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Biju and TV with families, at Ammankovil Road, a few days after my marriage

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Chicku was my junior in college, and the photo above was snapped in his room on Non-Pol Avenue, during our batch’s final countdown.
(There is a story behind all that brown paper on the walls, do ask me some time)

We shared a passion for quizzing and movies. And during my 8th sem study leave (and Chicku’s 7th), when the whole hostel was in hyper kuth mode, we used to have these never ending movie quizz sessions (Mick Martin & Marsha Porter, Thank you!). Our other common interests included music, books, quizzing, partying and chorichil, and we had had a great time together.

Chicku always used to say RIP, and he was right.

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News item about my sis’s kid, from Malayala Manorama, 9 July 2007

Legend has it that when she was born, the third girlchild in her family, her mom said ‘Chahiye na!’ and that became her name.

We used to work together (the photo above was clicked a few days before she quit), and today she is a good friend.
Chain, thanks for being around.

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Final Years’ Day, October 1987, Outside Audi

Sitting: Jaggu, Newton, Zulfi, Suresh, Paramu, Babu, Chudan
Standing: Rakesh, Pattar, Hari, Kathi, Jackie, Vinu, Shilen, Baby Alex, Santhosh(?)
Walking: Baby PP

The shirt that Paramu is wearing is mine

From 1991 to ’93 i was with Ashok Leyland, in the Marketing Services Group, handling market Research. It was a dream job – opportunity to travel and meet people, lot of free time to catch up on reading (on the train) and good money.

Once, in Central Station, while walking to my coach, i saw this beautiful Mallu girl boarding the train. After the train started, i tracked her down and struck up a conversation – She was studying in Cuttack (hey! i am going to Cuttack), She was from Calicut (I studied in Calicut). I told her i will be in Orissa for a week and that i would like to meet her sometime. She wasn’t very enthusiastic…

Let us call her Devi, She was studying in NIRTAR (National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research).

I asked everybody i met in Cuttack, starting with the auto driver who took me to my hotel, about NIRTAR and nobody had heard about the place. Finally, on the day i was to leave town, i was told NIRTAR is located in Olatpur, some 30 km away from Cuttack.

I decided to make the trip (!). It was pouring like crazy, the bus was leaking, and by the time i reached the institute (the last 2 km in a cycle rickshaw with open sides) i was drenched to the skin. I located the Girl’s Hostel (which i remember as an old bunglow, nothing like the pic below), met the warden and asked for Devi.

Devi made her entrance after a good 30 minutes. She was cold, and bundled me out in a few minutes.

From Cuttack, I went to Calcutta. Jose was working in Cal then. I recounted my story to Osa and he deadpanned “Ninakku NIRTARayille?”

Vaalkashnam: When i got back to Chennai, there was this letter from Devi waiting for me. And that was “the beginning of a beautiful friendship” (From Casablanca, check out the movie)

I lived in Perambur with Chacko, Biju, Puthu and Chacko’s dog (the last few months) during 1993-94. Rakesh also stayed with us for a few months.

I had had some crazy highs and crazy lows in Perambur, and today, i look back upon the days we spent there with much fondness. Perambur was in many ways an utopian experiment – there were no rules and there were no limits. And naturally, our flat was a big time party hub – Ani, Jose, Pattar, Aliyan Rakesh and Unni are the regulars i remember, and the entire Cochin gang, including Biju, Bobby, Diji and TV, has jammed with us during Perambur’s halcyon days. And once, the ENTIRE Cochin gang landed up in Perambur together – that was for the Jethro Tull concert – and that in many ways, spelled the end of Perambur as we had come to love.

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My wife wasn’t very happy that her in-laws were on the blog and she wasn’t, so here goes…

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