Category Archives: Friendship

Friends Are Our First Major Decision In Life

group of friends

By Ankush Kumar

Last Sunday I sorted my closet, this is a routine whenever my ballooned waist decides for a change. During the entire exercise a few pieces of clothes took me back to some very fond memories.

I had this old torn white shirt of my school days. It was our last day at school before our board exams. There were best wishes messages, colors and torn ends that reminded me of the madness that took place that afternoon. I had pretty much lost touch with that bunch of pals but Facebook revived those memories.

While cleaning the lower rack of my tees section I came across a red shirt (still baffles how did I buy that one). A few friends and I had gone shopping for our first day at college. Thanks to my waist, which always embarrasses me, we tried a million stores before I finally found this shirt. My friends annoyed by stupidity, convinced me that it was looking awesome on me. I eventually was ragged to death for my red little riding hood. To date they are my closest friends and, they haven’t missed a single chance in making my misery public.

While I was arranging my photo albums neatly inside my closet, I stumbled on a few photographs. One that took me back in time was when my friends and I had beer and cigarette for the first time. One of my friend’s dad had this huge collection of scotch and cigarettes and he used to keep it in a drawer inside his bedroom. We were bored to death watching the same movie again and again, purely out of fun, we sneaked in while he was out and stole a packet of cigarettes and booze. Then went near a beach and tasted blood for the first time. Then we were just having fun; today those photographs have become cherished memories.

Once I was done with my closet act, and was dumping all my old belongings in the trashcan, a thought struck me. All material gifts get worn out and replaced, parents are a relation we choose by blood, but its friends we make independently. It’s the first major decision we take, some turn out to be sour and some very sweet.

Happy Friendship’s Day.

The Tale Of Entrapment

By Shivani Gupta

Under the affect of alcohol he could barely walk, walking looked so dangerous for him. His hands battled with glass wall to hold them. Tremendous pull of gravity made his grounded feet imbalanced and prone to collisions. His blurry vision and loose tongue crowned him as a super dangerous orator. Isn’t it “ITS KEWL”?

[Caution – My woven thoughts might sound CONSERVATIVE but understand the underlying message. READ THIS WITH OPEN HEAD]

Untitled

Youth population of any country is considered to be extremely important in defining its growth. India driven by corrupted politics and polluted mindsets can be superior nation if courageous youth determines to wash away evils. We have to be vigilant and determined enough to create this change, but are we?

To join us you have to be of ‘OUR TYPES’, and how do you define TYPE. The ‘type’ is clearly visible with multiplying clubs and bars. It reflects intensified and zingy social life of youth. Nightlife attraction is now top rated entertainment that has made its way through kicking all family boring parties. But here REMORSEFUL part is not midnight party culture but what happens after that….

Until dawn youth crazily party, experiment with alcohol and drugs, bid adieu party in arms of affluent strangers and then expects the snoring pot bellied cops to reach at right time if something wrong happens. Haven’t you ever learnt from bollywood spicy flicks that cops reaches to the crimes scene after IT’S DONE. SO BETTER BE RESPONSIBLE PARTY PEOPLE.

We chant bleak law and order in the society, AGREED… but how about you… when after two pegs you take an avatar of not being satisfied with alcohol even if bar is closed. You might feel light after peeing hundredth and thousandth times and continue gulping those golden tonics one after the other. Does that really matter in your life – Party and Booze?

My opinion of liberal is not against ones freedom or barring youth from parties. It is extremely important to be socially active with friends and families in order to enhance realm of networking and vent out mindful dishes. But it’s time to demarcate line of control, be a good example for your coming generation, who see you as a mentor. Let’s be responsible for our actions and stop hiding under the murky blankets of (bleak) law and order.

One should never forget lessons of – Anything in excess is harmful. 

5 All-Time Favourite Bollywood Friendships

No matter whether they are off-screen or what type of their relationships they share in real life, but these on-screen friendship stories have been a hot favorite amongst the viewers. Kushal Sakunia brings to you your favourite friendship jodis.

sholay_friendship

1. Sholay – Amitabh & Dharmendra (1975)

The first film that comes to mind when we think friendship is of course Sholay. The title role of Jay and Viru excellently played by Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra respectively would etch into your hearts permanently post viewing this classic film and the song “Yeh Dosti”.

Dosti

2. Dosti – Sudhir Kumar & Sushil Kumar (1964)

Another classic from the golden period of Indian cinema that will touch your emotional chord is ‘Dosti’. Starring Sudhir Kumar and Sushil Kumar, the film is the story of two friends who help each other out even in the face of extreme hardship.

rang de friends

3. Rang De Basanti – Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor, Madhavan, Soha Ali Khan (2006)

Fresh faces and an inimitable storyline including friendship, war against corruption and political distress made Rang De Basanti an apt film for the times. It had an incredible story about friendship which the youth of today can relate to. RDB is a must watch this weekend with your friends.

DIL-CHAHTA-HAI-friendship-movie

4. Dil Chahta Hai – Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna (2001)

The only film that revolves completely around friends and friendship is Dil Chahta Hai. The three lead characters are the epitomes of true friends, but circumstances drift them apart and the film essentially tries to establish that whatever complicated situations come in one’s life, it’s absolutely impossible to break the bond of a true friendship.

three idiots

5. 3 Idiots – Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi & Madhavan (2009)

The story of 3 Idiots is a entertaining journey of three friends who try to explore themselves and share them unforgettable experiences.  It dealt with the education system in India and the bond between three engineering students in a premier institution of engineering. It also showed how if one followed his dreams, fame and family and friends will never leave his or her side.

Rift – A Short Story

rift- story

By Ganesh Subramanian

The bell rang loud and clear. It signalled the end of the final semester exams. All the students heaved a sigh of relief. Vikranth rushed madly towards the college bus- Route No.6 which takes him to his house. Finding his favourite seat, he dumped his bag and slumped by the window seat, closing his eyes for a moment allowing his brain cells to relax which seemed to have worked overtime cramming up equations and formulae. There was a tap on his shoulder. Vikranth opened up his eyes to see Nidhi standing next to him. She sat beside him and asked, “How did it go?” Vikranth sighed and said, “Hoping to clear it. Surely not going to top the subject though”. Both of them laughed.

“You know what”, Nidhi continued, “Actually feel bad that we are gonna miss all this fun of college life”.

“Yeah. In a way.” replied Vikranth. “But equally excited looking forward to the corporate life”.

The next 45 mins of the bus journey passed in a jiffy with Vikranth and Nidhi reminiscing about the 4 years that they had spent in engineering. When Nidhi’s stop came, she waved good bye to her best friend Vikranth and promised to call him up soon.

Weeks passed. Vikranth and Nidhi are computer engineering students from a newly opened engineering college in the city. Vikranth and Nidhi opted for this college despite the college being a new one and despite the fact that the college may struggle to find campus placements for its students, simply because they could be at home during their graduation. So barring a few students who were willing to accept jobs in mediocre BPOs that visited the campus for placements, the college placement department couldn’t do much. As a result, students were left to seek their own avenues for jobs.

Nidhi called up Vikranth on one day. She seemed excited. “Hey Vikranth. I got placed in Czone solutions. Attended an aptitude test followed by an interview two weeks back. Looks like I did well. Got the offer letter from them today. I have to join in a month’s time from now.” replied Nidhi.

“Hey Congrats. So now this news calls for a treat. Isn’t it?” said Vikranth.

“Surely it does. But only after I get my first salary” Nidhi teased him.

“Hey that’s unfair. I need it soon. I can’t wait for two months till you get your salary” reasoned Vikranth.

“Ok. Ok. I will treat you soon” laughed Nidhi. “How’s your job search coming along?”

“In Czone, my application number is in 10000s. Not sure if and when will they call me. Other prospects not looking that promising at the moment” replied Vikranth.

“Don’t lose hope. It’s only a matter of time before you land on a new job”, Nidhi tried to pacify him. “Ok. I have to hang up now. Will catch up with you later. Bye”, said Nidhi

“Bye.”

Two months passed. Vikranth was still jobless. Nidhi didn’t call Vikranth even once in the interim. Vikranth was also increasingly getting frustrated by the fact that another one of his classmates – Nitin – has been visiting Nidhi’s house often on weekends to work out aptitude questions with Nidhi’s help for his job search.

Nidhi ignoring him was killing Vikranth. He told another of his best buddies – Dinesh – that he’s got a bone to pick with Nidhi. Dinesh advised him not to do anything stupid. But Vikranth was determined to set things straight.

He finally called Nidhi. “Hello Vikranth. Nice to hear from you. It’s been a long time. You’ve forgotten me or what?” laughed Nidhi.

“I should be asking you that question. Madam seems to be very busy these days”, said Vikranth in a no-nonsense tone.

“Lots of work, Vikranth. No time to breathe” reasoned Nidhi.

“Oh, I see, You don’t have time for me. But you have time for Nitin. Isn’t it?” remarked Vikranth sarcastically.

“Nothing like that, Vikranth. Why are you comparing you and Nitin? What’s wrong with you?” asked Nidhi.

“What’s wrong with me??? Everything’s wrong with you only. Not even one call in 2 months, but you have time for that egg-head Nitin” thundered Vikranth.

“Stop that Vikranth”, growled Nidhi.

“What do you think of yourselves? Just because you are in a job, you think you are a demi-god or something?” Vikranth screamed. His joblessness feeling was getting the better of him and his emotions came in a torrent.

“If you are going to speak like this, don’t call me hereafterwards” Nidhi remarked angrily.

“Fine. So be it” thundered Vikranth and slammed the phone down.

Two years passed. Vikranth and Nidhi didn’t speak even once after that incident. Ironically, Vikranth was also now working in the same company as Nidhi’s. Vikranth found Nidhi’s mail id through the people search option in his mail folder. He mailed her apparently in an effort to mend things. No reply even after 4 hours. Vikranth called Anisha, another collegemate of Vikranth and Nidhi and a common friend to both of them and she also worked in the same company in Nidhi’s team. Anisha spoke to Nidhi and informed him that Nidhi will be sending him a reply shortly.

Ping. Vikranth’s mailbox beeped with the sound of arrival of a new mail 20 minutes after Vikranth spoke with Anisha. Vikranth opened the mail from Nidhi. The reply was short. It said:

“I don’t know what to say. You apparently feel that what you have done is wrong. But we can’t be the same friends anymore. We can just be hi-bye friends” replied Nidhi.

Vikranth realised that a rift has formed between them. He acknowledged the fact that he and Nidhi can never be the same good old best friends once again. He shook his head and closed the email from Nidhi.

Indian Middle Class Life And Stories

india, indian middle class family driving on scooter in bangalore

By Pinaki Pratihar

Every day when I wake-up and get prepared for my office, I pack my lunch made by my maid and miss my mom. How she helped me get dressed for school or how she used to pack my favorite dishes during my college-life when I use-to go home every weekend!

Or at early night when I used to chat with my dad, queries regarding health, job, life, parties, future plans and more. Sometimes the whole conversation turned into a simple question by my mom, “When will you come here to meet us?”

And I remained silent like ever. Mom has a power; she can feel some unspoken words. She naturally did-not repeats the same question. She left the topic the moment she felt I am uncomfortable with that.

He is a father, who has invested all of his savings for education of his children and to earn their minimum daily needs and wants. A perfect representative of Indian Middle Class society, who preferred to invest on Education, rather increasing his bank balance, whose expenditure, is same as his income, at the age of pre-retirement. He had invested his time to his children as much as possible and now he deserves to get the same attention from his children as he knows he is also experiencing the old-age problems and he need some-one apart from his caring wife, who is also struggling from fevers and pains due to age and nerve conduction and is failing to keep in check with his physical condition. He deserves a hand who can help him reach the nearest reliable hospital and can bring the medicine on time.

She is a mom; she had a general ‘mango-people’ homemaker mindset of having the best of possible things. Her only happiness in life comes from seeing her children attain a position in life. She still wishes her son could be a schoolteacher in a nearest high school and can stay at home at-least.

And me! Once I dreamt to be near my parents and failed, when I felt that life can be easy but career is not secured in Kolkata. Negligible economic growth and industry-related statistics and HR-satisfaction survey and un-predictable responses never encouraged me to be in Kolkata. The dream has busted. I never realized when.

I am a person who enjoys the cheap ride in Kolkata, cheap food and the lazy moments with family and friends. I do not feel the same in Delhi though I have a core set of friends and experienced colleagues. I am well convinced that this is not a place to grow well for a non-IT profile.

Everyday I wake up early morning and reach home at night; in between I mix with so many identities. I am a daily passenger who pays the same for a ticket to reach office, a colleague, who can do his job, a friend, with whom some information can be shared, a researcher who try to study things in-depth, an executive who interact with clients regularly and try to put some value in the business process, a junior, who try to follow senior’s instructions, a judge, before putting the instructions and a dreamer who try to put something new in front of the management.

And a Govt.

In my childhood, I participated in debates against brain-drain, but later-on realized watching so many unsuccessful businessmen in West Bengal that every state is not open like Gujarat.

I am not happy, but satisfied just by calling and considering my days as ‘The Struggling Period’, where I am struggling to learn some more, to earn some more money, respect and more happiness around me. I am convinced that this time, forget about your emotions and family. Here I wish you find your life different from me.

Being SoBo! South Bombai’ite

south bombay

By Ankush Kumar

It was the monsoons of 2007 when two of my friends arrived in Mumbai for the first time. They checked into a hotel and took a taxi to come and meet me. The first question the driver asked them was ‘Sahab Bombay jaana hai’? It caught my friends a little off guard. Yes dear readers! If you do not live between Cuffe parade and Worli you ain’t a Soboiite. Someone who has lived in South Bombay takes immense pride in boasting its residential status.

If you are a SoBoiite you enjoy certain perks and benefits and are always considered a cut above the rest. Here are a few key ingredients that make you an original inhabitant of the island city.

1) If the citizen addresses the city as Bombay and not Mumbai, chances are you are talking to a SoBoiite. For them Mumbai starts at World Trade Center Cuffe Parade and ends at Worli Seaface. The rest for them is foreign invasion.

2) Majority of the shoppers in the city head to Phoenix arcade or their neighborhood malls for shopping, but unless you aint seen at the Taj or Trident shopping arcade or at the Colaba causeway (depending on budget) you aint a Soboiite.

3) You walk into a pub all decked up for the evening and are looked down upon in disdain for your over the top clothes and make up, lady you have just met the original SoBo gals. They believe more in minimalistic decking up and yet look very appealing.

4) You are discussing which Hindi movies is going to release the coming weekend and how hyped the Khan wars is right now, and someone slips in a comment that ‘the last movie he/she saw way Sholay and that also on Dvd’ understand he is true bloodied SoBoiite.

5) If you are ignored when told that you have studied in a CBSE school you know you have encountered a SoBoiite. For them Campion, Cathedral, JB Petit, St. Mary’s are acceptable schools rest are just big mistakes.

6) A suburban citizen is always excited to go to South Bombay, but tell a SoBoiite to go to the suburbs and they would need atleast a week’s notice and a promise not to get tagged in the Check-ins on Facebook.

7) Last but not the least a true South Bombai’ite will never call himself/herself a SoBoiite, the suburbs gave them this name. They don’t look down at people not from South Bombay, its just that they are not from South Bombay: -P

It Started With A Friend Request….

first love

By Rimpy Goyal

An emotionally unstable person that I am, all it took to boost my mood was a friend request in FB. Yes, a boon that FB is to us!!

A casual talk about searching for my boy friend lead to some references. Now how funny it could be that boyfriends could also be chosen by referrals. T’s spouse’s colleague. Yes, You read it right. And all started with Facebook request. Exchanging numbers, talking for hours, coffee outing and rest followed. And with it followed the fun of getting teased too. Something that I had not experienced before.

Mornings at work unusually became exciting. Not because of the work but because of the comments that I received from fellow friends. Someone has rightly said love makes the skin glow. And that glow probably showed in me.

And then came a dinner invite, an invite common to both of us. And with it came an opportunity to meet him. And such was the meeting that it never felt like the first one. I have always felt lonely amidst the crowd. I have always been in search of a friend to share things. Little did I know that I would fall for this guy whom I met through someone and that to on web.

Someone who sang songs for me at the second meeting, who cared about my friendship and my feelings. I was falling frankly and falling loud and fast. A Punjabi song from a non Punjabi guy really means some stuff for me. Yes, Jidha Chandigarh lagda na tere bina dil…Haye Mera Dil..Haye Mera Dil….And I went flat!!

I don’t know if this is called Love. What I know is I have got a good friend by whatever means it may be and I am enjoying this phase of my life. And I would really thank all my friends for teasing me time and again. It was due to it that this journey started!!

If you love someone truly and are meant to be together then even the Lord can’t separate. At the end of the day, for me the crux of the whole matter is that valuing friendship and relations is the only thing that makes life worth it.

The write-up above is a work of fiction.

Romi and Gang: Book Review

romi and gang

By Kartik Kannan

To paint an image, this is basically a ‘Swami and Friends’, for the kids who grew up playing Gully cricket in the 90’s. While ‘Swami and Friends’ and ‘Romi and Gang’ are different from the generations that they picturise, the quality and simplicity in writing is similar. The book is a refreshing read into the daily lives of Romi, Sulkhi, Golu and Sunny, whose lives are based around the 3 pillars of cricket, school and their tryst with the maidan. The story re-connected me with my childhood, and brought back memories of gully cricket. As an Indian, most of make that transition from child hood to Adult hood, by spending more time with our studies, gradually leaving the memories of gully cricket a distant and fading dream. This book has taken me back in time to re-affirm the importance gully cricket once had in the list of ‘priorities’

The first chapter draws the connect to its audience, like Tendulkar took to opening the batting in his first game. The image of a helmet(albeit a scooter helmet), 4 stumps, bat and gloves lying unused, as the 4 of them were busy searching for the lost ball in the bushes, replaying the trajectory of the shot to locate the ball. During my growing up years, I remember searching for a lost ball in the bushes , usually with a lot more gusto, so as to make hay (read as getting a few overs to bat), while the sun shone( make use of whatever little light was there).

Adding flavor to the description are the real world connects to ODI cricket played in the 90s’. Whether its the 1992 World Cup labels, the Bumper Sportstar issues, the posters adorning the walls or the parallels drawn between Romi’s innings of 47 and Sachin’s 47 ( In the 1995 New Zealand Cricket Centenary tournament). The innocence of the conversations makes you nostalgic of the simple 90’s, when ‘priorities’ had still not swamped you. I basically rediscovered that lump-in-the-throat feeling, that was last felt when India chose to turn up on Friday’s at Sharjah to lose to Pakistan in the 90’s.

The backdrop of the school, adds more memories, whether its the PT room’s active inventory, or a scooter (I imagined a Bajaj) within the school premises of a teacher which we eyed with mischief, or conversations with a topper girl, whose parent taught at the school.

I am not going to talk more about the suspense or the climax, but I’d recommend this for a beautiful Saturday read, so that by Saturday night you are hunting all your childhood friends on Facebook to re kindle the emotions of childhood so beautifully captured by Tushar in ‘Romi and Gang’.

PS: While we don’t require to any more handle clumsy antenna’s on the terrace to get any free feed/signal from Prime Sports any more, I’d give anything for the sheer fun of what we did growing up in the 90’s, to be associated with cricket(even if it means looking like Sachin in Ambrose’s pads) I am going next month to my native city, to catch a glimpse of whatever’s left of the little maidan that we once used to play cricket in. Thanks Tushar for rekindling the memories.

Some More PS: You can purchase the book here in its print avatar, or buy the kindle version here

The Game Of Life

Rules-For-The-Game-of-Life

By Sarvesh Mehrotra

All the reading that we do, the education that we get, and the experiences that we go through are to one end: to help us to live our potential. Life wouldn’t have created us, if it didn’t want us to bring an aspect of it  to life, or if it didn’t believe in our capabilities to do so. If we’re here, it is because we’re endowed with the ability to manifest an aspect of the Divine in this three-dimensional world. So basically our main objective in life should be to find out what our unique abilities are, and set about bringing them to life.

Instead, we get lost in distractions. These come in many forms: money and the things it can buy; family, friends, relatives: all well-meaning and good-intentioned but driving us away from what we should be doing at any moment; job and responsibilities taken to impress other people; TV, Internet, social media; habits like smoking and drinking; sleep. Society around us isn’t set up to help its constituents shine. It’s set up to keep them alive and well-fed and clothed, and we have invented numerous and amazingly complex mechanisms to ensure survival.

Staying alive is important, of course. Keeping  our bodies fed and clothed is too. However, getting lost in just ensuring these is like keeping a car well-oiled and serviced and sparkling clean, but never taking it out of the garage. Things are getting better and better, to the point that we don’t really need those improvements. Our cars are getting faster and more powerful as the space to drive them in shrinks. Our phones now have more technology than a space-ship of a few decades ago. We’re creating better software and spending money and time to create better robots and artificial intelligence. And while our problems have only become different from the generations before us, our state of mind as individuals is the same as, if not worse than, before. I think as a society, we’re getting carried away with our ability to keep “the car well-oiled and serviced and sparkling clean” so to speak, and are solving problems that needn’t be solved at the expense of those that should. What point better and “smarter” phones, when our relationships are breaking down and divorce rates are going up? We have trouble communicating with and understanding each other, and we’re busy making it easier to speak, text, or tweet.

However, there’s a reason why we’re like this. The Divine Intelligence that permeates us and all that we see didn’t make a mistake by planting in every individual the desire for heroism, while letting us create a society that is dead against it. The reason for that is simple. We’re able to walk only because there is friction between our feet and the earth we walk on. Movement is possible only through pushing against a force that resists it, and only when we push against a resisting force, do we learn our lessons such that they’re never forgotten. If discovering and manifesting our deepest potential were easy, it wouldn’t be worth anything at all. And if it’s the reason we exist, there’s got to be a formidable force set up against it, which must be overcome.

Individually too, if living the courageous and superlative life of a hero were easy, there would be no joy in success. The whole journey of running into opposition, failure, criticism, and doubt yet persevering makes success that much sweeter. It creates the stories that inspire generations, and keep the world running. There would be no Mahatma Gandhi if there were no British Raj, and Martin Luther King wouldn’t still be remembered if the society that created slavery didn’t exist.

And so it’s important for those of us who aspire to live a fulfilling life, one in which the potential that we hold within us has fully come alive, to remember that the world and people around are meant to be the distractive forces that they – sometimes despairingly so – seem to be. They are the frictional force that we push against and learn to walk. They’re the rules of the game of life, the boundary and the court within which the game must be played and mastered. Without the rules, restrictions, and opposition, where’s the game?

Dear Lovers, Don’t Drop The Pretence

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By Joybrato Dutta

Love is what you assumed Leonardo felt for Kate in Titanic. Love is what burnt Troy. A fulfilled love story inspires marriages that are filled with ‘awwww’ moments, but an incomplete one inspires generations to love. As strange as it may sound but the couples by which most lovers swear by – Romeo & Juliet, Heer & Ranjha, Laila and Majnu, didn’t really end up marrying. So most lovers know how to love, but they don’t know the next step.

And then comes Valentine’s Day. A day when every lover gets the license to upgrade his or her relationship. Teenage lovers propose for love, couples in their early 20s propose for a commitment, while their counterparts in the late 20s propose for marriage. And then there are those hardcore lovers who believe in living in the present. So they make love instead of making a commitment.

But people graduate from colleges. They get into workplaces where they believe that they have matured. They believe that for lovers, every day is a Valentine’s Day. They believe that lovers don’t need a special day to express love, because with each other every moment is special.

BULLSHIT!!!

You don’t send flowers to your lover every day.

Nor do you send chocolates.

And you definitely don’t take her out on a long drive or a candle light dinner every day.

You don’t even attend her calls. Yes you can blame the frenetic times, the offices, the tuitions, the promised billiards game, and the Teen Patti, but you cannot deny the fact that you don’t make your lover feel special every day.

Which is precisely why I believe in the importance of Valentine’s Day. It gives us something to look forward to, some excitement in life, a chance to start afresh, a chance to rekindle a dormant spark. So I suggest don’t drop the pretence, send her flowers (sponsored by Ferns and petals), cards (sponsored by Archie’s), and chocolates (sponsored by Cadbury’s), because every day is not a Valentine’s Day.

P.S. – The above note is for people in a relationship. Dear stags, Happy Vaseline Day.