Thursday, April 12, 2007

Every move I make

So yesterday I get a call from an India mobile.

"Kaisi hai bey?"
("How are you?" in a very informal style)

It took me a while to register who it was. And then I did.

"Oh my goodness! Tu hai!" I exclaimed.
("It's you!")

"Haan bey!"
("Yes, it's me!")

It was M from my school days. M was not really in my class, or even in my school for that matter, he was a friend of my friend A. But M had somehow decided to make himself my friend much to my disapproval. He hung around with A all the time, and whenever I went over to A's (A was my neighbour too) I'd find M there, and he'd be telling me things that would totally freak me out.

"Abbey sun, tu class mein us ladke D se itna baat mat kar, samjhi?"
("Listen, don't talk to that guy D in your class too much, understand?")

Appalled that this random friend of A's should dictate who I spoke to in class, and also offended at being addressed as "Abbey" all the time, I asked, "And why's that? Woh dost hai mera!"
("He's a friend of mine!")

"Dosti toh bahana hai. Woh line maar raha hai tujhe!"
("His friendship is just an excuse. He's hitting on you!")

"Hey bhagwaaaaan..." ("Oh gawwwwd...") I'd roll my eyes and ignore M, while A guffawed away.

Then there was this time I was standing at the bus-stop waiting for the school bus when this random guy approached me and said, "I want to be friends with you."

"Sorry I'm not interested." I said, and forgot about the incident.

That evening, M says, "So that guy who tried to talk to you at the bus-stop this morning..."

"Oh my goodness, how do you even know about that???"

"Chup bey. Humko sab pata rehta hai. Usko pitwa dein?" He said.
("Shut up. I always know everything. Should I send someone to beat him up?")

"KYA?! Paagal ho gaye ho? Pitwa dein it seems!"
("WHAT? Are you crazy?? Send someone to beat him up it seems.")

"Theek hai theek hai. Par tumko phir se pareshaan karey toh batana. Khair nahin uski."
("Ok ok, but if he bothers you again, tell me. I won't spare him.")

"Hum kya bateyenge, tum toh pehle hi pata laga logey..." I said dryly, as he guffawed.
("What will I tell you, you'll probably find out before I do.")

The strangest thing is - though he seemed to know everything about me, I did not know much about him, except the fact that he liked this punjabi girl in the neighbourhood who did not daalo him any ghaas. This was revealed by A's younger brother to me in one of the "Let's sabotage M" sessions. But M would never tell us anything about the girl. He'd abruptly change the topic every time we mentioned her. But he did point her out to me once from a distance.

Once I asked A, "Yeh jo tumhara friend hai M, yeh school-wool jata hai?"
("This friend of yours, M, does he go to school?")

"He goes to the local college."

"Hmm... thoda ajeeb sa nahin hai? Bina soche samjhe kahin bhi kuchh bhi bol deta hai!"
("Hmm... isn't he a bit weird? He doesn't think before he says anything, anywhere!")

"Hahaha!" A would laugh. "Thoda nautanki hai, lekin utna bura nahin hai. His intentions are good... thoda protective hai... apni doston ko lafungon se bachana chahta hai."
("He likes drama, but he's not a bad guy. He's a bit protective, he just wants to protect his female friends from 'the bad guys'.")

With time, I came to appreciate the kind of person M was, and also get over the freaky way in which he kept an eye on me. And oh, I also learnt to freely use the word "abbey".

This was way back in 1997.

So yesterday when I got a call from him, I was really surprised. Even though I have him on my Orkut list, and occasionally send him some gaali-galauj (abuses), we rarely speak on the phone.

"Abbe Sayesha, us ladke ne kya likha hai tere scrapbook par?"
("Sayesha, what did that guy write on your scrapbook?")

"Huh? Kisne? Kya likha?"
("Huh? Who wrote what?")

"Teri smile ki badi taareef kar raha tha? Dazzling smile and all? Kaun hai bey?"
("He was praising your smile a lot. Dazzling smile and all? Who's that?")

Sheesh. It was just one of my friends trying to be funny. His scrap said, "I couldn't help but notice your dazzling smile. So what else do you do apart from dazzling people with your smile?"

"Ufff... Woh dost hai mera, aise hi nautanki kar raha hai."
("He's a friend of mine. Just upto some drama.")

"Ohhh! Tum jaanti ho usko? Humko laga koi line maar raha hai!"
("Ohhh! You know him? I thought someone's hitting on you!")

"M! Itne saal baad bhi tumko yehi chinta hai? Tuney isliye phone kiya?? Dhakkan!"
("M, you're still concerned about that after all these years? Is that why you called? Moron!")

"Nahin bey, aise hi baat karne ke liye. Waise Orkut par tumhara naya profile picture bahut achha hai. Kya be, shaadi ke baad tum toh sundar ho gayi ho bey!"
("No, just to talk to you. By the way, your new Orkut profile picture is very nice. You've become pretty after getting married!")

"What the hell! Kehna kya chahte ho? Pehle badsoorat they?"
("What the hell! What are you trying to say? That I was ugly before?")

"Nahin, matlab school mein toh aise hi thi, normal-types, gunda-gardi karti thi isliye pata nahin chalta tha ki dikhti kaisi ho... ab toh maal ho gayi ho bey! Tabhi tumko sab dazzling smile wala scrap karte hain, haan?"
("No, in school you were the normal-types. Because of your gunda-gardi one couldn't tell how you looked, but now you've become a babe! No wonder people send you scraps about your dazzling smile!")

"Tumko kaam-dhanda nahin hai, mere scraps padhte rehte ho? Dus saal ho gaye, abhi tak tumko chinta hai ki humko koi line na maar de?"
("You are so jobless that you read my scraps? It's been ten years and you're still worried that someone will hit on me?")

"Hehehe... Achha ek baat aur suno..."
("Ok listen...")


"Tum jab humko scrap karti ho na, toh gaali waali mat diya karo. Sab humpar hans rahe hain ki saari ladkiyan tujhe gaali hi deti hain."
("When you scrap me, don't send abuses. Everyone laughs at me that girls only send me abuses.")

I occasionally sent him "Abbe gadhe, kaise ho?" ("How are you, you donkey?") or "Kya haal hai, Dhakkan?" ("What's up, moron?") messages.

"Ufff... theek hai, nahin bhejenge. Abse likhenge, "M tum kitne handsome ho!" Theek hai?"
("Okay, I won't send such scraps. I'll write "M, you're so handsome!" Okay?")

"Achha tumne dekha? Mera Orkut album? Hum kitne smart lag rahe hain na?" He sounded really happy.
("Oh you saw? My Orkut album? I've become very smart, isn't it?")

"Bahuuuut smart lag rahe ho. Khush?"
("You look verrrrry smart. Happy now?")

"Kya re... mazaak udaati rehti ho... Maal ho gayi lekin gunda-gardi abhi tak chalu hai... sabko kya dhamki wala scrap karti hai..."
("You're still making fun of me... You've become a babe but your gunda-gardi continues... I've seen you send threatening scraps to everyone...")

"Okay M, stop reading my scraps and my friends' too, okay? Good thing I delete all scraps every now and then."

"Arre toh tumhara khabar kaise rakhenge??"
("Then how will I know what's happening with you??")


We spoke for a little longer and then he hung up. It felt really good to talk to him. He reminded me of the friendships of the school days. The innocence, the sincerity, the emotions, the jealousy, the frankness, the brutal honesty, the watchful eye, the looking out for one another. And of course, the total craziness.

Somehow, these elements seem to be missing from our grown-up friendships.

Immediately after the phone call, I got an sms from him.

"Hope you still remember this old friend once in a while. And if so, what is the first word that comes to your mind when you think of me?"

I could see that he was getting a bit sentimental. So I decided to send a sensitive reply - something appropriate for the occasion.

"Kameena." I sent.

"Thank you." He replied. "You haven't changed at all. I like it."

Neither have you, M. And I like it too. :)


qsg said...

School days were fun. I was reminiscing about something similar the other day... for some reason, the protective ones didn't let you go drink water by yourself, lest some guy made a pass! :)

Good days! Would go back in a heartbeat... obviously assuming no exams! :P

Sudipta Chatterjee said...


Ab post padhunga...

Long live RSS Feeds and Thunderbird!! :D

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Ello --- bronze bhi mera! :)

To Sayesha, ye bataao --- gundagardi ekdum chhod diya kya shaadi ke chalte? :D

u0201535 said...

Y'know, the theme music for that guy is probably going to be

A. Every move you make by The Police (...I'll be watching you...)

B. Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls
(...I don't want the world to see me...i just want you to know who I am...)

C. The Blower's Daughter by Damien Rice (...I can't take my eyes off of you...)

Manchus said...

Seems more like that Police guy who falls for Kajol in 'Baazigaar'. Chupana bhi nahin aata...batana bhi nahin aata.

Just kidding. Sometimes there are platonic friends who are just there for you and are genuine.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me a good friend with whom i got in touch sometime back... :)
Nostalgic!! :)

Tejal said...

:) :) :) old frens r sooooooooo lik treasures..hehhe.. reminds me of my fren who i recently scrapped- ABBE TU AUR MOTA HO GAYA!!! KUCH KAR..AB TOH ADNAN SE PEHLE TERA NAAM AATA HAI!! hehehhehe..v cant write such stuff to other sophisticated collegue-type frens, can v? hehe..

Neihal said...


I miss that too.

I guess as we grow we learn to live with boundaries....sad thing...but it has its advantages.

satish said...

abe, ispe toh gold maarne kaa poora adhikar sirf mera tha. :|

I feel sooooo good, anyway.

This friend of yours reminds me the character of Irfan Khan in Haasil as in the way he talks. Really liked the movie. Really liked the post.

Dhaval Faria said...

remembering old days is fun, specially childhood :D

Thisisme said...

The innocence, the sincerity, the emotions, the jealousy, the frankness, the brutal honesty, the watchful eye, the looking out for one another. And of course, the total craziness.

THIS IS SOOOOOOO true !!!!!!!old school frnds are the only ones with whom v can speak anything and not think much abt it :-) u made me senti n nostalgic early morning!

Thisisme said...

btw..this M is from bihar by any chance?..yeh hum n aap style of speaking comes from there..and also bihari guys r extremely protective of their frnds who r girls :-)

raghav said...

very true .. friends from school have a special connection .. really made me take a trip down the memmory lane .. great post !

Rebellion said...

Awww. Perfect label.. Nostalgia!
Really sweet this 'M' is haan. I never had anyone being protective of me :( Well actually, I was & is the one to protect others always, wot'll anyone protect me.. hmmpphh! :P

Btw Sash, I dunno your orkut id :/

Rebellion said...

Dunno whether you'll believe it or not Sash but your post reminded me of an incident in college.. When a guy had scribbled on our desk that he'd love to meet my frnds (group of 5 girlz incl me) but was scared of me and had actually seeked my permission to just meet them! :P:P:P

That was my bhai-giri! :P:P

Bivas said...

school friends ho ya coll friends...doesn't really matter...but they shud be the bindaas types...of course very few of them get so close to u that u can share anything with 'em...freaking out with them is a diff way of life altogether :-)

btw...@Tejal: Hv u seen Adnan sure u wudn't hv remarked thus otherwise...the guy is unrecognizable yaar!!!

Bivas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tejal said...

@bivas- duh! dats wat i meant! adnan has reduced so much n ma fren is goin beyond his original size!

shub said...

wow! loved this one! got me all teary eyed towards the end! very sweet one :) reminds me of my friend who always refers to me as "abbey!" :-)

Thisisme said...

@Tejal n Bivas - after listening to u two..i checked out on adnan's recent pics!!! My jaw dropped so muchhh..m still recovering from it!! :O:O:O:O
Zor ka jhatka ..zor se laga!!

Sakshi said...

I have a friend like M because of whom I delete my Orkut scraps in such a way that he thinks there is something fishy going on :P
Then he calls me and I laugh my ass off :)

Iday said...

Bhai koh hame bhi fone karna hai...
Number kahan milega??? :|

Sakshi said...

Happy budday, Bhai! Enjoy ;)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...


qsg said...

Happy budday!!!!!

Thisisme said...

heyyy..happy happy bday :)!!

Dhaval Faria said...

awww ur bday :D..

Happy Happy Happy Happy bday :D

Tejal said...

ur buddaayyyyy????? :0
A very happy yappy birthday to u!!! :D
Long Live Sash Bhai!

Neihal said...

sab bole hai to hoga hi ;)

Happpppy Budday Sayesha. :)

Vijay said...

I dont understand many things about girls - two of the strangest things are:

a. if someone is protective(ofcourse, in a good way) about them - it turns them off big time! I always thought that should actually make them feel good.

b. Most Indian girls just do not know how to take a sincere compliment from a stranger! If you are in a super marker or in a cinema hall or waiting for the bus - if a stranger walks upto you and gives you a sincere compliement why do most girls take it as an offence? He is not trying to hit on you he just makes a sincere compliment and goes his way...and girls just cant take it why?

I loved your post BTW!!! :)
I have kept in touch with most of school friends, when i meet them we suddenly go back to being a teenager again and recollect those wonderful years gone by. Those are really special friends and real special memories!!!

Sayesha said...


Bhai kabhi gundagardi chhod sakti hai?? :D

Hahaha... thanks man! :D

Sheesh! Heheh.. yeah this SO was purely platonic :)

#Smiling Girl,

//v cant write such stuff to other sophisticated collegue-type frens, can v?

Totally agreeeee! :D

Sigh... :)

Haan yaar I thought you'd get the gold too! :)
ps: I gotta watch this Haasil movie if Irfan is in it!! :D


Yeah baby, I did most of my schooling in Bihar (now Jharkhand) :) And I still use the hum and aap :)

Thanks :)

Hahahahahaa! And did you give permission? :D

Yeah, bindaas friends are what are missing in life now :(

Hey bhagwaan tum log Adnan discuss karoge yahan? :D

Thanks :)

Et tuuuuuu??? :P :P :P

Hahahahahha I did that too once! :D

Arre I thought apun ka number hai tere paas?

Thanks! How did ya know?? :)
ps: If you found out on Orkut, you'd better add me, buddy!

#Ipanema Gal,
Thanksssssssss! :D

Thanks! :)

Thanks! :)

Thanks! :)

Thanks! :)

Hahaha, sahi hai baap! Thanks! :)

Thanks! :)

As for your questions, ok let me try and answer from a female perspective :)

a. if someone is protective (ofcourse, in a good way) about them - it turns them off big time!

I think if it's in a good way, we don't mind. But if it suggests in any way that we're not capable of looking after ourselves, that's when it pisses us off :)

b. Most Indian girls just do not know how to take a sincere compliment from a stranger!

You will find your answer if you compare the percentage of well-meaning random strangers walking up to you to sincerely compliment you and the percentage of lafungas in India walking up to hit on you. We wouldn't want to give out any wrong message to the lafungas, would we? :)

Iday said...

//Arre I thought apun ka number hai tere paas?

Nahin bhai :(
Apun ke paas number nahin hai :( :( :(

Number hota toh apun aksar fone ya sms karke distrub karega na ;)

bluejay said...

wow... i can relate to it soo much!.. and really took a trip down memory lane..

feel really good to have friends like that..who care.. :) its a rarity nowadays..seriously..

Thanks a looot!!