Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Boys Never Grow Up

IT WAS proved once again.
After about 25 years, when the alumni (1983 batch) of Sree Rama Varma High School better known as Sakala Rowdy Vidyalayam, met at Gymkhana Club in Ernakulam, they were as boisterous as ever proving the dictum "Boys never grow up."
It was an out and out informal affair with none to anchor the show or any restriction imposed.We came, We met and We left -- revitalised, acquaintances renewed and promises made.
Though scheduled to begin at 6.30 p.m., many turned up as late as 10 p.m. -- even one of the organiser, Biju, popularly known as Kappiri for his hair style, came running at about 9 p.m.
When myself, Arun -- one of my greatest pals who has great driving skills and a penchant for remembering names, places and rightly identifying even bylanes during midnight, and Martin, drove into the club at about 7.30 p.m., a small group had already gathered there waiting patiently.

Loud noises emanating from the room ensured that we are right on track.
The staff at the club thought some bachelor's party is going on.

A silent prayer crudely reminded us that three of our mates have already left us for ever.
Everyone introduced himself to the other at the top of his voice.
Suddenly I found a ruled notebook in my hands and a soft voice said: "Your name and phone number please." By the time I finished writing these, the voice, some more softer, said: "Rs. 250 if no drinks, otherwise Rs. 500."
With an umbrella protruding from his armpit and a charming smile, soft-spoken Radhakrishnan proved himself to be the best man to do the job of money raising from among the 'outlawed.'
"Drinks are served," someone announced and there was a flurry of activity near the bar counter.
"Let the party begin."
"Where's the music?"
One of the hotel staff hurriedly brought in a DVD player and it started belting out a fast number pumping up adrenalin even among the most sober in the crowd.
The most discussed person was our Hindi teacher nicknamed 'Irachi' (meat) who is specialised in the art and science of 'pinching' in discipline. His finger nails worked in such a way that a portion of the victim's skin peeled off in the process.
And the most discussed action was the manner in which the lion-hearted among us used to jump out of window without catching the attention of the teacher, for a 'Noon show.'
Since there was no let up in catcalls and abuses, shouting and laughter, the staff decided to serve food. For us the night was growing young. For them it was time to wind up and go home.
Butter naan, fried rice, fish fry, chicken curry followed by ice-cream, in a way, mellowed the crowd.
Photo sessions followed. Suggestions were invited to channelise the energy in a more productive and creative manner.
The proposal to help at least one student of our Alma mater in his studies was welcomed with a roar and stomping. Modalities for the same will be discussed, it was announced. The applause followed culminated into an intense leg shaking as if there is no tomorrow. It was 11.30 p.m.
It looked as if the party has just begun with an obliging, young and flirtatious night in attendance.
Yes. Boys Need Not Grow Up.
Photo: Anand Prakash