A very good friend of mine, we will call him P here, has finally found a suitable bride and is all set to progress to the next phase of life. We all, who know him, are very much happy for him (and for us too, muhahaha) and are simultaneously praying for the poor bride-to-be. But, I guess with a few tips and tricks from us, she will be able to manage him.
Here is my walk down memory lane of our friendship.
First and foremost, it is always difficult to converse with this guy. People who know him for a long time, have now mastered the art, but others get shocked by the experience.
This is because his understanding is that God has given a maximum count to the number of words that a person can speak in a lifetime and hence, spends his words very wisely. Secondly, he would always have something or the other stuffed in his mouth, and hence his inability to speak. This had led to many a people concluding that he is very rude and insulting. A typical phone conversation would be:
Me : With a phone to my ear listening to his cell-phone ring.
Me : Hello?? (Assuming that he has answered the phone since the ringing has stopped. Mind you, ‘Hello’ and ‘Bye’ are some words he has vowed never to utter.)
P : Hmmh!! (finally, he decides to make some sound.)
Me : How much time are you gonna take to get free?
P : Fifhtin! (He means 15 minutes.)
Me : Okay, I will reach there in 20 minutes and honk. You come out immediately. Don’t make me wait like you always do. And also….hello….hello…..*&$#@…...#$%&. (He is already off the damn phone and I am left blabbering with no one listening to me).
And even after this, I will reach to his place in 30 minutes, instead of 20 minutes hoping that I would not have to wait. But His Highness would decide to grace me with his presence only after another 20 minutes have passed. Mind you, if this situation is the other way round, then be sure that he would have arrived after 1 hour and would honked the horn like crazy and blasted you for not coming out in 30 seconds since his arrival. His sense of time is something that me and other people in the entire group were neither able to understand nor predict.
P also has a penchant for giving nicknames to people. And the nicknames which he gives are downright insulting and embarrassing to the people who they are gifted to. But, P being P, simply loves the idea of someone getting angry on him for calling that person but the nickname they hate. Also, if one nickname is applicable to multiple entities, he would go ahead and name them all by the same noun. I very well remember that, at one point of time, he had named five different living species by the name Genda* Bhai. These famous five are - one of his drivers, a friend’s dad, another uncle living nearby, yours truly and a stray dog who used to visit him daily. And he would never explain as to which Genda Bhai is he referring to while in a conversation. So, our conversation would go somewhat like this:
P : Dad called for an ambulance today.
P : Genda Bhai got hurt while walking.
Me: (Unsure about the entity being referred here)
OMG!! Lekin yaar, thoda khul ke batah. Kuch samaj nahin aaya.
(Friend, explain in details. Did not understand) – Literal translation of the above.
P : Arre, Genda Bhai was taking his evening walks, and a sharp stone pierced his toe, and the stone was inside his feet. There was lot of bleeding.
Me: Cheez, what happened then?
P : (unfazed) Nothing. The doctor came, removed the stone and dressed up the wound.
Me: Thank God nothing serious happened. But, I just talked to S some time back, and he did not mention anything of this sort. And if the doctor came and dressed up the wound, then why was the ambulance called?
(S is the friend whose Dad is also referred to by the same nickname. )
P : Why would S know of this?
Me: If his dad is hurt, he would definitely know about it, and he would have told me.
P : I was referring to Ali (the dog, again a name given by him, for reasons unknown). And the doctor came with the veterinary ambulance, which my dad had called.
Add to this his no-drama, no-emotion way of speaking, and you will know how difficult it is conversing with him. He speaks in a very monotonous tone, without varying his pitch and octave by a single unit.
Another thing about his nicknaming habit is that most of the nicknames always refer to him too. For example, like I mentioned, yours truly is also referred to as Genda Bhai (considering my shape and size), but he and I share the same sizes when shirts and trousers are concerned. Another example, S was honored with the nickname Dhapnya*. Some years back, S had undergone corrective surgery to remove his dependency on spectacles and does not wear them at all now, but P still wears spectacles which have glasses which are can be used in small microscopes and can also be used as a magnifying glass, when one is not handy. But S is, till date, referred to as Dhapnya. And mind you, no one has the right to give him a nick. He had one, and no one dares to call him by that. If I reveal that here, I am sure that I will not be invited to his wedding. Not that I need an invitation, but still, it feels nice to be invited.
He is the guy who is single-handedly responsible for getting me and most of the friends into maximum trouble with our parents. Any of his ideas would always be at un-humanly hours, and they would seem nice when we hear them, but not the next day when my parents give a nice hearing about good-family-boys-fooling-around-at-night.
I can very well recall when during Diwali, the neighbors had threatened to call the police, and later to give our supari to underworld dons for making them jump in their beds and scaring the living life out of them with loud crackers at 3.30 AM in the night. Another incident is scaring the people who are out for early walks during Navaratri.
He is also the guy to whom many a road side food-stalls owe their livelihoods to. Give him anything with loads of cheese and butter, and he would be your life-time-customer. And he is also responsible for identifying the sex of soft-drinks. For example: Coke is a guy thing, and Mirinda is for females.
He is the guy whom BPL Mobile is still searching for making the cellular company’s profits disappear for some time. BPL Mobile had, a long time back, introduced 9 PM to 9 AM incoming-outgoing free scheme, and he was their first patron to enroll for the service. Till date, he holds the record for utilizing the outgoing facility for straight 12 hours. He even got a call from the company people asking whether it was really the owner using the phone, or was his phone stolen and being used by the thief. This is during the time when incoming was still chargeable. He also has this craze for cell-phones. Any new model which is launched will be found, before the day ends, in his hands. Nowadays, he keeps three cell-phones, since, there are many new models launched daily and one cell-phone is not enough to keep up with the changing trends.
There are many a people throughout India who still pray, before embarking on a train journey, so that God takes mercy on them and does NOT make him as their fellow passenger. I have felt pity for these co-passengers, even though most of the times I have been hand-in-glove for torturing the fellow passengers and other friends. Even after all these years, he still get glee out of silly pranks like applying toothpaste on the cheeks and noses of people who are sleeping, putting drops of water in the sleeping person's ear, etc, etc.
There are many many more incidents about which I want to write about, but most of them are such that they cannot be written here. Now, that he is on the verge of stage two of life (we guys have two stages – bachelorhood and end-of-bachelorhood), I can recall all those incidents and accidents which we had. I know, some years from now, you and I will be sitting together and laughing our asses off recalling all of them.
Here’s wishing you all the best for your married life, and Best of Wishes to my Bhabhi. She need them yaar!!!
* Genda – Hindi word for rhinoceros.
* Dhapnya – Marathi word for a person who wears spectacles.