Santhosh George was our batchmate in REC. Achayan from Kuwait. Soft-spoken genius. Tall, dark, handsome (OK, he was dark).
We used to call him Appappan.

He had a fiery temper, but on a very long fuse. To my credit, i did manage to get his goat a coupla times…

In the third year, everybody except the Mechs pushed off for the senti tour. Appapps couldnt go because he was down with jaundice. I gave him company, till i too was jaundiced! We were in the E Hostel then. Later we became neighbours in D Hostel’s Non-Pol Avenue (big story alert, check back soon).

In those days we used to sustain ourselves on Kattngal stuff – Appapps voluntarily; i was chucked out of the mess. Rotis and bulls-eye were our fav dinner fare – tastewise nothing comes close to a dry roti dipped in egg yolk goo, but it is not a pretty sight. And Appapps had this skill to run through a stack of rotis without as much as scratching the yolk membrane.

The last time i saw him was some 12-13 years ago, at some valve, automation expo in Delhi. That night – a freezing winter night – i rode pillion on Appappan’s Bajaj all the way to Faridabad to meet his pondatti. A few months after that, i heard he moved to Singapore, and we lost contact.

Then yesterday, in Kochi i met Saju C. Sam along with Vinu G (Rajasthan). Saju informed me Santhosh George was some Senior Tech Director with Oracle in Hyderabad.

I Googled ‘Santhosh George + Oracle’, and found the name mentioned in Wikipedia’s REC page under notable alumni. I was a bit J (not ‘crazy jeaolus’, check out My Best Friend’s Wedding) but still called Oracle, cut through layers of bureaucracy and finally got Santhosh George on the line.

In my best Amitabh Bachchan voice, i intoned, ‘Babu Kuriakose’. Santhosh George was like, Who?

To cut a long story short – REC, Santhosh George, yes, but wrong batch. This was some kid!

The search continues…