Friends… to live for.. ever.


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The buildings where I lived have been demolished and replaced by towering 9+ storeys. The school has been upgraded. The road traffic has thickened. The only part that continues to remain the same is friends. I met a very good friend of mine, two days ago. We haven’t been in touch at all for a while, but meeting him made me feel very good. Some people have become a part of our lives, touched us, influenced us, made us into what we are, and no matter how long we have been apart, when we reunite again it’s a matter of great inner joy.

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As we commemorate another Friendship day, I would like to thank each and every person with mutual well wishes, from colleagues, to school friends, to relatives, to total strangers, who intentionally or inadvertently have been supportive.

42 months 4 days


I had just returned from Sabarimala after a satisfying reunion with Swami Ayyappan and my close family. When I enquired at the Medical HR in my hospital, I realized I had 16 days of casual leave left in the calendar year.. 16 out of a possible 20! I could not believe I had only taken 4 days off the entire year!

That prompted me to seize this rare opportunity to return to my birthland, to reunite with parents and to take a much needed and deserved break from the rigorous routine of a post graduate doctor’s life.

The immigration officers at the Cochin airport were cynical as usual regularly concerned when I travel on a visit visa. (ya like I am gonna go and work in the Gulf and bring big loss to the nation!). The Kuwait airport was more receptive with amiable ladies at all points. I have heard poor things recently about the national carrier, but having travelled on this carrier for like forever, I did not notice any difference – efficient on flight attendance, on time as always and of course I did not lose my luggage.  For the first time, I did not watch any movie in flight, as I did not close my eyes one bit the night of the flight having had a long week at work and couldn’t risk sleeping and missing the flight altogether! So I slept through most of the flight.

On Kuwait soil

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There was chilly current of air as I stepped out of the aircraft despite the sun shining bright in the sky. The cold waves were out, but my light sweater was good enough to keep me warm – it really hasn’t gone that cold as it usually does at Christmas time. So it is not just in India – the Climate is getting screwed all over!

Dad’s new Camry – technically new to me since I am visiting the country after 3 and a half long years – had a feeling of luxury tuned to it with the wooden internal panels. If ever there was a brand faithful, Dad is the one. He has not moved out of the Toyota world ever since he bought his first car and to be honest, Toyota is worth the deal.

Day 1

Uneventful –  apart from the fact that I did not wake up to do my usual Sunday chores of laundry, cleaning the room, making a presentation or working et al – the usual stuff that dwindle down my SunDAY to Sun(few hours).  Quiet mom’s own food, home time catching up with parents and exchanging the gossips. I did miss the Premier league action since we don’t have the ESPNStar network here.

Day 2 – Turning the clock back

I love rummaging through my old briefcase stuffed with school nostalgia. I came across a few and am sharing them here just to relive the moments.

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Friends.. memories
Friends.. memories
Karate - martial art I was introduced to by my uncle
Karate – martial art I was introduced to by my uncle
pass time during the school vacations
pass time during the school vacations

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autograph book.. wow..
autograph book.. wow..
The teachers, the fun moments at school, all coming back
The teachers, the fun moments at school, all coming back
The time when we made a list of our friends!
The time when we made a list of our friends!

It feels great to be back – and am glad I got the opportunity Hope to relive a bit of the good old days and catch up with a few buddies as well on the way.

Old friends.. what makes them so special?


This weekend was perfect in many ways.. I caught up with a few good ol’ friends in person and on chat. These are the times when I cherish using my Android phone – apps like Whatsapp make communication so convenient among friends who are miles apart.

What is it about old friends that make them so special? Why does the thought of merely meeting them or talking to them brighten up the whole day? I was excited at the prospect and those few moments of rolling back the years are always precious.

Typical that it had to be another friend’s engagement, and am happy for her and her family. Wishing them the very best in life and hopefully I will be able to catch up with them for their wedding.

An Exam, few friends, ManiHome and Reality-Check


 

Maveli Express

An exam or not, I knew going back there, be it even for a few hours, would bring some instant joy like downing a couple of shots, only to wake up next morning with a hangover.

With an exam peeking over my shoulder, I was in no mood for a leisurely time at Manipal, but I had planned already to attend my dear friend Tricia’s Graduation at Valley View.

As an ex-Manipalite, I am all too familiar with the ‘don’t be shocked if the place doesn’t look half the same as it was when you left’ ; being a year since I packed out. Plenty had changed.. the drive from Mangalore – Manipal had multiple low floor KSRTC A|C Volvo buses plying, innumerable trees were being felled all along as part of the Highway Development Project, but one thing that didn’t change was the rashness of the Express buses, and in a way I always enjoyed being in it [I’d rather be in one than out!]

Some of the things which were being developed while I left, and noticeably ready were

  • The new Emergency, Trauma building on the Main Road [no longer will new comers referred from nearby villages come searching for the emergency]
  • The all new sports complex, Marena!
  • The underconstruction umpteen storeyed hostel complex where the old KMC Stadium existed
  • The new annoying metal speed breakers, put in place after the President Partibha Patil left.

These just a few things I noticed in the couple of hours I spent in Manipal.

MCOAHS Annual Day

Valley View, Manipal

Think it belongs to the ‘Fortune Group’ now, but I’d rather refer to it as above. I recall the number of times we used to go there for family parties, ie, whenever any of our friends parents were down, they used to stay there and that meant we getting a treat invariably at Rangoli.

Nothing much has changed in there, bar the security! Body check, metal detector at the entrance, vehicle inspection, it’s pretty hard to sneak anything in 😉

Coming to the point, the purpose of visit to Manipal was a success, met my friend, couldn’t hang on for long but either way was good to be there on her day am really happy for her.

P.S: Out of the blue, got to drive Mandeep’s Nano, apart from my search in vain for a 5th gear, things were pretty nice.

City Centre, Mangalore

While I checked into my Hotel, I noticed my foursquare app highlighting KFC on the same lane! My eyes lit up and yep, I ended up having lunch and dinner there! After the exam met up with couple more of my good friends and spend the remainder of the time there till my train took off.

T officially graduated!

Manipal is just not the same to be back without your old gang of friends. You can be there and still feel like a stranger when you know the reason why Manipal was such a wonderful home away from home. One of my friends Shwetha was saying yesterday that we probably should have done PG in Manipal and not UG. On reflecting on it, I have to disagree. I doubt anything can come close to the 5 years we spent in Manipal 🙂. Special shoutout to T, Flo, Jono and Sim for the last couple of wonderful years. And as always to the mallu gang of girls!

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