Thursday, December 25, 2008

A December Nostalgia

Let me engage in some rhetoric..its been a while.. Managed a quick visit to India and returned last evening. It was an official trip with a holiday of sorts squeezed in and as always turned out to be more hectic and tiring than a workday.
Scene 1: Nostalgia Bangalore Chapter
Meeting Location - Ranjith's house at Domlur, Bangalore .
In continuation to Sajith's note on our brief Bangalore meeting at Ranjith's house with Nostalgia's Bangalore chapter, here are some updates. Vimal and Manoj chose not to meet quoting busy schedules. We believe them and pray for more time for good things in their lives as well :-) I managed to make everyone wait for an hour before turning up for a short visit.I did not rendor apologies and was promtly thrashed verbally and then forgiven immediately. 1 full whiskey got over in 30 mins and only 3 were drinking! In the animated 30 mins or so that i spent there i noticed a few things: Madhavan remains the same but has sprouted a French beard and a glint in his eye that shows his success in his family life and business :-). Way to go mate :-) Sajith had the typical analytical eye of the successful HR professional that he is which was quite visibly represented by his expanding tummy :-). Pradeep's demeanor and his physical proportions demonstrated that the medical profession has no recession even if the world goes bankrupt. Ranjith in his everpresent kavi mund reminded me that here is a guy who might have been born wearing it! The nice fellow made us all feel at home literally and was the perfect host. The banker in him was kept beneath covers during the discussion and the naadan mallu changathi was the one visible. His mention that he doesnt want to travel via KSRTC to Palakkad with me but will drive the next day with his boss in a FORD has me rethinking about his character now. I will deal with him separately :-)

Scene 2 : Nostalgia Headquarters meeting
Location - Fort Palace Palakkad.
Rajith's mutiple efforts at organizing a Nostalgia meeting over two weekends finally bore fruit. We all agreed to meet at FP last Sunday at 4. I managed to be late by an hour thanks to my dear friend promising to get me my return ticket to Bangalore on KSRTC and then merrily driving around at Nelliampathy with his boss on the FORD while his dear friend Sunil desparately tried to get me a print of the ticket with the BSNL DSL connection being very friendly to connect and but unwilling! He finally succeeded and my father dropped me at FP so that I can meet(read drink) with my friends ;-) The setting was inside the 'AC' dark room inside of the upmarket bars in town! We cant change FP nor Palakkad, we can change the venue next time :-). Amidst plates of Beef fry and chikkan pepper fry and a few bottles of beer and soda bottles and some glasses, i could barely make out 5 men huddled around a table , when i entered the dark room . I uttered a namaskaram with a raised hand and a few others reciprocated. I realised I had found them :-) Rajith the arbitrator uttered the initial pleasantry and then all the others proceeded with similar courtesies and i reciprocated with equal elan. A few moments of sight acclimatization and i settled in and ordered a kingfisher to many surprised exclamations. Little did they know that I was trying to drink less by drinking more, read beer :-) Prashant was in the middle - nursing a beer with finesse; spoonsful of beef finding its way to his expanding waistline at a steady pace. We made polite conversation and then the table assumed quietness. Rajith popped the question - China visheshangal para. And the rest of the table assumed an audience mode while I assumed the speaker's stance and rolled out my speel of China. I was jabbed many times with questions and at some points of time, there were more longer questios than the answers itself with the questioners taking longer and longer to probe without providing me a chance to answer :-) some even complained that i was not loud enough! I must say I had a tough time keeping up with my beer that was going flat and eating answering the questions. Hope I did some justice to the questions. Sunil chinnathambi refused to recognise me initially and then went on addressing me as Etta throughout :-) He is a must have in all such parties. That guy rocks.. way to go mate :-) Sunil Shivadas with his classic sense of humour was very quick to captilise on every opportunity to crack a good one and we all thoroughly enjoyed it except for Sunil Chinnathampi who was at the recieving end most of the time :-) Govindan kutty was the typical academic - he grilled me with a QA session and then i saw disbelief on his face and even inacceptance many times of what i said because I was speaking about the Communist party and the Chinese govt. I was in fact positive and maybe candid which was the reason why GK was a bit disturbed. He demanded that i write a note on 'China visheshangal' everyday and I promised i would. I hope to keep up that promise GK ..but with a slightly reduced frequency. Sanjai turned up in between quietly and mentioned he was coming from the station. His first few words were - Kulichitilla, pakshe Pallu thechu! It sounded like both the activities were exceptions for him!! :-) I was surprised that he was actually trying to recognize each person. I then realised that he was faking ignorance. Not much has changed in terms of his appearance except for a few grey hair that comes as part of the grill in a Journalists life and maybe a few extra hair have greyed with the difficult times he is faced with for some time in his family. He went on to explain his child was recovering and we all hoped and conveyed our support that he gets well soon. Today's mail from him mentioning that his child is fine is a great relief and we hope and wish that everything looks brighter by the day for him and his family from now. He also spoke at length about his profession and it was great fun listening to him as always. Chinna thambi slipped out to have a separate meeting with some one then spoke loudly on the phone for a while while making himself the greatest entertainer around :-) Rajith looks the same. Looks like a disciplined health freak with no alcohol, no smoking , no meat and no tummy :-)Rajith the arbitrator asked some very strategic questions and let the others speak more and drank in many fruit juices along with whatever nonsense we all said :-) Thanks Rajith for oranizing the meeting da. You are doing a great job of keeping us together and in touch and such meetings certainly go a long way on carrying Nostalgia forward. I formally announced the plans that Ranjith and I had finalised one evening at Bangalore on making a film. We will be rolling out the project in 09 and will keep you all posted. Will seek your inputs very actively as it progresses. Sanjai also announced his movie creation plans and said he will confirm the date. I am sure Ranjith who joined later from Nelliampathy would have discussed the plan frward with Sanjai and the team. I, with Rajith sounding the alarm that i will miss the bust at 7.30 , i sought help to get to the KSRTC transport stand and our dear friend Prashanth offered me to be dropped in a chauffer-driven AC car to the non AC KSRTC bus :-) and after saying the right goodbyes and the customary hugs and handshakes later, I said bye to Nostalgia December 21 with the hope and promise to meet again soon for even more great times. Thanks guys for making it happen. I really enjoyed it. Hope everyone else also did.

Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
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