Suddenly fundoo clouds have popped up all over Bhubaneswar – those fluffy white ones – the cumulonimbus cumulus.Â I love looking at them. I loved looking at them especially when I flew over them, while traveling to Bangalore this Friday. These floating sweethearts remind me of Aladdin. I was a small school kid in Patna when all the students went to see this Disney animation in a theatre. The trip had been arranged by the school. Back then, I had never been on a flight. So I didn’t know that clouds actually looked this stunning. Finally when I flew for the first time from Patna to Mumbai a few years later, I saw these clouds in real. They were exactly like the ones I had seen in Aladdin. It took some time to believe that they were real. Ever since, whenever I fly over these gems glistening on sunny days, I think of the Aladdin clouds. Sometimes I even see Aladdin on his carpet with Abu outside the flight-window. Sometimes I love every second of my life.
The last time I had landed at the new Bangalore airport, I was senti and crying and all that. This time I was so happy. The last time, I didn’t have to step outside the airport. It was July 2008. I had arrived from Chennai, waiting for my connecting flight to Bhubaneswar – it was to be my first visit to the capital of Orissa. This time, I had to step out. It was a very intentional decision to avoid a connecting flight to Chennai (which of course also meant saving some cash for Amrut who was paying for my travel). I wanted to spend some time in Bangalore to meet up folks who I hadn’t caught up with, since such a long time.
I had company bang from the moment the airport-city shuttle dropped me off at M. G. Road. The account was opened by The Bro (TB henceforth – and if you are not sure who I am talking about, you need to follow-up on the last post – nothing is very specifically mentioned in that post but unless you are too dumb, you can make out who I am talking about anyway). He happened to be as friendly as he had sounded on the phone though he looked so much younger than what I had imagined him to be. I had imagined him to be a wheatish coloured guy with a receding hairline who sported a mustache, wore specs and never smiled. He happened to be a fair-looking â€˜dude’ with a clean shaven face – almost like Rahul Gandhi minus the receding hairline. We were soon talking and all that inside a coffee-shop on the Brigade Road when we were joined by Taploo, my cousin.
Taploo had no clue about TB. Before I brought him inside the shop, I went outside to receive him and started whispering in his ears:
Me: â€˜Bhaai, someone has come to see me – for those reasons. He is TB – from Patna only.’
Taploo: â€˜LOL! Sahi. Too good. Let’s have some fun. By the way, you are not really going to get married this soon, will you?’.
Me: â€˜Of course I won’t. Marriage! I feel like a little kid – how can I marry? I am not crazy. Parents are. To get me married seems to have become the epicenter of their existence. Anyway, let’s join him.’
So the three Biharis had coffee and those amrikan junk-food in Bangalore. Soon, Caesar and Leela arrived few blocks away in Mojo’s. Mojo’s is a pretty famous beer-pub in Bang. More than that, two years ago when I was interning in this city – I started having pitchers in this very pub. So the place held nostalgic values for Caesar and me. I had last met Caesar on my birthday. It was his birthday too – last year in July. He is the only guy I know with whom I share my birthday.
â€˜Are you like totally a tea-totaler’? I asked TB to which he responded in affirmative.
â€˜Let’s move to Mojo’s. It’s nearby and they serve good beer’ – I continued. It was kind of mean of me to drag a tea-totaler who I was meeting for the first time to a pub. I think I simply went by the rule of the majority – everyone else that I was to meet drank (beer at least). Thus, we moved out.
It was so nice to see Leela and Caesar after so many months. These two were aware about the purpose of TB’s visit. Actually I had informed only Leela while She – in turn – had done the job of passing on the dope to Caesar. You could see that naughty look in their eyes when I arrived at Mojo’s. I carried a smug myself. This was the first time I was into this kind of soup – you might not call this situation a soup, but it was salty and thick nevertheless.
It was a happy Friday evening. I was once again – loving every second of my life. I am so happy I have friends who find time to catch up. I was feeling so much happy, sitting inside Mojo’s with Caesar, Leela and Taploo, sipping beer after beer, that I kept declaring my state of happiness every three seconds. Every time TB would go out to attend some call, the topic of conversation would shift to the â€˜alliance’. We laughed, we joked and we lived in the moment.Then we went our ways.
Later Caesar dropped me off to station. He left and I missed my train.