Bunty ki Shaadi

June 22, 2008

“Kaun Bunty? Aur Bubli ka kya hua?” – you think. But before you Miss-understand, let me elaborate.

Last weekend I happened to get a chance to watch Rockford and was taken for a trip down memory lane. I never had the privilege of staying in a boy’s hostel but the twelve years that I spent at St. Vincent’s will always be special, and as every scene of the movie unfolded, I felt a strong connection return towards my alma mater.

Time has flown. But it seems only yesterday that I stood at the main gate for the first time. The obvious fear of the first day at school, completely over-awed looking at the sprawling lawns, spellbound by the gargantuan building that stood magnificently beyond them. Will I ever come out, if I enter this strange place, my childish mind wondered.

Rich in tradition, austere in tutelage and spirited in conduct, Vincents was the perfect place to build character; and surrounded by teachers of the highest caliber made learning all the more easy. Yes, we learnt it all there. From developing secret crushes on the primary school library teacher to enjoying chutney sandwiches at the small canteen to migrating to high school with mixed feelings, partially disappointed that we could no longer attend library class but equally eager to see whether in fact the grass was greener on the other side of the ground.

High school was more than we could imagine. Friends were made, groups were formed and St. Annes’ girls were hated. PT periods were spent in valiant football games with the sole aim being to thrash the opponent, short breaks were an opportunity to attack your partner’s dabba, lunch breaks were used to develop newer forms of cricket with rules that had the potential to put Twenty Twenty to shame. School bells were awaited with bated breath and hushed countdowns, followed by shouting and yelling and races to the rickshaw to see who catches the window seats.

Repeated rehearsals in the Gulati Hall in anticipation of the Annual day, competetive team selections inorder to win the best House Trophy at Sports Day, noisy discussions in class regarding prospective destinations for the annual Class Picnic but eventually landing up at Ryewood Park, Lonavala, planning ambitious plans for Diwali and Christmas vacations followed by last minute studying for Final Exams. Yes we learnt more than what we had imagined.

The penultimate year of High School brought along its own share of drama. The ten day National Cadet Corps (NCC) Camp came up and we walked away with the best March Past tropy under the noses of a very unexpecting audience. Competition stiffened in the later half of the year, tuition classes were attended, bringing along interaction with the fairer sex. Clandestine relations were discussed, rumours spread, pranks played.

Final year of High School. We won the marching competition at Centrafest trouncing every troupe in sight and this time around we were definitely not under-dogs. Centrafest was not only used by many to discover their hidden talents but also to show off in front of the now slowly-but-surely developing babes, an opportunity to get back at those Bishopites of whom we were a tad jealous. Life was not fair. Why did they get a Socials and a chance to openly date those chicks from Helenas? Why were we not given an opportunity to allow our two left feet to demonstrate their skills? Why couldnt we have a Fete? We also wanted to show that below that stiff Vincentian upper lip lay a warm heart capable of amorous sensations. Fate conspired and yet we aspired. And why did Nature have to be so cruel? The very bevy that was once considered a pain in the neck was now causing us to go weak at the knees.

And as I turn to those pages of erstwhile days, I notice that friends have come and gone. Some remembered and most forgotten. But admist all the rigmarole that school life brings along, a few friendships have stood the test of time. And amongst those friends is Bunty aka Anna or Kela to many. I have had the privilege of being his partner (not life partner otherwise this blog would have swung a different way) during Junior College, and as is his wont, he truely has been the source of joy and mirth for a lot of us. His penchant for Hindi professors is still vividly spoken about at School. Some thought he was their right hand man, some thought he was Mr. Bechara. His answer ‘Das is in St. Vincents’ almost caused the German teacher to give up teaching, but yet she persevered. His Girme gaffe has brought the roof down on many a reunions. Truely his antics are beyond the publishing capacity of this blog.

And yet despite being the cynosure of mirth amongst us friends, he truely stands first among equals. He shot to fame at the AISSMS College of Pharmacy and Fate so had it that I unexpectedly landed up at the same college. It was here that I truely got a chance to see Bunty evolve from the Pandora’s Boxer to become the Shahrukh of his department. The perfect TDH (tall, dark, handsome) hero for a desi version of a M&B (Mills & Boon), this lad stole many a heart and then lost his to the soon-to-be-missus. With Lady Luck by his side, he ‘synapse’d to success bringing laurels to his department with every venture. Later on, the Madhavan of our group proudly plucked a Purdue admit and pranced his way to glory. Even there he continues to break new grounds. His cricketing prowess have been overshadowed by his hitherto hidden singing skills as he continues to win Antakshari competition after competition. And if that was not enough, he salsas his way on and off stage with finesse.

And today when our very own Bunty is about to tie the connubial knot with the love of his life, I feel sorry that I cannot be a part of this happy occasion. From those ‘Sunny’ days when we used to roam DP road checking out babes under the pretence of shopping, to being on the same athletics team bringing home medals for our school, to hear Moogie yell out ‘Dastan Abdul Narayan Dilruba’ as we stood around his table, to being introduced to the soon-to-be missus everytime I bumped into them during college, to enjoying cuppas of coffee at PANGS meets at Chandni Chowk every weekend, Bunty has been the part of many a happy times.

Shakespeare said

Now join your hands
And with your hands
Your hearts

And as two hearts are about to begin to beat as one, I wish this perfect couple all the joys and pleasures of a happy married life. And as you start out on this wonderful journey together, I hope that the bliss you feel today stays forever. May the love grow stronger and deeper.

Bunty, today you truely are a complete man.

God Bless.



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