Birthdays are a whole lot of fun! But most of the times, I end up forgetting the birthdays right on the day of the birthday. Jugal popped up on my Gtalk and asked me how I was. As one would with very close friends, I began to rant about how stressed I was and all that. The gentleman that he tends to be, Jugal continued to talk to me and just when I was about to close the window, I remembered it was the 14th of July!
It was Jugal’s birthday and I was busy cribbing to him. That’s that. I wished him, he said thank you and there was no cake… What non-sense! Anyway while I figure out how to get kanjoos Juggy to part with some cake for me and Sneha, you guys read the story ahead.
It was a rainy day in June. I was driven all the way down from Pune to appear for my personal interview and a group discussion at Vivekanand College. I wanted to get into BMM at Vivekanand even though I had secured my admission at KC. As I took my seat in the classroom, I looked around me. There were absolute strangers and some of them were potential classmates. All of them seemed pretty quiet and reserved. Most of them were science students who were in a limbo with their medical or science admissions. The fellow next to me had the most curious questions ever. We struck a conversation, and soon when the group discussion started, we had a heated debate. ‘This classmate would be fun!’ I thought.
Much later, when the time came to make a decision, I chose KC. I graduated from KC, did my MA and then joined a Yuva. I was pretty excited about being a part of a newspaper launch team. “The initial team is always close knit,” is what the editor said to me. It was true. We spend 10-12 hrs a day together. And suddenly we were told that a new dude from Mid-day was joining us.
Now, our team was already pretty friendly and this guy, was not exactly the friendliest creature on earth. He came and kept doing his stuff and asking us questions and answering ours exactly to the point. We brushed it off thinking he’s just another ‘khadoos’!
Slowly and steadily as we approached the launch, all of us worked closely and got chance to know Jugal better. One day he just asked me casually. “Were you very fat in college?” Yes, I could have smacked the guy right on his face, but I tried focusing on the fact that he was indirectly asking me if I am thin now. He continued. “I think I remember you attending a GD in Vivekanand, but wasn’t sure it was you.”
Wham! The realization struck me. I had met Jugal before and he was that inquisitive and possibly fun classmate. Now we were team mates. As time passed, we realized that our initial impressions about Jugal were wrong. He was very reserved but when he considered you a friend, he was right there for you.
He will crack the silliest joke when you’re talking to him about a ‘dharam sankat’, he will be brutally honest and he’ll ask questions to which you may not have answers. That’s Jugal. I, Sneha and he hung out back in our ‘Yuva’ days, and we continue to hang out together today. We discuss human rights, politics, sports (sneha and jugal talk, I listen) or films with a passion. We plan trips to Matheran (though they are cancelled at the very last minute). We are the trio- and sometimes I do wonder if I’d have ended up in Vivekanand BMM and Jugal and I were classmates, would we still be the thick buddies we are today? I don’t have the answer but I have the buddies, so who cares anyway!
PS: Jugal… Now can I have that cake?