Friends… to live for.. ever.


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The buildings where I lived have been demolished and replaced by towering 9+ storeys. The school has been upgraded. The road traffic has thickened. The only part that continues to remain the same is friends. I met a very good friend of mine, two days ago. We haven’t been in touch at all for a while, but meeting him made me feel very good. Some people have become a part of our lives, touched us, influenced us, made us into what we are, and no matter how long we have been apart, when we reunite again it’s a matter of great inner joy.

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As we commemorate another Friendship day, I would like to thank each and every person with mutual well wishes, from colleagues, to school friends, to relatives, to total strangers, who intentionally or inadvertently have been supportive.

42 months 4 days


I had just returned from Sabarimala after a satisfying reunion with Swami Ayyappan and my close family. When I enquired at the Medical HR in my hospital, I realized I had 16 days of casual leave left in the calendar year.. 16 out of a possible 20! I could not believe I had only taken 4 days off the entire year!

That prompted me to seize this rare opportunity to return to my birthland, to reunite with parents and to take a much needed and deserved break from the rigorous routine of a post graduate doctor’s life.

The immigration officers at the Cochin airport were cynical as usual regularly concerned when I travel on a visit visa. (ya like I am gonna go and work in the Gulf and bring big loss to the nation!). The Kuwait airport was more receptive with amiable ladies at all points. I have heard poor things recently about the national carrier, but having travelled on this carrier for like forever, I did not notice any difference – efficient on flight attendance, on time as always and of course I did not lose my luggage.  For the first time, I did not watch any movie in flight, as I did not close my eyes one bit the night of the flight having had a long week at work and couldn’t risk sleeping and missing the flight altogether! So I slept through most of the flight.

On Kuwait soil

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There was chilly current of air as I stepped out of the aircraft despite the sun shining bright in the sky. The cold waves were out, but my light sweater was good enough to keep me warm – it really hasn’t gone that cold as it usually does at Christmas time. So it is not just in India – the Climate is getting screwed all over!

Dad’s new Camry – technically new to me since I am visiting the country after 3 and a half long years – had a feeling of luxury tuned to it with the wooden internal panels. If ever there was a brand faithful, Dad is the one. He has not moved out of the Toyota world ever since he bought his first car and to be honest, Toyota is worth the deal.

Day 1

Uneventful –  apart from the fact that I did not wake up to do my usual Sunday chores of laundry, cleaning the room, making a presentation or working et al – the usual stuff that dwindle down my SunDAY to Sun(few hours).  Quiet mom’s own food, home time catching up with parents and exchanging the gossips. I did miss the Premier league action since we don’t have the ESPNStar network here.

Day 2 – Turning the clock back

I love rummaging through my old briefcase stuffed with school nostalgia. I came across a few and am sharing them here just to relive the moments.

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Friends.. memories

Friends.. memories

Karate - martial art I was introduced to by my uncle

Karate – martial art I was introduced to by my uncle

pass time during the school vacations

pass time during the school vacations

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autograph book.. wow..

autograph book.. wow..

The teachers, the fun moments at school, all coming back

The teachers, the fun moments at school, all coming back

The time when we made a list of our friends!

The time when we made a list of our friends!

It feels great to be back – and am glad I got the opportunity Hope to relive a bit of the good old days and catch up with a few buddies as well on the way.

Old friends.. what makes them so special?


This weekend was perfect in many ways.. I caught up with a few good ol’ friends in person and on chat. These are the times when I cherish using my Android phone – apps like Whatsapp make communication so convenient among friends who are miles apart.

What is it about old friends that make them so special? Why does the thought of merely meeting them or talking to them brighten up the whole day? I was excited at the prospect and those few moments of rolling back the years are always precious.

Typical that it had to be another friend’s engagement, and am happy for her and her family. Wishing them the very best in life and hopefully I will be able to catch up with them for their wedding.

An Exam, few friends, ManiHome and Reality-Check


 

Maveli Express

An exam or not, I knew going back there, be it even for a few hours, would bring some instant joy like downing a couple of shots, only to wake up next morning with a hangover.

With an exam peeking over my shoulder, I was in no mood for a leisurely time at Manipal, but I had planned already to attend my dear friend Tricia’s Graduation at Valley View.

As an ex-Manipalite, I am all too familiar with the ‘don’t be shocked if the place doesn’t look half the same as it was when you left’ ; being a year since I packed out. Plenty had changed.. the drive from Mangalore – Manipal had multiple low floor KSRTC A|C Volvo buses plying, innumerable trees were being felled all along as part of the Highway Development Project, but one thing that didn’t change was the rashness of the Express buses, and in a way I always enjoyed being in it [I’d rather be in one than out!]

Some of the things which were being developed while I left, and noticeably ready were

  • The new Emergency, Trauma building on the Main Road [no longer will new comers referred from nearby villages come searching for the emergency]
  • The all new sports complex, Marena!
  • The underconstruction umpteen storeyed hostel complex where the old KMC Stadium existed
  • The new annoying metal speed breakers, put in place after the President Partibha Patil left.

These just a few things I noticed in the couple of hours I spent in Manipal.

MCOAHS Annual Day

Valley View, Manipal

Think it belongs to the ‘Fortune Group’ now, but I’d rather refer to it as above. I recall the number of times we used to go there for family parties, ie, whenever any of our friends parents were down, they used to stay there and that meant we getting a treat invariably at Rangoli.

Nothing much has changed in there, bar the security! Body check, metal detector at the entrance, vehicle inspection, it’s pretty hard to sneak anything in 😉

Coming to the point, the purpose of visit to Manipal was a success, met my friend, couldn’t hang on for long but either way was good to be there on her day am really happy for her.

P.S: Out of the blue, got to drive Mandeep’s Nano, apart from my search in vain for a 5th gear, things were pretty nice.

City Centre, Mangalore

While I checked into my Hotel, I noticed my foursquare app highlighting KFC on the same lane! My eyes lit up and yep, I ended up having lunch and dinner there! After the exam met up with couple more of my good friends and spend the remainder of the time there till my train took off.

T officially graduated!

Manipal is just not the same to be back without your old gang of friends. You can be there and still feel like a stranger when you know the reason why Manipal was such a wonderful home away from home. One of my friends Shwetha was saying yesterday that we probably should have done PG in Manipal and not UG. On reflecting on it, I have to disagree. I doubt anything can come close to the 5 years we spent in Manipal 🙂. Special shoutout to T, Flo, Jono and Sim for the last couple of wonderful years. And as always to the mallu gang of girls!

Reflection – Year End 2010


As another year grinds to a halt, I did not actually sit down this time around to reflect on the year that has just sped past me. 2010 academically was a poor one for me, though it did see me return to my native hometown of Kerala.

Being born and brought up outside + 6 years of Med School in the beautiful Manipal Village, I effectively hardly spent any time in Kerala. And that reflects pretty well on my knowledge of people and places here.

This was the first time I managed to make it to a trip to both Sabarimala and Guruvayur in the same calendar year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope to do the same in the forthcoming years.

2010 was different, particularly since I spent most of the year at home, I was able to come to terms with a lot of things about life in Kerala, the awesome beauty, the ragged road rash, the annoying ‘Meenkaari’ who bangs on our gate every morning and many more.

But what was significantly different was how a group of really close friends from college days, had to part, new relations | family | distance all in favor. It was a time when I actually realized that family can NEVER be what one’s friends are, but it is possible some can come remotely close to it. And probably that is one of the reasons why my time spent on my 2010 Addiction resulted in getting a number of wonderful friends over the course of 140 characters.

It’s amazing how social networking can change our lives, but Twitter was even more different, the opportunity to interact with celebrities [one thing which we could never imagine], have healthy discussions, heated debates, meet people from the same background, discuss your favorite rock band | football team and what not and of course gossip! But unlike other social networking sites, the openness of Twitter, the anonymity and yet the feeling of being a part of a Twitfam makes one feel good.

I still remember the days when I started tweeting and I would be desperate to get a reply from a celeb, even if it is just a Smiley, but it always lifted my general mood! To quit digressing, so there was always this yearning to look forward to any sort of opportunity to catch up with my college mates, some of them whom I rate in my top list of influential people at this point of time.

And it invariably happened in the form of Wedding Reunions. Have been able to attend two of my friends weddings this year and be it even a few hours lets me take my mind off everything and reminisce the good old days.

Two days ago, I attended my friend Anna’s wedding, a girl who comes across as an orthodox Christian, who ALWAYS manages to bring a smile on everyone’s face. I was glad I could attend her wedding, and for the first time I felt something really special about this girl. There was this amazing glow about her and in the Church during the mass, while I was capturing snaps of her and her soon to be husband, I can’t deny it but I could actually feel something really Special is happening here and frankly I have NEVER felt the same while attending a wedding. Call it spiritual or anything else, but it was very much worth it. I wish them both the very best in life, causethis girl deserves nothing but the best.

2010 will always be etched in my memory as the year when I started introspecting Photography.

It was a good way to sign off a year which I wouldn’t rate to be in my top 5 but it’s a new day, it’s a new start and I am gonna continue  into 2011 from where I left 2010! Wish all around the World for a healthy, safe and green 2011!