Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Happy Birthday Amol ...

Yesterday morning I was watching an episode of FRIENDS. For once I paid attention to the title song ... I mean the whole soundtrack!

So no one told you that it was going to be this way ...
Your job's a joke, you're broke, your love life's DOA,
Its like life's always stuck in second gear;
And even if it hasn't been your day, your week, your month or your year ...
but I'll be there for you!!!
When the rain starts to pour ... I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before ... I'll be there for you
'cause you're there for me too!

And since today is the 9th of December ... no candies for guessing whom did it remind me of!

Well ... time just flies by ... it just does. It seems just like yesterday when I joined SP college for my 11th and 12th classes. I hardly knew anyone in my class well when I stepped into my 11th Standard class. Slowly however I started knowing a few people. It was 9th December 1996 when a newly made friend in SP College Amol Palshikar invited me to his place for his Birthday party! And on this day (9th Dec) all these newly made acquaintances came together for the first time to become FRIENDS!

We started of as just a group of 16-17 people who used to come to college together, attend (read bunk) classes together, used to hang out together and peacefully go home! Kids, as we were then, little things like reserving the bench next to you for your friend, trying to get into the same batch of students for practicals, trying and joining the same private tution classes for 12th standard ... were of great importance to us! But still we were 17 distinct people and clashes of opinions, interests were inevitable. Well ... 17 is indeed a large number to be called a mob. Factions were formed and people started dripping out gradually. The 12th standard results, though individually grrrreat, were another bad thing to happen for the group. For engineering, no two people in the group went to the same college, same class! Yet seven of us out of the seventeen stayed together, through thick and thin ... passing this test of time! Amol Palshikar, Adwait "Paatya" Patankar, Bhooshan "Waikar" Dixit, Ajay Joshi, Shantanu Subhedar, Sameer "Samy" Sohani and me! And since we came together in SP college we still call ourselves eSPians!!!

People say that on a sunny day everyone likes to be called your friend, but only those people who stay by you in a stormy night are the ones who matter to you etc. etc. ... friend in need blah blah blah ... Well, we never went by these sayings or others of the same meaning ... we have lived them all these years!! We were, no ... rather, we are really strong individuals with our own opinions and identities and so we do have our share of differences at times. But I guess to create the warmth we share this friction is inevitable ! BUT when we need to be together, we are just perfect ... like lego pieces making up for each other's virtues and vices!

Just to give an example. Amol might be a busy man. We usually blight him a lot saying he has a big attitude. A man of really strong likes and dislikes, its very hard to convince Amol for something! He really infuriates you at times because of his whims and fancies but then you still want him to be involved in everything that you do! He will not agree for any plans easily but when it was my birthday this year, at the end of a long day at work, when Pune roads were flooded with Ganapati mandaps, he still drove all the way from his office in Aundh to my place, just because I said so! Well, thats how we all are! I remember till a few years ago we used to surprise the birthday boy by barging into his house at 12.00 am on his birthday with a cake ... Today I still miss both - the surprising as well as the getting surprised!

Sadly today "grown-ups" as we are ... such surprises are history. So much so that on Amol's birthday today I even cannot be with him ... damn this job! But then I think do I really need to be there physically! Wherever I am in the world ... do I need to say it out loud that "I wish that Amol has many many such Happy Returns of 9th December" and "for many many more years to come we all still remain the same espians that we are for the last so many years!" No!! I dont need to say anything ... its all so tacit ... perrrrfectly understood! After all its been 8 years already and and inspite of life's surprise ups and downs we are still the BEST of what friends can ever be ... and that's something ... that really IS!

We have had the best and the worst times in life, but we had them together! We have done the craziest of things in life just for the heck of it, but again together! We were not only in different colleges, we are in different companies (well not all), different cities, even countries ... yet when required we are still together! And one day we all dream of settling down in Pune and living our lives TOGETHER! I am sure to death that this dream will be reality soon ... really soon!

Well ... today again on Amol's birthday, the seven of us still being INDESPENSIBLE PARTS of EACH other's life ... indeed ... eight years ago no one had told me it was going to be this way!

We all 7 years ago ...

Espians at Paatya's engagement last month!