The Constants

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of three friends who have been through hilariously embarassing situations to render their friendship inseparable.

Submitted: November 29, 2011

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Submitted: November 29, 2011

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We were three eighth graders from Loyola High School – an all-boys school and a minimum security prison where girls were a forbidden fruit.  We wanted a taste. Maithili and Chetna had called us outside the former’s house where we could meet the two of them without any rude interruptions from her strict mother, who was expected late from work that evening. There we were, feeling like a million dollars, having an actual conversation with living, breathing women. We felt like the coolest 14-year-olds in the world. That is until, a slightly old woman in her mid forties rode her Kinetic Honda between the awkward gap that separated us and them and parked in Maithili’s building. Maithili had stopped midway in conversation and with horror-stricken eyes and dropped jaw, she had a look of utter disbelief. When the interrupter joined our circle we realised the mother had for some reason gotten off work early. The three of us shared nervous glances and highly audible whispers as to what we should do, and the general consensus was to “RUN!” – which we shouted loudly. Sandeep and I did the more common-sensical thing and ran towards the natural escape route – the main road. Rohan, for some reason, ran in the opposite direction in an attempt to hide behind the neighbouring building. After seeing that he lacked our company and good sense he decided to bail on his original plan and ran towards us, back across Maithili’s mother – much to everyone’s obvious shock and eventually humorous disbelief.

The friendship of us three idiots has stood the test of time, the wrath of a woman scorned and momentarily painful awkwardness to render itself embarrassingly inseparable. It started from Blossom KG and thanks to the natural flow of events and the good sense of our parents, we were together right through the ten years of school. We personified the phrase – Chaddi buddies – even having had a bath together in our undy’s once, during a basketball tournament outside the city. Basketball was what cemented a slowly burgeoning friendship in the fourth grade, without us knowing it. We were picked up for practice by our school coach – Mathew Sir – on account of our brothers had represented the school – quite successfully. We played together and then in the natural order of things sat together in class despite repeated attempts at separation from our teachers, ate together, laughed constantly with/at one another and fought with each other. With the victories and the defeats of the sport, we celebrated and mourned together.

In the tenth standard, we started a long-drawn, dramatic and humorous game of Romantic Passing the parcel. The ‘parcel’ was a tall, slender, shy and superbly cool girl by the name of Kusum. Kusum’s beauty and confidence increased as time passed. I caught hold of her when it was at its first and lowest stage. Both of us too shy to talk to each other, the ‘relationship’ was initiated via Sandeep, through the telephone. We spoke exactly seven words between ourselves, I kissed her on the cheek once as an outcome of a dare and then the parcel was passed. To Sandeep. In consolation or in need of having girlfriend, he hit on her, asked her out and helped her forget the painful memories of my farcical month-long relationship with her. They really hit it off, went out for a year, then two and even made it to the fourth year – unprecedented at the time – and then the music stopped. Sandeep youthful hormones got the better of him in the third year and cheated on Kusum with another random chick. He had boasted about this to me, Rohan and another random guy. Kusum and me had become quite close then and when random guy turned whistleblower, I supported him whole heartedly and ratted Sandeep out. Rohan was on Sandeep’s side and went to great lengths to prove Sandeep’s fake innocence to Kusum. Kusum was confused at first but remained unconvinced and Sandeep suffered the first punishment of the game. Then in a weirdly twisted turn of events, Rohan became the receiver of the parcel and random guy was pissed that he wasn’t even a part of the game. For a long time, however, the Rohan-Kusum relationship was not out in the open and a dark cloud of suspicion loomed over Sandeep. They were confirmed when in his drunken stupor, Rohan said to Sandeep, “Sandeep, tera ghar ka chaabi de na, Kusum ke saath jaane ka hain kal.” Sandeep was too drunk himself, to realise what he said and consulted with me the next morning. We both burst out laughing. The same afternoon, we narrated the incident to Rohan. He went red in the face and then burst out laughing himself.

It’s not always been a joyride. We’ve been together through dire situations as well. When Sandeep was getting hammered by twenty-three people for a running a guy over, me and Rohan were there to share some of the punches and eventually the calm the situation down. When I was locked up for making out with a random chick in an army area, Sandeep and Rohan helped bail me out. When Rohan’s father passed away, me and Sandeep helped carry the corpse up eleven flights of stairs to a weeping house. That was devastating.

Today all three of us find ourselves together in Mumbai. Rohan – a financial analyst in General Mills, Sandeep – a lawyer at Universal Legal and me – a journalist with The Indian Express. All matured professionals. When we are together, however, we just cannot get over the hilarious stories of the past and we turn into kids again. It’s the memories – good, bad and embarrassing – that tie us together tight. Whenever Kusum comes up in conversation, Sandeep shouts ‘Awkward silence!’ and the matter is over. Rohan and Kusum are happy with each other and both of us are happy for him. We hope that the parcel will be kept and the music continues.

I have had a few friends, good ones, great ones, cool ones, some who you would like to be seen with – the good looking ones. They have come and gone. Sandeep and Rohan are and always will be – the constants.

 


© Copyright 2017 kabir mandrekar. All rights reserved.

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