Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Chapter 6 : Yukh and the तीन-Stalk

Part 1
Summers in Pune are sleepy. The city was pretty much a sleepy city anyhow, although in the last few years, the appeal of Pune has shifted from its rheumatic paradigm of a retirement destination to a far more vibrant and youthful ‘Oxford of the East’ and an IT hub. But the summers don’t change. The heat is a dry scorcher, and the sun on your neck feels like having one of those rubber hot water bottles fitted over an acetylene flame, kept on an itchy laceration (alright, not quite as bad as that! I love Pune). Even the women, muffled up in their stoles and dupattas to resemble strange bike riding bandits, are wary of venturing out into the burning afternoons (some of them are actually riding manual – geared bikes now, instead of the usual Scooty and Kinetic variations! And no, they don’t wear sheer leather on any occasions, rendering any possibility of the seminal sexiness of a biker babe a total nullity). During the holiday afternoons, people usually have nothing to do outside, and little to do at home. So they sleep.

But the Summer of 2005 was anything but a pseudo-slumber. Most of that summer had been spent in Ruksana’s study recording music on her computer with a big gang including Shaunak, Sam, Jeetu and a few others. And the last week of May was a breezy holiday in Anzarle, culminating into one of my best songs to date, and the beginning of my second heavy duty fall for Ruksana.

Semester 7 began in Symbi Law with a promise that had been absent since the beginning of Second Year for me. If there was no Sidharth Chauhan to grace our campus anymore (ah, the legendary Chauhan!), there was now Kunwar Karan Pratap Singh Chauhan to shake things up a bit (Trivia alert - Yes, that’s his full name!!). My Sem. 6 Marksheet was devastating considering my record in Sem. 5. I’d managed to just about scrape through in two subjects, with a relatively decent score in the others. Damn you, Karan!!!

I had decided that I’d attend those bloody 7:30 a.m. lectures that year, as I’d been promising to do since my Second Year, with the inevitable result. Still, although my desperate efforts at getting to college on time failed too frequently, I would at least attend one or two lectures in college. One day in the first week of college, as I was leaving the classroom area for the day, towards the NCC, also for the day, I heard a vaguely familiar voice call out almost sotto voce, “Hey dude…”

I turned around, and there stood, with a sheepish half smile, the broad figure of Mayuhda.

Mayukh Roy. Upto that morning my senior by education, upto this day my peer at heart. I had known Mayukhda since my First Year, although the epithetical suffix ‘Da’ was added to his name only much later. Our first ever interaction, if indeed it could be called that, was a barrage of semi-angry argumentative statements made to me outside the Library Reading Hall in my First Year, for disagreeing with the views of Sidharth Chauhan on the Novice Moot Court case (the statements had made little sense then, and have been forgotten now). Thereafter, we only really ever interacted in the December of that year, before Mood Indigo, the IIT Bombay Fest. By a stroke of luck, or an attack of jaundice, whichever way you want to look at it, a member of the Street Theatre team going to ‘Mood I’ had to back out at nearly the last minute, and I found myself joining in as a replacement, doing my first proper street play under the able guidance of Chauhan, with good old Mayukhda in the team (for the sake of convenience, and with fitting reverence, Sidharth Chauhan will hereinafter, and on two occasions heretofore, be, and was, referred to as ‘Chauhan’ {yeah, I know, that was painful}).

Mayukhda and I bonded on the ground of us both being misfits. In his case, his relatively small town upbringing hadn’t fully trained him to understand the dynamics of all the low-waist jeans of Symbi Law, and my excuse was that I was too much of an introvert to fraternize. Towards the end of my First Year, when Chauhan decided to make a street play based on a series of monologues, Mayukhda and I, along with a few others, became a part of something exceptionally important to the lives of us all and several others. “Laanat hai humpar” was born, a labour of love, a creation of madness, a play that defined us all, one that changed us forever.

But then Mayukhda disappeared after my Second Year. Fell off the grid, he did. A period he refers to as his ‘Hibernation’. And it was on that morning, in the first week of my Fourth Year, that Mayukhda, consigned till then to a bygone memory, came back into my life.


Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

there are some things i didnt know! i always thought you and mayukhda were like peas in a pod, together forever!
and karan's name sounds royal!

oh! and p.s. : errata---the first time you've introduced mayukhda by his name, the k is missing...

Da said...

hehe... there've been quite a lot of errata in previous posts as well, but never in a name... thanx for the heads up...