Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Old friends

Meeting old friends is a very refreshing experience, especially after you realise that the friendship and solidarity hasn't changed a bit even after a long time. I was lucky to meet one this weekend, my B.Tech classmate, room neighbour and close friend.

I met him first at Sarayu, our first year hostel at Madras. His room was one room away from mine. After the first introductions, I realised that he was more or less like me, a calm going guy with a modest background. We struck a chord, and though we belonged to different departments and studied different subjects, we talked regularly. It was from him that I got to know the names of most professors from other departments, the happenings in the class rooms and even got the material for course work I had to do in the second semester.

If you were asked about a friend from your past, there would definitely be one or two characteristic traits that you would distinctly remember about him/her – a thing or two they said in the first meeting or something about them that captures your attention. When I think of him, there are two such traits that immediately come to my mind. First one is the meticulous way in which he did things. He is simply perfect. From engineering drawings to lab reports, the way he did them left me amazed. Till then I had a feeling that I was good at doing things neatly but he showed me what I needed to learn. He introduced me to extra dark pencils (2B,4B etc.),the ideal way of submitting reports etc. The second thing is the neatness of his room. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that finding a speck of dust in his room was difficult. It was always clean and neat and gave a nice feel whenever I walked in.

Second year moved us to different hostels, but the association continued. Getting to a regular hostel introduced us to computers, and we, who were reading novels or playing cricket to pass time started discussing about processors and hard disks. He was my technology guru. From installing Windows to CD burning software, I consulted him for everything. Even when people from computer science told me what was good, I looked up to this chemical engineer for the final word. Again, he introduced me to the 1GB pen drive, virtual DVD drive etc. He experimented a lot with computers, and reinstalled the operating system every now and then. I wonder why he did not move to Linux.

Even though I had many good friends by second year, he is the first one with whom I shared the most important things in life. Some of my friends still taunt me that I went all the way to Jamuna from Tapti to tell him something that they got to know two years later. I don't know if sharing problems with friends solved them or not, but it definitely made me feel better and calm. It gave me solace, that this guy from the city was listening to a villager and giving his perspective. In short, he was my safe-locker, where I could lock in all my troubles and worries.

After graduation, we parted ways. He took up a job in Bangalore, and I moved from place to place, Hyderabad to Chennai to Bangalore. Though we stayed in touch through occasional emails, his office timings made it difficult for him to be seen online, and he effectively disappeared from the online social networks for the last two and half years. We met just once after college, at a friend's wedding, where we couldn't find much time to talk to each other. Though I was in Bangalore since the last one year, I couldn't meet him.

Finally, his job shift brought a welcome change and he started being active online. It did not take me long to find out his phone number, talk to him and know where he lived. I went to his home this Saturday, met him and talked my heart out. After the “how are you doing” talk, we discussed about college days and a few things that mattered to me. I knew that it was not difficult for me to talk to him about things, but I realised how good it felt only after I started back home. The same warmth and the same maturity of thought when he explained things. I realised that nothing changed with respect to our friendship, and even the characteristic traits that defined him. His room is as clean as it was back in college, and he is still using Windows.

Some friendships are like rain that drenches you when you are thirsty. But some friendships are like plants. They grow slowly and silently, with the change unnoticeable on a day to day basis. After a while you look with wonder at the tree standing tall and firm beside you, offering you its shade and protection for the rest of your life!


Sravan ~~~Music Is My Passion said...

Great Post !
The Concluding paragraph is really a touching one , Which is an invincible truth yet very ellusive..... :)
But you didnt mention the name of your friend any where :-/ ( Arjun mvie style aa ? :P )

Musings of a wanderer said...

Vallabha, it was very nice. The metaphor of plant to tree was very good.

Musings of a wanderer said...

Vallabha, it was very nice. The metaphor "plant to tree" was very good. Always appreciative of the value (in time and space) to your friends.

Mits said...

"Meeting old friends is a very refreshing experience, especially after you realise that the friendship and solidarity hasn't changed a bit even after a long time"

Totally agreed. Thanks to technology this is much lesser these days.
Also, even if you get on an hour call with an old friend after 3-4 years, trust me the feeling would be exaclty the same.