I set off from office earlier than usual after bidding adieu to those I held near and dear. I gobbled up a few idlis at home and took an auto ride to the central railway station. The auto driver surprised me by asking for a decent fare – I did bargain and bring it down by Rs.10 but was happy with his reasonable starting price; perhaps it had to do with inflation falling and the cost of fuel dropping.
I was 45 minutes early at the station. The train was Mangalore Mail and my coach was S10 – unfortunately S10 was at the other end of the station and I had to walk a fair distance. I hoped to catch a glimpse of some known face on the way but there were none; not even in S10! I confirmed my berth number by checking the chart and after waiting for 25 minutes outside I boarded the train. As with any trip, there were a lot of changes in the participants for this journey – some dropping out in the beginning while some had to drop because they suddenly had something more interesting – marriage, onsite opportunity etc.
Jabradamus, Kumar, Prabhu, KY and Karthik soon joined me. The rest of the gang was in coach S6. At 8:30pm the train started chugging. When you have a large group of guys in one compartment you can except a lot of “pulling of legs” to happen and that is exactly what happened in our coach as well. Everyone had something interesting and no one was spared the teasing; Karthik was soon going to become the bridegroom and we threatened him about the gifts we would present – a photo album with some treasured snaps and poses! And then there was his love affair with the mobile. Guess everyone engaged goes through the same story – hours and hours of non stop chatting before marriage.
“Karthik can never be reached on phone – phone always busy”
“As soon as he gets up he calls her to say I woke up now. When he goes to brush his teeth he calls again and says I am going to brush my teeth now”
“After breakfast he calls and tells everything that he ate”
“Can’t bear his phone calls these days!”I was teased with the college story I had written. Fortunately since I wasn’t in the same office as the others I escaped a bit lightly! Jabradamus was the rising star in office - one of the most popular figures in office over the last few months. Kumar was teased about his bulky body frame.
“He has the looks of being a rough and tough dada but he is actually the opposite in nature”
Quite true – in fact lot of people give you one impression on first look but turn out to be just the opposite.
KY was a writer who had posted many stories in the internal electronic bulletin board and that was the theme used to target him.
“He puts a post in the BB and then will come to my PC and send an appreciating from my email id”.
“And in the name of reviews you should see the emails he writes – the original post will be half a page but his comments will be two pages long!”
Soon Viswa joined us with a plastic box containing vegetable kurma in which a layer of oil was floating and I guess it had been rejected in S6. We had finished the chappatis that Kumar had bought and so left the plastic box untouched – the oil put out our gluttonous temptations. Viswa on entry was the next target. For Prabhu it was always a self-goal as we call it; he would try pulling someone else’s leg and in the process would blurt out something that made him a target. He tried his best to keep mum but somehow he would manage to utter a remark and get himself in trouble!
(stay tuned for part 2)