We used to request each other or even shamelessly demand for likes, testimonials, profile picture updates and Facebook tags/posts and comments. I remember you asking me,… “Yen pa… yaar yaaruko kavidhai ezhudhi tharaye.. enaku oru naalachu ezhudhirukaya pa?”. So now, the day has come to blog something on us here on your birthday! (Poetry writing – I have already given up. Mannichu da!)
Birthday comes every year. Apart from those midnight wishes, endless conversations, gifts, meetings etc,… this day 15/06/2017, brings in a special sadistic happiness in me.
From being a student for almost a lifetime(Yes!), Velaiku poita da Sarathu! That stomach burning feeling when we see you luxuriously enjoy student life has come to an END, finally. Om Shanthi! Deep Breathe!
A week before, YOU, with so much of excitement, anticipation, and passion in those powerful eyes, joined as an Asst. Professor in Government College of Engineering, Dharmapuri. And this is the most awaited moment for you and the whole universe of your family and us, the GSNV(Gowtham, Sarath, Narmadha, Vani) group.
Many of them around you think that you are hastily making a mistake on discontinuing full-time Ph.D. in IITM to join as an Asst.Prof in a not-so-famous government college. You always wanted to reach the roots of rural areas. You wanted to up-bring those buds who do not have the exposure that metropolitan students get nowadays. You clearly know what you are up to. Needless to say, You go Man. A very bright future awaits. I, as a friend who always wanted to be your side no matter what, Wish you a very happy birthday!
Though every single day of our moments together right from school days to today deserves a separate blog post, I would like to give a gist of few things here and this is going to be miles long. Don’t dare to skip even a letter da. Question kepen. 😛
I still remember the first day we met (we interacted to be precise!) is in 2003. We were studying 8th standard and it was during a class test (Science exactly!). It was a new school for me that year and all I saw was surprises. As the previous school I studied had very less number of student strength and this, SKPHSS has nearly triple the number. You were seated in veranda and Me inside the class. I completed writing my test and was gazing outside without any idea of what’s going on… As I was looking at everyone out there, my eyes paused for a moment and continued to stare at you for rest of the time. I was quiet and calmly enjoying the show of you copying the answers from the book(Public Public, I know!). After a while, You, the cautious You, who often look around to avoid getting caught noticed my stare. Can we really call it an icebreaker??? We both exchanged smiles and a super like gesture that day. Andddd that was our first interaction!
Continued to exchange smiles whenever/wherever possible, passing happy friendship day note, those mornings where we both used to run crazy like hell towards our classroom to see who gets in first and do a high-five no matter who wins(remember??), the interval times, walking as a group to bus stand, exchanging gifts during birthdays, roaming the streets during lunch break and have this weird one you always feel embarrassed to think about! Once we both were on a bet and in our school ground you chased me like hell and cut my hair fringes! Awe! You eruma maadu!
Do you see that? I can see a slow and steady development of our friendship here in order. Those nightmares when we were put in different schools for higher secondary, finding ways to exchange missing notes via letters (Your sister played a great role here! Thanks, Saranya), meeting in bus stand, marriamman Temple, Gowtham’s house and what not in the whole of Udumalpet?, AIEEE exam(our first long tripp.. la?), gossips, discussions like and about nerdy students, crushes, baby loves etc, etc, etc … And that’s our happy friendship years of school life.
I had always dreamed of us moving together to a city during our college days. But unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Our friends’ group got scattered all around Tamilnadu. I remember being sad and endlessly complaining at home and my chithi without knowing how to console me said, “C’mon, you will make new friends in college and eventually forget these friends.” My sadness turned into anger there. What???? I’ll forget these idiots? I bet, they are gonna be my friends for life. True that I won the bet and She is the one happy soul who always admires our friendship!
Though we were separated by distance, technology held us connected. That all night phone conversations, text messages (Thanks to SMS rate cutters!), emails… But it was all during 2008. What?? 9 years ago? Feels fresh still. Lucky as heaven, December 2011 it was, we were in our final year of engineering and I gotta move to the same city you live! Chennai … Yay! Of all odds, that was truly a dream come true happening. We explored most of Chennai and had wonderful times. Life never fails to amaze us. Isn’t it? Of course, in its very own mysterious way! We even went to GRE/Toefl classes together planning for an escapade. We had to drop that plan with a heavy heart. Still a regret for me though. Should’ve at least appeared for the exam. We consoled ourselves by saying “”seems like GOD have other ideas””. You completed your M.Tech and soon became a Ph.D. scholar in IITM with so much ease.
To all of our surprise, We – You, Me, Vani and Gowtham moved to Chennai one after the other in a short span of 2-3 years! Then began the atrocities of “Chennai Times”. What in this world did we miss doing? The times where we go sit in sea shore and talk for hours and hours about sweet nothings, those American presidents like discussions, arguments, tears, fights, aracha maavaye thirumba thirumba arachufying like the first time, balloon shooting, mangoes, kulfis, …. huh… We go on talking everything about Childhood, Schools, colleges, software, CAD, Structure,foundation, architecture, placements, nature, politics, society, crushes, love, relationships, marriages, breakups, treats, trips, dancing , singing, running, adventure, God, parenting, teaching, family, friends, good, bad, worst, SWOT analysis and what not ? This is gonna be a never ending list. Those real serious discussions we do would never end without this note
“Pa… Nammalum periya aalunga aitom la? Periya periya matter laam pesrom”
We break our own record of being connected in a conference call for hours and hours. And I guess our latest record is talking for 8 continuous hours in a row. Waiting for someday to break it again.(Gowtham, have your postpaid connection ON da).
Be it anyone’s competitive exam, we religiously follow this. Rain or shine, the ones who are not attending the exam should come, collect all the candidates’ properties like bags and phones, wish all the best and wait outside the examination hall for 3 full hours. I literally heard this sentence all the time from some friends of you, “I am jealous of your friendship. I envy you having such friends“. We all blush and exchange smile not knowing how to react. The juicy part here is, the person who waits outside is completely allowed to land on anyone’s mobile phone, text messages, WhatsApp messages and we shamelessly laugh out loud in group disclosing those so-called private messages. We both meticulously do that and Gowtham being a poor soul fall as a victim most of the time… Ha yes! We do this! Missing those days da! Apart from the fun, I’m glad I was there for you all through your GATE to TRB exams.
You and Me,
- You are my pillar of strength.
- You are the one who stood by my side against all odds.
- With you, I fearlessly fight, shamelessly cry, ruthlessly mutter some nonsense and all I get in return is a pleasing smile followed by a word “Apppaarammmm ?”.
- I do not invariably talk/chat with you and share all of my whereabouts. We very well know what we meant to each other and needless to share anything about it.
- We both know that there is nothing in this world that can come in between us and never had a possessiveness plight.
- We both mutually gave up on that religiously followed sentence “Hi dear. R U there? Yes, dear, for you I’m always here”.
- And there were the days we get butterflies in our stomach on hearing all those Love you, Miss you, lucky to have you as my friend like messages. But now, we see ourselves laughing profusely and mock each other whenever a “miss you” comes. Silly us!
- We feel like “Our togetherness is predestined and we cannot escape it”.
- There were days, I called you up in the middle of the night and said “onnumila pa… pesnum pola irunthuchu” or “I feel like crying pa. Ethum kekadha please. Just hear me cry” or “Enna da panra, thoongaraya?”. You talk to me clearly, unleash all my sorrows and sincerely call me next morning to confirm what we talked last night. (Facepalm!)
I will record here a couple of (recent) conversations as a proof of our insanity.
Me : Pa, My lower back pain is getting worse day by day pa. Gotta go to Orthopedist pa.
Sarath: Achacho, yennachu pa? Quicka po…
Me: Cancer ah irukumo ? Or Arthritis ah irukumo?
Sarath: Unaku varum pa athellam. (Sadhegame ila)
Me: (Ada paavi payale).
Me: Pa, today I’m going to visit orthopedist pa.
Sarath: Ok pa. Who is accompanying?
Me: No one pa. Just check up only know. I’ll go alone. No problem.
Sarath: Achacho… Pa… Anga poitu doctor cancer nu sonna thaniya manage panniduvaya nee?
Me: Eh? What? ohhhh… ha ha ha! Eruma maadu!
That’s the lovely us!
Finally, a few things to say about you, my dear Nanba,
- You, be it by appearance or inner self, are a handsome, pleasing, calm, composed and rocking personality.
- You make clear decisions and stand firm for it.
- You rarely set goals but once set, I’ve never seen you fail in achieving it. (New year resolutions, gold coin collection, marathon timings, and Ph.D. completion are all excused. OK?)
- You love to stay fit. And get to the ground to maintain.
- You will respect the other person’s point of view though you are completely against it. This is the key secret of our 14 years long friendship.
- You will be readily available for someone in need.
- You have your own world of happiness and freedom which no one can enter/destroy.
- A “No” for you is a “No” and you never give up on that no matter what.
- You are a very faithful devotee of Balaji and all your Saturdays are dedicated to him.
- You are an extraordinary teacher da. I fall in love with maths when it is taught by you.
- You are always out of troubles. I have never seen you in situations like opening a can of worms. Always jollya irupa. Adhu matum epdi nu puriyave matenguthu da enakum Gowtham kum.
- An awesome friend who will never intrude into other person’s personal space even if it is two bodies – one soul like a relationship.
- You have these two contradictory characteristics. One – you work hard like hell where you feel 24 hours is not enough for a day. Other – You sleep like kumbhakarna and claim “rest eduthu tired agi rest edukren pa”.
Attaching here some of our lovely pics and once again
A very happy birthday and Many more happy returns of the day da Sarath. May all your dreams come true. Enough of Chennai times. Let’s extend our boundary a bit and step in to explore Dharmapuri. See you soon da Sarath. Wishing you a splendid personal and professional future.