College Diaries-chapter 3-At The Saurabhs’!!

Now that I am a grown up, earnings, savings, bank accounts, extravaganza stresses me out. One evening I logged into my bank statements of 2009-10 and I was shocked to see my prodigal side yet I was not regretting the then lavish times. Memories rolled back in my mind and one of the best times that we as a college gang spent together were at the Saurabhs’.

The two Nair boys of different years had become our great friends. While  the girls of the gang stayed at the hostel under the college regulations, the two chose to spend a li’l extra and stay as flat mates. They were so complimentary to each other. For our simplification, we chose to call them out by their nicknames. Although a few more characteristics could help one separate their identity 😂.

  The flat was in a residential colony called Bhoopsandra.Their den had  two rooms with windows that helped them peep into the neighbours’ home. They were  decorated enough to not let the visitors’ expectations down. One of them also had a TV with a cable connection. There was a skimpy kitchen on one end. And if someone would scan that square, one could say it was a well equipped one. Here, I would like to mention that the girls contributed to the maintenance of the premises. 

Although we never worked really hard during our weekdays but we all waited for the weekend, especially the Saturday!! The college used to get over by 1:00 PM,and soon we all would be swarming out of the hive. A mega group stood outside the college entrance arguing over where to eat the lunch. Often it was our favourite kitchen- the Nandinis and at other times we would split into different restaurants. However ,the most consistent outcome was – that we four always stayed together until our last day in the college. 

After that massive unlimited lunch, we drove on our bikes to our rescue spot. Absolutely, drained after the fun of one whole week and the hogging on Saturday afternoon, the first thing we splurged into was sleep. We slept until the doorbell or the phone rang and  the older Saurabh was abused for not letting the fifth mad man in. He was the charm of the weekends, came from a different college, travelled two hours on the weekend ,sacrificing his relaxation hours in travelling  to spend the weekend with us.

  The evening opened with a ginger tea by junior S and some Parle G. The menu for the dinner was discussed and the three musketeers drove to the nearest grocery shop and shop next to it to get their weekend quotas. Cooking was no major issue because except the senior S, all knew their bits and chased them to perfection. Some music played in the background. We talked, bullied, chased each other but there were no clashes what so ever.

An understanding beyond exception existed and continues to exist.

The nights were often the best times. We often served our home cooked dinner with a reality show, throwing in all sorts of nonsense comments and then moved on to watching a pirated movie on the laptop and finally it was only some of our favourite music pieces. 

It often rained in Bangalore and we were all Ghazal fans. The nights were all about some good lyrics, some cold ,some drizzle, some mad but not heated discussions ( obviously with no conclusions),some disgust over the masters program, some remorse of what would we gain out of these years, some cheers over our good times, some dance in the high spirits, some glasses that were toasted together, some clever comments, some mad moments, and some bizarre memories!!

There was no end to those Saturday nights but the Sunday sun blazed over us. The charmer cooked us breakfast-our favourite poha with a ginger tea. We did our journal clubs after ordering food from the cheapest restaurant nearby. We brimmed our tea glasses many a times throughout the day. There was no routine except for having fun together. The Sunday went off very quickly and we two were dropped to our hostel to start for next mad week and hope for the even madder Saturday night!!

  We laughed, we laughed and we laughed our lungs out. It could only happen when we infamous five met at the Saurabhs’. The memories don’t past me and have been etched forever. The extravaganza looks perfectly normal to me today because it was the best investment ever!!



Who is a good reader? I don’t know!! What I know is I am not a good reader. A habit that I have tried to inculcate over the years but have never succeeded. When some of my more intellectual pals discussed politics, thrillers, or economies my prime goal was to use my two ears-GIGO(get in get out)-that’s an easy strategy when you know  that you do not know anything. I had never been the first one to miss a discussion on Bollywood. The zone has been limited and I had never bothered to broaden it. 

I often, mentioned to a good friend that I would like to start reading. He was the one who both read and wrote beautiful pieces and had a selection of books to go through. He suggested me a trick to start with simple, less tantalising stories like rom-coms. I almost thought on his idea and glimpsed through the book shelf at WH Smith. The prefaces did not appear to gain my attention. Yet, the fact a good writer needs to first read could not be overlooked by me.

Having finished my training and driving lessons, I was left with ample time to do something more. I tried painting, writing some romantic poetries and cooking but of course, how much of that fancy food could I stock up in my tummy? I needed something more passive yet occupying. My partner is  extensively into reading and I left the responsibility of finding me something that will grip me for hours.

He went to the local library and picked up a thriller for me. The story was woven around a business corporation in Sweden and its lost heir. The author went into extreme detail to let the reader’s imagination tinker. With every page one could imagine how was the set up of a room, the whole village, the characters, the cafe, the kitchen and the coffee brewer, the atrocities, the gamble and the vengeance. Every tiny detail painted a picture. A picture of thousand senses. 


Initially I was reluctant , read a chapter a day, trying to build my interest. But before I could realise the story turned into a case of finding of a lost soul and how it had not been discovered for 37 odd years. The author has woven an intricate web and despite all my efforts to imagine I was left clueless. Like I was the journalist, I queried- what may have gone wrong? Who was the killer? What was the motif?

I was on an off  that weekend. After finishing the daily chores, I sat on the couch with the  500 pages  , I was curious beyond surprise. The why , who and how would not let me sleep. So I started again at 9:00 PM on the Saturday night and continued till 5:00 PM on the Sunday evening with barely a four hour sleep,30 mins of freshening up and 30 minutes of meal. 

A sigh of relief cuddled me when I eventually discovered what happened to Harriet Vanger. I closed the blinds for some sleep but my brain never slept and kept revising the events and the investigations. 

It was in ages that I had picked a book with no expected conclusion and a story that intrigued me. My imagination was set on fire. Every little conversation, love making,city travel, decoding the encrypt, and connecting the bits kept me into it.

Finally,  I have discovered  my taste. A good thriller was an adrenaline rush for me. This is passive yet employing. I had enjoyed reading for the first time . The author has written a trilogy and I am yet to dig in the remaining two. 

Perhaps, the moral is try before you deny!!

The Comeback 😊😊

So this time you are sitting in your study and you receive a telephone call,” Hello there, how are you? Do you remember me?” You stand near the telephone stand with a bewildered expression on your face,your right brow raises, you voice is muffling and your mind is trying to guess and you reply,” Is it Natasha?” The voice replies back,” Oh!! So now you don’t remember me!!” You in  your apologetic tone answer back,” I am sorry but I cannot recall.” ” Well, I can understand it has been nearly 20 years that we spoke.”,the voice replies with a chuckle. The chuckle rings a bell to you and you jump and shout,” Hey, Fatso how have you been?”. And the conversation continues for hours where in you learn that your childhood friend has come back to the town. You plan a date with her and the memories blossom again.

A comeback of a person who left you with fond memories is always a delight. We all have had such experiences which bring smiles and tears on our faces at the same time. The good time spent in the past and reliving it again can never be replaced by anything better.

Whenever I think of my post graduate programme which lasted three years, I always wonder what did I achieve out of it. As I did not continue to practice what I learnt for those three years. It was a waste of time academically and contributed nothing significant to my career . Yet,it was a time that I would wish to come back again and again in my years to follow. I made some classic friends and some classic memories. Those three years were the years when I lived the way I wished to. They were the years when I did everything but read the big books. The years where me and my friends sat for hours together and dreamt of our future good lives- the dreams that we never lived.


Life was like smoke, no boundaries,no life path ,no looking back,no regrets and no remorse. All we had were us and our dreams.

We are in touch still and quite aware what is going on each others’ lives but I and perhaps ,all of us are waiting for the comeback of those times.

However, not all comebacks are desirable. Sometimes, some sore times dribble back with some entrances. You don’t want to welcome them but you want to give them a chance thinking may be things will turn around, the broken trust  will revert, the tears shed will fade away and you and them will be in better situation.

Unfortunately,the skeptical you doesn’t leave you in this case. The disbeliefs persist. You want to know if there is a motive or is it an honest try? Is something being disguised in the name of comeback. Hold on, breathe and do not hush!! Rekindling what left you burning at one point is not want you want again. Perhaps being cautious and guarding yourself against the intentions -good or bad – is not a bad idea.

The point is life is mixture of good and bad experiences. One has all the rights to be happy and all the rights to discard what is going to rot and embrace what is going to bring many more beautiful moments.

The comebacks

The  shiny bright eyes,

 the warmth that lasted,

the memories that it etched, 

when the  times were crafted!!

Reincarnate, revive ,

Relive with me 

I am waiting for u,

I am waiting endlessly!!

The New Year’s Eve !!

I am someone who is particularly excited about the New Year’s Eve. This is perhaps around my belief that things will be bigger and brighter in the new year and hence the celebrations should begin.

We were all set to see the fireworks at the Big Bang in London. The train tickets were booked, hotel room was paid for and the see tickets were purchased too. I had finished working for the winter break and I was shopping for the same on the 29th.

I laid down my plans for the 30th including a visit to the beauty salon, nice and relaxing long bath, packing the bags for a three day stay at London and shopping list for London in the new year . That is what I saved the money for!! 

I was looking forward to tick my London’s new year fireworks this year and I felt my throat was sore on the 29th evening. It was that time of the year but I did not wish for it. I simply wanted to go!!30th I was shivering in my duvet, my thermometer blinged 101 C and I was struggling to swallow. The nasty viral attack had began. My husband was back from work that evening and decided to cancel the bookings but I still was not ready to give up, so I said to him,” If I think I can’t manage by 31st morning ,we shall drop it.” 

Convinced him the next morning ,sipped a warm tea ,sucked on some lozenges and wrapped myself in layers of warmers to set us for the London trip.

We spent the whole 31st afternoon in the hotel room to gear up for the night show. We needed to stand for 4 hours with another 50,000 in a temperature of 4C to let the sky glow with fireworks shooting out of the London eye and  lasting ten minutes. I was adamant to be the part of that rush,the cold and the wait. 

But before the everlasting evening I needed to feed in some good Indian dishes to lighten the day. We went to a bhelpuri house in a narrow street in the central London and ordered food from different parts of India. The best amongst was the masala chai. A few lozenges were down again and then we headed to our zone to stand by the Thames. 

The area was well gaurded. People hushed from all sides. Friends, families, mates and couples with some drinks and snacks  in their hands lined up to get the security checks done .

The Thames was quiet yet beautiful, reflecting colors like never before. Cold wind blew and we were hugging each other. Few Chinese girls in front of us were cracking some jokes. Some Europeans were enjoying the fags. An English couple kissed to feel warm. An Indian couple held hands tight to let the cold breeze past them. The sky was clear, the Stars twinkled and it seemed as if the entire world was around the silent waters waiting for the new year to start with new hopes and new wishes. There was joy all around.

The wait seemed to be never ending .whilst parts cheered,some were tired and sulked. The feelings were mixed but the sky and the waters were still. The moon lit up in one end and at the other end London eye stood like a rainbow and kept changing colors.

The  fatigue was creeping up yet they were singing and laughing to let the joy not die.Finally  the countdown began. All eyes were on the building behind showing the seconds to go for the new year start and within no time fireworks started from London eye. A sight that leaves one amazed.

With 50,000 pair of eyes watching the city glow and crackle, the new year begin.

There was music, joy,open sky ,colourful waters and faces that twinkled like the stars up there. The warm hugs and constant exchange of happy new set in a new energy.

London New Year’s Eve 2016 show 

I whispered into his ear,” Happy new year Mr. Hubby, the box is ticked.” And we were back to the room!!