Relationships: Ist Part
I don’t have very fond memories of my childhood but now standing tall and seeing those days, I feel to have been blessed in many ways – mostly on finding and developing relationships.
My first and one of the finest relationships which I developed was , when I went to my Engineering College during 1981. Being an animal of North, I got a seat in extreme South – Kerala, the Kingdom of Gods. Once, what was discovered by Vasco De Gama – Calicut, was going to be my new home for close to 4 years (on the plus side). Here I was amongst the unknown and living with 8 unknowns in a room meant for 4. Initial two months were like unimaginable, fear of being ragged, made to dance and strip, and what not. But here was the first lesson of my life learnt – to live alone and survive, without the umbrella of family. Those 7 were now my immediate family.
As time was supposed to pass, we were taking breadth without fear and those who dreaded us in the beginning ( seniors), were our sort of guides and mentors. We found ourselves living life to the fullest, often lying down on the interconnecting roads to hostels when power would shut off.
Slowly, as per rule of law, I. founded a close group of like minded animals to start REC life, four of them would finally be my mates for the rest of my life at REC Calicut. We five belonged to the easiest of branches- Civil Engineering!!!
It was a routine for other students to enquire, if they found one minus the notorious five. The bond between us was so strong that it was difficult imagining staying away. There were fights, anger and what not between us, but the arrangements of staying together would win always.
I was the face of the five, always eager to cut jokes and earn the title of Musketeers group. Seldom we let go the opportunity of cutting jokes on colleagues – equally on both genders.
Then came a turning point in our College life, when unfortunately we were caught on wrong foot due to students/police clash. On that fateful evening we learnt how we were strangers to our own hostel – College administration asking us to evacuate in less that half an hour. No money in hand and no concrete plan, we rushed out of our rooms, ran with fear of getting caught by police – took a bus to reach Calicut town- got into a barber shop to get cleaned shave so that we become unrecognisable. Still the truant memories are sharp stationed in one of the little slots of my not so intelligent mind. Here we were supposed to see the best part of our relationships in the next few more hours…
Almost with no money in hand, hunger looming large on our faces and stomach crumbling us with tiredness, due to it, being forcefully kept empty (situational of course) , we went to Railway station for shelter and hope to leave the town without any fuss. We were soon surrounded by the days scholar colleagues and their parents all helping us by providing money (no one kept an account of who gave to whom and how much). Here was the finest opportunity to see the face of real humans and that too in Gods own Kingdom. Our journey took us couple of more days to reach our destinations and co passengers in Train too obliged to satisfy our hunger – we were taught many lessons in one fight with the administration- 1. Life is full of surprises, 2. Life is not that ugly and bad, 3. After each dawn there is a ray of hope, 4. Strangers can be more good than known ones (barring a couple), 5. Survival of the fittest.
I am proud to say loudly that my joining a College of South was the best thing to have happened to me and if I happen to have a rebirth, I would love to be educated from Calicut and that too with same strangers. Still the bond between we five exists and we find time to talk to each other/meet. Those 4 plus years taught us to be selfless, sacrifice and be together in difficult times. As life moves, we parted ways, saying goodbye to each other with tears lit like stars on our faces – crying was not an option but was inevitable, parting was considered to be a big loss. We were again strangers alone in search of bread earnings and no matter what, till today I regret not finding buddies like those 4 even after elapse of almost 31 years of passing out from REC.
Life was supposed to not wait and was eager to teach us another lesson, was unfolding a second set of relationship – my marriage to a girl, whom I had seen umpteen number of times, but without the feeling of partnering her as my wife…