Sunday, January 10, 2010

Srinivas does a Zakir

After the "Two Rajas", almost like a hat-trick, it was G.R. Srinivas ~ renown to his later friends as Shandilya prefixed by Srinivas or just plain~ who stood at the doorstep without a hint. Him coming all the way from half way round the earth and then 90 miles from Bangalore, as he does most of the time, is just plain thrill. (Doffing my hat at this sustained affection). As I said earlier, Zakir does this - suddenly coming in at the most unexpected time of the year - also without flashing a clue beforehand - and showing himself in person.

Srinivas has been one of my very earliest friends and classmates. Our contacts had been disconnected as I had lost his whereabouts many years back. His NY Greeting card to my familiar address renewed it after his Delhi days after a gap of many years. E-mails replaced our 'snail mail' correspondence after that and I feel good continuity has been maintained. He will agree that he is a reluctant responder. But that does not matter and I've never minded it, because it is his heart that matters and that is what brings him from thousands of miles away. This time it was a nice surprise! Somehow he seemed to 'know' I'd be at home.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Visits by the two "Rajas"

End of December means vacation time for most of us as that is the right time to laze off using some saved up leave at work. Climate too in Mysore is at its salubrious best during that time with a little bit of that pleasant nip in the cool air. The two Rajas knew that was the best time to return to their old city in which they grew up and studied.

One Raja calls me to inform that he was touring Mysore 'next week' with his family (of four). Sounds as if he was traveling a thousand miles! He has flown or traveled thousands of miles in directions other than Mysore in the few years gone by. It was time for him to show his children the Mysore he had seen. He was returning after many years!

From where? Only from Bangalore! Just 90 miles away. The children were now grown up. Time had flown past and his son was standing taller than him and he had not shown Mysore to them! That is how time has escaped right below the nose of Rajaram. His job responsibility had made Mysore a far off destination! All said and done he made it after probably umpteen cancellations at the n'th moments.

(The clock up there has been stopped deliberately)

The other Raja has visited Mysore on a few occasions in the past. His surprise call when he was already on the outskirts was a real thrill. He was coming from erstwhile Madras. He does not e-mail often or almost 'not at all', but uses the telephone as a rule and preference! He is somewhat like Zakir who comes all the way from a small country called Brunei and stands in front of my door like a bolt from the blue! This Raja came with family (of 3) the old neighbour and school senior Srinivas and nephews too. How I wish Rajagopal had timed his visit with the other Raja! They were only Sundays apart. You can see that CKC-days look still bubbling in Gopi (this is what we call him) as if to remind his classmates his 6th std days when Sr.Prudentia had nicknamed (wrongly) as 'Cunning Fox'. Nobody knows the reason. May be during an English lesson that a fox was featured we do not recollect. Gopi has failed miserably to live up to his nickname.

Srinivas in red and Gopi in spotless white flank me in this picture. White has become Gopi's favourite in recent times (just my observation).

It is mutual visits like these that keep the fire of the old friendship burning. Old classmate-friends are unique and so different than other friendships.