Sunday, February 26, 2006

Goodfellas

It was the summer of our final year of undergrad engineering college. Over the course of time Addi (Aditya) had become notorious for doing things that would make people pull stomach muscles, AJ (Apurva) had become notorious for his witty and open remarks and Alice (moi) had become notorious for being this taciturn chap, with spurts of enthusiasm. Right from our second year the three of us used to attend lectures usually seated on the same bench. We did a lot of projects together and usually bunked classes together, finding refuge in the college canteen. So as I was saying, it was the summer of our final year of undergrad engineering college. Final year exams were around the corner. We got together in college as per ritual to exchange notes and discuss topics before the exams. Something that I looked forward to. Not just cause their two brains were amongst the brightest in our class, but because it was a welcome break from the routine of studying. We were outside our department when a professor met us. He said, "Hello. How are you boys doing. Nice to see ex-students coming back to college to relive old memories. How long has it been since you graduated." We stood there silent. The professor went on,"I just have to keep some notes in office. Wait here, I'll come back and meet you. Its nice of you to come back". As soon as he disappeared we looked at each other and burst out laughing, as we started to run away. Seems we had bunked too many of that particular profs lectures.

Its been nearly 5 years now and Addi has continued to entertain us with his so called Addi-isms. A couple of years back Addi declared to the world that he would get married in December, whosoever the lucky girl might be. However the date was set in February this year. A few weeks after Addi's engagement he met Rahul, a batchmate from college. Richa, his fiancee was with him. Addi introduced Richa to Rahul. Rahul then looked at Richa and said,"Hum dono ek hi class me the. (We two were in the same class)". Addi then stood there perplexed for about 10 seconds. Finally some words managed to come out, "Yeh kaise ho sakta hai. (How is that possible)." Richa and Rahul then had to elucidate furthur, probably pulling a few stomach muscles.

During his wedding Addi was chatting with my mom. My mom is pretty free with my friends and usually ends up joking and stuff with them. For some reason he ended up telling my mom that I only like girls who are booked or married. Addi claims that his choice of words were different. More to the tune that most of the ppl I hang out with are booked or married. But that didn't stop mumzee from increasing the number of phone calls to me. After a week or so she forgot about it. We joked that we should morphe a photo of me with some married chick and with a kid and stuff. err... I'm sure this will give Manish some ideas of how to blackmail me. Right Ayush :-)

After their honeymoon in God's own country, the newly weds dropped anchor in Bangalore, enroute to Pune. They stayed with AJ and me. AJ moved to bangalore a couple of months back. Richa seems to have caught on to the fact that Addi's leg has to be pulled every now and then. Bala and Ashu, our batchmates, got together with us. Dhruv our roomie also joined us. We came back home and then decided that the night was still young. We laid out some Almond mint liqueur, some homemade date wine and some french red wine. AJ then asked Addi's permission to read some of Addi's old emails, which AJ will hold onto till posterity. Addi more than willingly gave the go-ahead. Addi and AJ had done their postgraduation from IIT together. It was about 3 years back. The date was february 14th and Addi rushed to AJ's PC and sent some emails. He forgot to sign out, so AJ decided to take a look as to what Addi was upto on Feb 14th. He had sent some mails to his friends distributing advice. One on Feb 13th, giving some fundaes about life. On Feb 14th he sent out another one to another female friend. He gave a lot of advice, a shoulder to cry on, and ended with a couplet which is part of a ghazal sung by apne Jagjit uncle. The couplet is below.

gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin, kaanton se bhi zeenat hoti hai.
jeene ke liye is duniyaa mein gham ki bhi zaroorat hoti hai.

After AJ had read those mails, he told Addi that he had sent another mail to the girl, which AJ of course did not do. Addi was tense and wrote another mail to that girl telling her that his mailbox had been hacked and someone might have sent her some mails from his account. AJ then went on to read the reply which he also managed to save for the past 3 years. It read....

Hi Addi,
Yeah I did get some spam mail from your account. Someone was trying to give me some kind of advice and ended with some couplet or something.....

After the email reading was done, with a lot of voice modulation and pauses of course, we all looked at each other and burst out laughing. Richa had just joined the club. The signature in both mails he sent had the following,"Faling in love is not about finding the perfect person. Its about learning to see an imperfect person, perfectly." Something I had read in the readers digest and had told him about. After a bit of deliberation, we unanimously concluded that he must have typed the signature specifically for those two mails. AJ then opened one of the mails that Addi had sent him around that time to support our claim, and the signature was different. Addi misspelled 'falling' as 'faling'. We surmised that maybe that very folly had done him in. I mean you could think of it as "Failing" and not "Falling", which did make gramatical sense. However to which some parties might take offense. By now we had all pulled a lot of stomach muscles and were rolling on the ground. Addi as usual allowed us to pull his leg to glory. In the midst of our delirium, with our hearts soaked in wine, we decided to hit the sack. It was 4AM.

I had seen this movie Momento, in which the actor reflects,"We all need mirrors to remind us of who we are." Maybe we also need mirrors to remind us of who we want to be. We come across a lot of mirrors in our lives. Some mirrors are ingraved in rich and beautiful frames, some in ordinary ones and some in a quaint setup. But what really matters is what we see in them. Some mirrors we hate to look into, not cause we don't like them but cause we don't like what part of us it reflects. Some mirrors we put on a pedestal, the very act which inhibits us from looking into it. And then there are those mirrors which remind us of who we are and who we want to be. The "goodfellas" mirrors, a term mobsters give to others they consider to be trustworthy and ok guys.

15 comments:

Etchen said...

Intersteing post! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Great post, alice :) Since we are discussing Addi-isms, there's one more that I'd like to add. We were having dinner in Chung-wah that night and Addi (as always) was giving 'gyaan' to everyone around. The conversation went something like this:

Addi : Are, I am telling you, the best exercise for the mouth is to eat a chewing gum and then gulp it down.
Dhruv : Why?? Why to gulp it down?
Addi : Are yaar, I can never remember to spit it out...

--Ashu

Aditya Kulkarni said...

Job well done Alice. However, I did not understand the last paragraph about mirrors etc.

Ever since Appya had these emails, he had this un-relenting desire to read them in front of my girlfriend/wife, and I for one, did not want to break his heart; so I happily okayed the email reading part.

I was for some time amused and astounded by what all I had written, and the way I used to write mails then. I guess I have changed in last 3-4 years, because it was just not sounding like me of today.

In due course of time, when the Addi-isms become quite a few in number, you and Appya, along with the Pune gang can make a book out of it.

Anonymous said...

Addi desperately trying to make a comeback . hehehe :)

Ally , njoy the goa trip
Mukku

Alistair D'souza said...

Hey Addi doesn't need a comeback... he was at his at time best when I last met him....
And don't try to lose the Addi-isms.... they are something unique...

Mukku...
will try to enjoy myself in Goa... and yeah I will try not to indulge in any roadside gambling..

need to put on my goanchi pao mask on now...

Alistair D'souza said...

Addi .... Mirrors are ppl...
you, me, AJ, Ashu, Bala etc....
now read it again... :-)

Rekha said...

Hey...the portion on mirrors was one of the best thoughts that i have read recently(may be i am not reading enuf these days;)...Just felt like saying "Thanks" for sharing such a nice thought. Just to add one more line to it,"If only we have the courage(if thats the right word) to look at the finest mirror that we possess, our conscience, the world would have been a better place"

Simple American said...

Just came by to say thanks for visiting my blog.

hehe. So your mom is trying to marry you off huh? Funny how that works. I remember my mom's probing questions regarding females and when I would find one to settle down with. No longer neccesary of course, but it is some fond memories of me mum.

Alistair D'souza said...

well I must admit she has been trying... she has her own methods of probing :-) I assured her that I'm doing fine on that front. Well fine according to me. However if I remember correctly she then said, "Yeah... ppl get married by 30 also... You still have time" :-)

daku said...

whoa! a poet with a portuguese sounding name from bangalore who calls himself Alice! and how did u find my blog?

Etchen said...

Alistair-mom's apparently are the same in every country! My mom keeps asking when I'm getting amrried so she can have grand children and I'm not even dating anyone. (I tell her I will just keep adopting dogs instead. ;-) )

Alistair D'souza said...

she tried a new thing today telling me that the family name goes on with me.. then I reminded her that my sister married a D'souza... so she still carries the family name with her...

back to the drawing board.. :-)

Alistair D'souza said...

Daku:
tried to go to your blog but it points to a website...

anyways... my middle names are Remedios Santan

So my full name is Alistair Remedios Santan D'souza

Anonymous said...

Nice post man..read your blog after a long while.Who was the prof who mistook you for an ex student.

vivek krishna

Alistair D'souza said...

the prof was Sathe Sir