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The Chennai chapter of the REC Calicut Alumni Association is organising a World RECCAA Meet in Chennai from 28th to 30th December 2007. For more info: wrmchennai@yahoogroups.com

MC – Where we spent most of the four (or five) years…

REC Calicut
This place is a strange one. this is a college, where we spent 4 eventful years. A sort of hotel california; I know many people who have checked out but has never really left. Walk around this place and you can see them; can hear them. A place so filled up with memories, you take a turn and see someone just because all those four years you got so used to taking that turn and bumping into him. Once out here, your memories take over and it need not be reality that you always end up seeing.

(Image and text borrowed from a RECCian! Thank you.
Please check out http://motorbreathing.com/longback.html)

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bk72.jpg

OK, 1972
II D, St. Teresas’s School, Ernakulam.

I got the group photos somewhere, gonna upload it someday soon…

In ’94, i got kicked out of the flat i was sharing with some guys and moved in with a friend’s uncle. Let us call him Chittappan.

He was a renaissance man, well read and worldly-wise, but a sentimentalist at the core. Loved mankind, but hated most men. Had a passion for drinking, driving and often drinking and driving. He had strong views on everything and articulated them for maximum bang.

He loved reading and books (there is a difference) and we had some great bashes discussing…books. I introduced him to Vonnegut (he never returned my copy of Vonnegut’s Fates Worse than Death), he guided me to Nabokov, Prisig and Prather.

Birdwatching was another shared interest of ours. I would literally swoon at every passing doe-eyed beaut and pant to Chittaps, “what eyes, man’ till the day he made that immortal pronouncement, “Babu, oru kannu kondu cheyyavunna valare korachu karyangale ollu” (rough translation: freak! watcha gonna do with e-y-e-s)

He was, to use the terminology of the era, belligerently Pro-Mandir & Anti-Mandal, but a closet secular and quite a big fan of integration.

I lived with him for only a few months and i count those days among my favourites in Chennai. Thanx Chittaps!

Yesterday i shared with my friends my plan to create a blog; a few of them warned of dire consequences and the rest, disowned me.

Guess a disclaimer is in order.

All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental,
and should not be construed.
No names have been changed in order to protect the innocent.
Angels protect the innocent as a matter of heavenly routine.

(Kurt Vonnegut, again)

Last summer, when our families escaped to Kochi to beat the heat, Sunil M and i sat down to see how many guys from Rajagiri Class of ’81 we could list. We counted 50 of the 98. Not bad, i guess.

Next time I go to Kochi, i will track down the group photograph and upload it here.

And while of the subject of classmates, i want you guys to check out a beautiful song by Statler Brothers. Kurt Vonnegut (RIP) introduced me to the Class of ’57, but then that is another story…

And again, while on the subject of classmates, Sunil M and i were classmates, both my elder sis and younger sis were classmates of Sunil’s sisters. Limca Book of Records, are you listening?

Tommy’s selling used cars
Nancy’s fixing hair
Harvey runs a grocery store
and Margaret doesn’t care
Jerry drives a truck for Sears
and Charlottes on the make
and Paul sells life insurance
Part time real estate

Ellen is a hostess
Frank works at the mill
Janet teaches grade school
And probably always will
Bob works for the city
And Jacks in lab research
And Peggy plays the organ at the Presbyterian church

And the class of ’57 had its dreams
We all hope we’d change the world
With our great works and deeds
Maybe we all thought the world would change
To fit our needs
But the class of ’57 had its dreams

Betty runs a trailer park
Jan sells Tupperware
Randy’s on an insane ward
And Mary’s on welfare
Charlie took a job with Ford
And Joe took Freddie’s wife
Charlotte took a millionaire
And Freddie took his life

Johnny’s big in cattle
Ray is deep in debt
Where Mavis finally wound up
Is anybody’s bet
Linda married Sonny
Brenda married me
And the Class of all of us
Is just part of History

And the class of ’57 had its dreams
But living life day to day is never like it seems
Things get complicated
When you get past eighteen
And the class of ’57 had its dreams
All the class of ’57 had its dreams

Last year, i got a call from TV – Sangham is planning to do USA, coast to coast, and wanted me to join.

He, along with Biju, Bobby and Jose had chalked out the basic stuff – land in New York, rent a van, drive across USA and get back home from LA.

All four of them had been to the USA, but i knew the maps better, so TV wanted me to work out the route. The plan was to hit the road during the summer of 2007.

Well, things didn’t quite work out that way, perhaps we will get to do it in 2008…

So, watch this space for the updated On the Road

Let’s talk about Sangham.

Cochin Legend – When a pretty girl walks past St. Albert’s College, she gets to hear the local equivalent of hello, “Excuse me, oru vali vidamo?”

We loved the story, we adopted the phrase and we became Vali Sangham.

We were in Maharaja’s College then. Biju, Bobby, Diji, Jose, Mookkan, Pattar, Shibu, TV and I. (OK, Albert’s was the alma mater of Bobby and Pattar, but they spent more time in Maharaja’s)

First Year, First Group, First taste of absolute freedom…

I am 41, going on 42

Guess i am at the right age to ponder the meaning of ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’.

(42 is The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams)

This is the trailer for a series of posts i want to do about turning points in my life. Events and decisions that shaped me, made me what i am today… (OK, what i am today, is something i haven’t quite figured out yet)

Posted on www.lntvalves.com/blog on 1 June 2007


In Chennai, starting today, motorcycle riders are required by law to wear helmets. This law has provoked a lot of debate and I feel sharing a page from my motorcycle diary would benefit my friends.

10 May 2000
It was the annual performance review season, and that morning I was supposed to meet my boss with the appraisal form. On reaching office I realized that I had forgotten the form at home and decided to rush back and get it. I knew I was pushing the limits of my old KB100 but I did not want to be late – not on performance appraisal day.

The next thing I remember, I am in a hospital, drifting in and out of consciousness. I remember a doctor by my side; asking me my name and the panic rising, as my mind was blank.

I recovered from the shock after a few hours, but I still have no recollection about how the accident happened; from my memory, the event was thankfully blacked out. Based on what my friends could gather from the people who carried me to the hospital, I was driving at a very high speed, lost control, hit the lane divider, got thrown off the bike and landed on my face.

What I know for sure is that the impact loosened the bonding of the cranial plates in my skull (in simpler terms, I cracked my skull), and I was bedridden for two months.

I also know, without my helmet, I would have been dead.

So, to quote my favourite trucker,

Rule or no rule, Wear a helmet
OK TATA, Sound Horn

Recently i started a corporate blog (www.lntvalves.com/blog) and the excitement of creating and managing a blog finally convinced me to join the blogging band wagon. So here goes…

Basics:

This blog will be an online record of my life – Rajagiri, Maharaja’s, REC Calicut, Anna U; Cochin, Calicut, Madras; Ashok Leyland, L&T; Marriage, Fatherhood…

I am not planning to do a chronological magnum opus, but an occassional post on places i remember…

There are places I remember all my life,
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments
Of lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I loved them all.

– In My Life, The Beatles, Rubber Soul

I will also post about my major interests in life – books, flix, clicks, chicks…

So, welcome to Babu Kuriakose – The Director’s Cut…

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