Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Goa Again !

After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul's indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer. William R. Alger
So goes a saying! Myself and my wife also tried to be in a cheerful mood when we reached Goa last thurday for a three day vacation.The previous night was a bad one as there were a huge thunder storm that struck Goa, leaving the city quite marshy and dirty ! This time it was a planned vacation as we wanted to celebrate the first Diwali after our marriage away from the sound of crackers in Pune. We got down from the Volvo bus and were greeted with smiling and inviting faces of the auto drivers who wanted to take advantage of the early morning time and our sleepy way of conduct. We were supposed to have been picked up from the bus stand by the hotel folks but to our wonder they rather chose not to. The replied to our phone call requesting us to catch a cab and reach the hotel.We put our fury on hold and went to the hotel in an Maruti Omni. ..Rest later ...

Good Fellas !

This diwali makes me feel a bit nostalgic about Agartala and the fervour of Kali Puja that used to be celebrated with pomp. This festive season were always sought after during our school days.I studied in an English Speaking (Medium) (!!) Govt School. We friends were a superb unit and had tremendous potential ..ahhmm all possible areas of experimentation ! Our batch in school days were quite a bunch of soldiers really..fighting out for every obvious cause..taking on every non-curricular challenges at it's stride and completing the job to perfection , even if it meant distress and agony to the fellow teachers and other innocent human beings. Our batch was really a terror in school and yes..we were loathed and respected as well because of this bravado ! There were a few who were the real DONs. I call these DONs as "Good Fellas". There were quite a few of them who played the role of Robert De Niro and the Mafia dons.. quite a few had girlfriends too..a proud possession to have those days. Although I was slightly off coloured (to put it mildly), as I did not have a girl friend those days, but I did give my moral support to the heroic deeds of our "Good Fellas" ! Rum and beer flowed with spontaneity, to keep the spirit of the guys on top ! I kind of adhered to a non alcoholic approach, but sometimes did bow down to compulsion. There were cricket matches, football matches, black goggles, bikes, proposing girls, senior bashing and off course getting after the teachers who were funny enough to incite our inquisitive intent. We smiled and and laughed at everything that life gave us ! We were fortunate enough to have undertaken the responsibility of organising Saraswati Puja during the eleventh grade. That was real fun..the making of the pandals, the kichuri prasads, the music, the colour ..everything added up to make it a grand celebration. Education (or the light of it) which goddess saraswati embodies, was the last in our preference and interest! Goddess saraswati did not complain too about the presence of a little bit of "madira" (Read "Rum") in the puja complex..we were lucky. We were also involved in our version of "world war" during class eleven. Although we did not have the guns and the heavy artillery , the hand made ammunition were good enough. After the tenth grade, there usually used to be guys (and girls too) from other schools joining ours. We used to call them "other guys" and treated them as "outsiders", until they surrendered and joined the "Good Fellas" or the "Band of Brothers", baring a few exceptions who had to bear us all the way along. Our ammunition were precisely for them ! The world war really involved the allied forces, which included the "Good Fellas" and associated "Band of Brothers" like myself on one side. The "Band of Brothers" were really the ones who gave moral support to the "Good Fellas". The "other guys" were really on the other as well as on the receiving side. The war was fought with quite a bit of bloodshed (real) ! The traditional curricular rivalry with other schools were the sole responsibility of a few of the serious and hardworking toppers. We were least worried about mundane grades and exams. Such was life ! Do you know what our teachers felt and thought about us ? They heaved a sigh of relief when our batch went out of school to face this naughty world. There was this chemistry teacher who used to say "Tomra gale amra bachum" ..quite a serious statement really, if you understand bengali ! One incident that made me a fan of the Good Fellas was when I lost my bicycle during my 10th grade.Well, it was actually stolen. I was divastated and got severe scoldings from my dad and mom, who attributed the loss to my careless attitude. The "Good Fellas" then did the unbelievable.They found out from their clandestine sources that one of our 12th grade senior was the culprit, kept myself on high spirit and rounded of the guy in front of their class mates. My bicycle was returned back safely. I was on cloud nine and felt proud to be in the "Band of Brothers" ! Champagne ....!!
Sitting infront of my PC on the diwali eve, I was telling my wife that a post on our school days is due soon. Thus goes the story of "Good Fellas " and "Band of Brothers" !