It’s hard to imagine that just last weekend, I did a quick Bangalore-Chennai-Mumbai trip. Was it really just a week before? Shit man! Feels like it was last year!
Last Friday evening, I flew to Bangalore and straight away hit Hard Rock Cafe. LoLy and Taploo joined me. And Taploo and I drank till we felt good about life. LoLy couldn’t drink as much. She had to drive. And cops in Bang are hyper when it comes to Alcohol testing. We crashed at her place. Except that I crashed like I was not going to get up ever again. While she and Taploo made dinner and all that. Of course, I never got up to eat it. When I finally did get up, LoLy was busy crashing. And when everyone was finally awake, we hit some random theater to watch Pipli Live. We were about 20 minutes late but we liked the movie anyway. Funny movie. Good movie.
I went off to see Mintoo chacha after the movie. He had a baby boy few months ago whom I hadn’t yet seen. Aakarsh. And Aakarsh just did not find me aakarshit enough I guess. Because he just did not smile for any pic. Except for one millisecond – which I actually did capture (just one of the thousand shots). And then I took a bus to Chennai. I was in Chennai the next day morning. Sunday. Independence Day. And Chennai smelt the way it has always smelt.
Tiwari was to come and pick me up and all that. But the bastard kept crashing. So I went to insti instead. He finally called up while I was on my way to IIT. I asked him to come to IIT as well. And when I asked him to do that, it felt like a moment straight out of 3 iditots. Except that Tota wasn’t around. And no Chatur as well. I guess a brief pang of nostalgia hit me very strongly the moment I entered the IIT gate.
Tiwari and I attended the morning ritual I-day ceremony hosted by Diro. And my God – we still have the same diro – and he looked and spoke just like he did when we had first seen him seven years ago. Convocation! Long time! Brief pangs of nostalgia kept hitting me that day. We ran into a department prof as well. He was happy for me. And for Tiwari. And were were happy for him. People in India are usually happy on the morning of 15th August. LOL!
Since Tiwari lived close to IIT, we returned to insti later that evening. I wanted to meet Lux. I dragged Tiwari along. Lux made filter coffee for us. And we chit-chatted. Nn joined too (Nn and Lux are a couple – Nn had taught me thermoD in my first sem). He told us that Bhand was likely to pass out this year. And we all chuckled together. ‘English’ was the language that connected different parts of India during the British Raj – it was the link language. In IIT Madras, Bhand is the unifying factor.
We did some night photography in the campus and when we returned to Tiwari’s place later that night, I got myself hooked to Indian Idol Grand Finale. For the past few months, this show had been our favourite Mon-Tue 9-10 pm pass time in the Gandhinagar guest house. And our only pass-time actually. I was happy to see Sriram win. Though I must say I wouldn’t have minded the award going to Rakesh as well. I could not sleep for the rest of that night because there were just too many mosquitoes. So it was with an unnecessary night-out that I finally left Tiwari’s place. Early in the morning. For my US – visa interview. The real reason I was in Chennai anyway.
There was the typical hoopla poopla – queue, frisking, waiting time and all that. But the actual interview didn’t even last a minute. The three of us got a 10 years businesss Visa to US – Hanuman, Singa and I. I worked from my Chennai office that day. I called Gaya for a lunch get-together in a nearby Subway. It was great to catch up with her after about two years. We had acted together in a stupid short-film that never got completed. The trailer had been good though. And since it’s been two years I think it is okay if I declare this publicly that I had kind of crush on Gaya when I had first met her (take that as a compliment if you are reading this Gaya 😛 ). Except that she wasn’t single then. The good part is she is still seeing the same boy. I love couples like that – they remind you that it’s indeed possible!
Tiwari and I caught up once more at the Chennai airport. He works at the airport. No, he is not the guy who asks for your id when you want to enter the terminal. But LOL – it would actually be funny to have a friend like that as well. Anyway. Yeah, so Tiwari is working on the expansion of the Chennai airport. And after eating idli and all that with him, I flew to Mumbai. Subbu lives close to the aiport these days. He came over and we booked a taxi to Firang Pani. I had already asked Chutki to come over. She arrived in a few years time. And once again, we drank till we felt good about life. Chutki presented me a rakhi when were about to depart. And some pastry too. And I was so happy I finally met her.
So that was it. Last weekend! Extended weekend if you think about it. And how has it been ever since I flew back to Ahmedabad on Tuesday morning? Sit and work. Go and attend meetings. Work after the meetings. Make phone calls to US and Canada during the night. Reply to business emails – day and night. Coordinate with a million organizations. Find time to do research work in between. And time to write new proposals as well. Sleep if possible. It had never been this crazy. I could not go running a single day after coming back. Finally at 03 AM on a Sunday I have the time to write a blog. My God! Heh – funny life. And in two week’s time, this funny life will keep me away from India for about a month – would be traveling extensively in North America. Have fun folks!