Wednesday, September 28, 2005


This easily is the topic closest to my heart. In this post I have attempted to put here some of my closest friends I have made in my life so far....My friends are my pillars of strength. The listing is in a reverse chronological order:

# Rajiv - I have learnt a lot from this guy and I respect him for what he has achieved in life so far and also he is capable of achieving. He has unparallel people / interpersonal skills and convincing abilites. I came to know him during my stint with Gujarat Gas at Surat. We usually used to spend the evenings just outside the office discussing just about anything under the sun over countless cigarettes. We must have made 'kaka' (the shop owner) atleast a millionaire if not a billionaire. We used to share our experiences, vent our frustrations, discuss on the future etc. etc.. After moving to Vadodara also I am in regular touch with him, now whenever I go out for a smoke, I am in 9 out of 10 cases found talking to him over phone.

# Manjeet Sodhi - How can I forget this gentleman. He is a full 12-13 years elder to me but we connected well. He used to work at the State Electricity Utility but he was a passionate user of the Internet & the quality I liked about him was that he always was not satisfied with the status quo. He started his own Cyber cafe in 2000 with one computer & I happened to be amongst the first customers. It was a cyber cafe closer to home than any I had been going to before. I often used to visit him after reaching home & used to stay there till it was time for him to close at 11:00 PM in the night. We used to discuss so many things.

After some time he got an additional computer & had two connections. Some time later he got 8 computers & expanded in a big way. I remember he had bought a SOHO (Small Office Home Office) internet sharing hub for connecting all the 8 comps. & he toiled hard to configure the LAN system for 2 full days. I bailed him out the third day by bringing his comp & the SOHO device to my home & we finally successfully configured the thing around 3 or 4 am in the morning. Next day we configured the total system at his cyber cafe & that day we finished only around 5 or 6 am in the morning (all this even as I had my office from 8:30 am). Sometimes we used to go for a cup of tea after 11:00 PM and the cigarettes too, to a nearby place which used to remain open whole night (it was near the Makarpura Octroi naka), we used to sit there discussing for hours together our common passion "Internet" and a lot of other things, life etc. he used to coax me to go an immigration to Canada (something which I never did ultimately). He himself was a 'mona' Sardar & you would not make out. Those were some times I will never forget.

Of course after I got married in Feb. 02, frequency of visits to him & the cyber cafe decreased. I left Vadodara for Mumbai in October 2002 and lost touch with him (I never bothered to have his any other details except the local phone nos. & mobile no.). Then in 2003 I heard (on a trip to Vadodara) that he had left for USA. After coming back to Vadodara in April 2005, I went to inquire about him at a shop adjacent to where his shop existed & the guy told me that Mr.Sodhi had come back. Mr.Sodhi hopefully will get in touch with you again sometime.

# Golu, Mohit & Keya - I came to know them through Brijesh (more on him later) during his second year (1997-98) at college, they were his batchmates. Over time we have come so close that I had to think hard to remember how I had come to know them. They have been there whenever I have needed them. We have had some very good times when I was a bachelor (they also used to be till about 5 months back when mohit & keya got married, golu still is an eligible bachelor). I had been working for more than an year then, brijesh's parents had gone to visit his sis' in the US. My house (dad's i mean) anyways was empty as me alone was staying ever since I started working in 99'. So every weekend we used to have a blast at my place. Those were the best days of my life. Summer of 01'. These guys are in the UK now.

# Vishal - Vishal used to stay in the same colony (our dad's worked for the same organisation) and though I came across him when we used to play as kids in the playground or the sports club, we came close after school. He also is a doctor. Every parent will love to have a son like him. I have not been in touch with him after I left Surat & he left for Noida / Delhi to join a hospital there as a Consultant (he specialises in the Eyes). Kidhar hai bhai....

# Brijesh - The title of the "best friend" undoubtedly goes to this guy. I have known him from the time we were in our Vth Grades but we came close during our secondary and even closer once we got out of the school. We used to go together to school on our bicycles. In school he was the undisputed king of the class, people used to compete with him for the Ist rank, though I was happy always being in the top-5 so there never was any conflict of friendship, so to speak :)

I still remember once we were on our cycles (VIII or IXth Grades), back on our way to home from school, I was on his right side and got hit on the hand (where one holds the handle) by a speeding auto rickshaw. For a moment I did not realise how much damage had been caused to my hand till I saw blood gushing out of my right palm. We stopped immediately, I parked my cycle on the side of the road & this guy took me on his cycle to the dispensary like mad, we must have covered that distance of around 3 kms in 5 minutes flat. I will never forget the incident.

After we passed out from the school, he was the only one who got into an MBBS course & me into the mechanical engineering at Vadodara. Though we had planned that both of us would go to Trichy REC for doing Mechanical Engineering together. Need I say he backed out at the last minute in deference to Aunty & Uncle's wishes that he be a doctor. We stayed quite closeby. Our dads too worked for the same organisation (though that's not how we came to know each other). He is in the UK now ever since March this year when he went there after his MS for greener pastures.

We were & are an antithesis. He was your smart, intelligent & flamboyant guy next door (as I heard most of the girls in his college were mad after him & all the girls in his group have proposed to him one time or the other :-) and I was the silent, intellectual, hardworking types but I am thankful to God that our frienship has endured the test of time. I remember we had a lot of fun when we went for Baboo didi's wedding (his elder sister) to Agra. Happened to see the Taj that time.

I also wish to thank him for the birthday parties, in which I was always invited also in which he made sure to call all his friends who happened to be girls from his medical college. I swear I have never seen so much glamour at any single location since those days :-)


Blogger r r said...

hello AGAIN heh
loved reading this article
nice to see yer emotional side emergin full force :p
congrats on the publishing of yer article too ... since i care worth drats about cricket, i tried readin it but honestly, couldnt make it very far without losing interest hehe .. hey i tried!

3/10/05 9:40 AM  
Blogger Santosh Upadhyay said...

Congrats on being nominated on the Blog mela ! Gosh of all your blogs they had to choose the one on which I had left long e-mailish comments. I don't know where to bury my head :P Evolution of perception piece was brilliant.

7/10/05 7:31 AM  

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