and regret the day greatly :)

After 4 years of painting a nearly perfect picture, my hubby got to know all about his wife's rowdythanams - courtesy all my friends ...Cha...all efforts on the drain now :)

Anonymous said...

I am an occasional visitor to your blog. Your mention of raja theatre made me curious. Are you from Madurai by any chance?

BTW, I am a regular blog hopper, but this is my first comment in any blog

-S

anantha said...

S: So you did not answer my question...

Anonymous said...

b/b..we had our first get together 2 yrs after we left college i think in chic-a-goo where we do in-trun-ship...in the south ashland desi ghetto i think..and that was good in itself..cant imagine how much fun this must have been