The Nineth Semester.

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Shout. Out. Loud.

It’s said, that a picture speaks a thousand words. And, if I go by just that, this one shot speaks volumes of a time that once was. It can’t be pened down in words; for, words will fail me if I try to describe it out as to how and what it felt like to be amongst these guys. If you knew them, I can bet you down to my very last penny that your days in college were nothing rather short of being termed as epic. Period. Those stretch of four years starting off from somewhere down the month of July 2008, all the way up till mid May of 2012, was a prime highlight down the rather mediocre timelines that one mostly gets thrown into thereafter. With each day that passed us by, we were never close to the obvious but rather oblivious to the fact that we were all creating memories; memories that I believe would suffice to last a lifetime.

It’s been close to two years since we all parted our separate ways, each with his own sense of hopes, ideals and aspirations to fulfil. Times were different back then, it was simple, plain, lucid. Eat outs, getaways, college festivals, fights, parties, and so, on and, on and, on. It had the right mix of everything in it to make your day right. There was never a time when you had to think twice before you had to shout out loud. Times, lives and the very train of thoughts have changed drastically since then. Our’s was a generation that witnessed the transition between the erstwhile Nokia expressMusics to the rise of the green alien. The fall of the much loved and hyped social frenzy, Orkut and the advent of Facebook.

Times have changed, and most of us seem to be picking up forms and perceptions that contradict the one’s we embraced and cherished the most at one point in time. Even amidst all the madness that I get thrown into each day, this part of the story never fails nor does it cease to bring about a smile to my face, for it’s only thoughts like these that truly bind us to what we once believed in and what we wanted with ourselves. Feeling nostalgic is rather too little a word to describe as to how it feels like at this point in time as I pen this down. I hope, I pray and I wish that once, for once I would get a chance even for a day for that matter, to be amongst these guys. I wish the semesters could start all over again.

Relive.

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Past Forward. 2013.

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Move On.

I was lucky enough to grab myself a window seat this time around. The bus doesn’t seem that awfully crowded this time around though, but still, it’s a long drive from Trivandrum, all the way up till Hyderabad; roughly 1300 Kilometres and 22 hours by road to be more precise. Travel. If there’s one word that could wrap up and give a vivid sense of my past one year it would be just that. This past one year had so much of content and life in it that, I’m having doubts as to where I should start off with. It would rather be inappropriate if I started off in the chronological cycle of events. Started off local, but ended up in places I never thought I would be at. When I say this, one must not get misled with the bamboozled context of road trips down Europe or having Chinese from the far east, all of those in years to come perhaps, hopefully.

This particular year is truly special to me in more ways than one. Of which one being my first job. And, most of what transpired down the year primarily revolved around the same. As with most new year’s, I had ended 2012 with the hopes and aspirations for still a better term for the proceeding one, but however, unlike most ones, this year did surpass my expectations in a wide bandwidth of ways.

The main highlight which I would like to focus upon would be my brief stay in Mysore for a period of around six months. Mysore does bring back a sense of mixed emotions, it was a distinct twilight between where I was in college and as to where I am now. Perceptions changed, altered views and concepts I had previously and, at the same time gave me a fresh insight into as to how things went about around me. Great eat outs, movies, repeated getaways to Coorg, all put together made it most memorable indeed. This year, I had witnessed a fresh wave of new faces being added up into my friends circle; I cherish this particular fact the most. What started off as mere acquaintances ended up as very close ties. My collegue Habeeb, being a sarcastic retard himself and dis-speakably a dear friend to me, both at the same time, is one such brave example out of the many which I would like to point out.

Following my Mysore chapter, Hyderabad was up next on my list; though I hardly had one. It’s all a matter of fate and destiny, I suppose. And, it is here that I continue to dwell upon; atleast for a minimum for the next year or so. This city of pearls has much in the offering. I was lucky enough to have by my side a good lot of Hyderabadis as my close aides. If there’s one thing that I like the most of Hyderabad, it’s definitely the food. If you’re a carnivore or even an omnivore for that matter, Hyderabadi dishes are yours for the ambush. Be it the much famed Hyderabadi dum biriyanis, the kebabs, the shawarmas or the quintessential fruit salads from Milan’s at Mellapally. It’s all the more sure to bowl you over. It’s a city that is vibrant in it’s own terms and, unique to it’s own ways. If there’s one thing that I’m fervently waiting for would be for the holy month of Ramzan to arrive, and with it the streets of this great city of the Nizam will open up itself for still a much fancied dish that is most sought after, the Haleem.

It was from Hyderabad that I had set forth for Vishakapatnam, the coastal town of Andhra Pradesh which I’ll soon be having to refer it to as the erstwhile state rather, post it’s bifurcation in days to come, perhaps. From there I had stretched myself all the way up til Bhubaneshwar, the capital city of Odisha. The trip in itself was rather a short affair. It was unplanned and spontaneous. I had the opportunity to catch up with old time mates and celebrate a sparkling Diwali. The best memorable trips will always be the ones that don’t go according to plan; period.

This past year had a lot more in store than what I could put down in words. It was versatile and had me think in ways that were odd to me before.What it made me realize the most was to enjoy the most trivial things that gets thrown at us, to make the most of what comes one’s way.The new year is just a little over an hour away as I pen this down. I believe it’s about time I wrapped up things and looked forward to what’s on the other side.

Welcome 2014. InshaAllah.

The Little Red Riding Hood of Mysore.

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Madame K.K.

Nineteen pairs of footwear. That’s right, nineteen. Sounds sweet? If, such is the case, then, Madame K.K. here is the one you should be meeting up with. However, this was the count she had, when I last saw her off from Mysore. As far as I can gather, there are women, and then, there are those like Madame K.K. over here; those who stand a league apart. As, I had mentioned earlier in my previous posts, the best part about my time spent here in Mysore, was getting to meet up with a broad mix of people. Those, with a peculiar blend of ideas, beliefs and viewpoints. K.K. was one such.

My perception of a typical female from way up, North of India, was one of a flamboyant, loud and, of a cheesy stand point; one that shouts and cries out for all the attention that she could garner. This, but however, was an exception, a big one, rather. A good friend, collegue, a pacifier, an honest ‘appreciator of beauty’ (which, she knows best.), crazy, quirky, down to earth, great big smile and, with a hand that is eager and ready to help you out if the need be. The charisma and energy which she used to exhibit, always seemed to reverberate to all those around her; be it, with the way this lady expressed herself or simply the way she used to carry herself forward. Being the daughter of an officer from the Indian Army, I believe one shouldn’t be expecting anything less.

As a good friend and a collegue, she had always given in, all the support I could possibly ask for, be it on any given normal day; or even the worst ones; all alike. For the tomboy she is, it was always comfortable sharing with her just about anything under the sun and, those above it; not just for me I believe, but for all those who shared her company. You give this lady a truck load of luggage with a ticket to any remote corner of this country; and, if you least expected her to whine over the whole task at hand, then, if such is the case, you’re highly misled. This, my friend, is not your average Indian female that you possibly see around everyday. This was one trait in her that I used to adore the most.

Having been in Mysore, for close to six months, one thing that I’ve learned the most, was to value those who stand by you through thick and thin. And of those, amongst whom I do, this lady would certainly top the list. It’s been close to two months since I last bid her farewell. Times change, people change. It’s evident. There’s nothing much one can do to alter it. But, in all probability, I hope this fine lady over here, stands up, to this test of time, for, this is one leading example, that I would always like to look upon to.

Keep Smiling Madame. Always.

The Hyderabadi Affair.

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The Laund Pana of Mysore.

It’s close to one in the morning as I write this down. A couple of minutes back, I had dialed down the extension 1-83-404. To my much expected dismay, no one answered the call, and I believe it never will be, anymore. Block number 83, 404, will always remind me of these two- late night Hyderabadi Biriyanis and Iftar parties. Yousuf, my dear friend and collegue who used to play host to such affairs with much zeal and enthusiasm, had always brought about a sense of brotherhood and trust amongst all those who got together for occassions such as these. The memories are timeless, and the food was nothing short of but, appetizing.

They say, one can make friends for life only up until college. But, none of that seemed to make much of a sense to me after I met up with these random bunch of guys from Hyderabad. I’ve been told time and again that this city and it’s people are well renowned for two things; the first being for its food and the other being for it’s hospitality. And, it’s exactly into these two that I was literally thrown into. The major highlight of a short spell of around six months that I had spent over here at Mysore as a part of the training program I had to attend for the company I work for, was getting to meet up with people from all different backgrounds. The whole story of my training period is yet, another tale in itself, which I hope to jot down in posts to come. But as for the moment, this post is specially an ode to those who mattered the most during these past six months.

Yousuf, Farooq and Waseem: individuals with that rare intellectualistic mind set. Habeeb and Rayees: you don’t mess with these two, unless and until you wish to see yourselves six feet down under. Arshad and Haneef: the clean slates. Arif, Naveed and Murtuza: the pious and the righteous. With the others being Shahbaaz, Sivaram, Sharif, Sajid and Nihal just to name a few, all belonging to a blend of these sets as mentioned above. I had come to meet them all up by pure chance and by virtue of nothing more than but circumstances. But, however, it wasn’t long before I started to have a common ground of understanding and a sense of togetherness.

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Thalacauveri.

Over, the past period of six months, I’ve had my share of testing times, but none of it seemed to be of much significance as I always had a shoulder of one amongst these many to rely upon. And, it was here that it mattered to me the most. I had the chance of learning a whole lot many; from trivial ones such as the proper way of offering Salaam or greetings to someone, to the best possible ways of abusing someone in Hindi (which my dear friend Habeeb knows best). The times I had, is and will perhaps most certainly be ones to cherish on my behalf for a very long time to come, be it, new movie releases at the local multiplexes, lunch at Khwaja Bhai’s, Iftar parties at 404, Hyderabadi Marfas, birthday bumps, sweet paans, or white water rafting along the Cauvery, just about anything fits in just perfectly.

Getting to have them all together again under one roof seems most unlikely, as I bid farewell to each and everyone of this lot. But, however, amidst all the unlikeliness, I hope and I pray that I do get a chance someday. For, as far as I believe and as far as I understand, it’s how one values this bridge of friendship in years to come and not as to how things might seem to be in this present state of time. I can only wish my words could express more.

Prayers and wishes.