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Last week, I walked through fire, at an office picnic in Mahabs.

“Walk through the gateway of fear! Radically re-evaluate your fears, beliefs and barriers when you discover that you can walk unscathed across a bed of coals in excess of 1200 degrees!” (source)

Click here for more stuff on similar lines or here for the science behind it.

Republic Day 2008. Club House Road, Chennai

REC was a pain. The classes, I mean. And most of us attended only just enough classes to qualify for the exams.

In 4th sem, I bunked so many classes in the beginning, that in the second half, I needed to attend all the remaining classes – and then some – to touch the magical 75% mark. To cut a long story short, thanks to my friends in the various clubs, I managed some duty leave and scraped through.

Attended: 66.12%
Duty Leave: 10.11%
Total: 76.23%.

The drama is all there in my attendance record. The early wickets, the asking-rate piling up, the tail-end heroics, the victory…would make a nice movie…

Around 1993-94. TV had a dinner meeting with a customer in Chennai. His plan was to pack the customer off quickly, and start jamming with Koomar and I. We reached the restaurant, the customer didn’t leave, and so we started jamming together. After a few rounds, the customer was decidedly uncomfortable, and struggling to make small talk…


He asked Koomar, “Are you married?”.
Pat came the reply, “Ya, Gandhi Square”.


The customer disappeared.


Of course, what Koomar heard was “Are you from Maradu?”.

All these are very nice jokes in Malayalam.

One day when I entered ICH, there was this guy regaling the Sangham with some tall story. I asked Jose, sotto voce, who’s this tamashakkaran? Osa replied ‘He is Tamashakkaran’.


It was the post-engineering era, and TK was part of the Trichur Invasion that swamped Jose Jn. After that season of fun, we all drifted off in different directions, and a few years later, TK moved into Chennai.


I remember the fun times in his pads at Mahalingapuram and Nungambakkam, the amazing jam sessions (No jam was complete without TK’s rendition of Nakshathra Deepangal Thilangi), and the times Tamash stood by me…


Again, when I got thrown out of the Perambur flat it was TK who gave me asylum at RAMS. Though I soon joined Chittappan, when Raghu left for Kerala, I formally moved back.


TK and Paramu were the two pillars of RAMS. Velan and I were the caterpillars who crawled in and crawled out. Perhaps because TK and Paramu worried so much about shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. Velan and I could concentrate on having fun – and what fun we had.


In those days, the 24-hour coffee shop at Residency (The Right Place, when they still had those beautiful sepia prints of teapots on the walls) was our regular after-party haunt. Once we scandalised the hep crowd there by landing up in lungis. And once, after midnight, unable to find an auto to get back, we hitched a ride on fish-cart and dozed off in the cart with our legs dangling behind (It took us two days to wash off that matsyagandam).


Pretty soon Velan left for US, TK got busy with his MBA and then his fiancée, Paramu left for Dubai, and…kadavil njan mathram aayi.


During that time a shippie friend of mine stayed with me for a while. Every evening, we would set out on our valakkal mission, and return back without success. And every evening he would tell me…“Ente bharyede odukkathe prarthana…”.


I am sure Sangham will agree with me, it works, even today…


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January 2008