Week after week, every Sunday, at 6.30 AM, we met next to the tea stall, under the indicator of platform no 2, Dadar station, western line.
Week after week, for almost 3 years.
He would be late most times and so would I; Teju and Monu took turns … but never Preeti… she was always there on time. We arrived at the designated spot from a variety of directions. We bantered and argued our way to Churchgate and almost ran all the way to the Unit.
1 Maharashtra Air Squadron, NCC.
And of course, most often, we were punished.
Blood and sweat fought to mingle with tears and smiles.
Torn uniforms… Dropped rifles… Lost berets … Missing badges … Shoe polish … were an intrinsic part of our lingo.
And then, one day… we passed out.
The mighty ‘C’ certificate holders.
The ‘group’ held on for sometime.
Some of us managed to hang in there, connecting, communicating, keeping the bond alive… while others floated away.
He … was one of the floaters
He … one of our best buddies
He … of the miserable pjs
He … the Jordan follower
He … who first coined the term mput.com … monu, preeti, uma, teju
He … the guy we called Pandu, PC and an assortment of names
He … who came back to our midst last week
We spoke, like always … a gaali here, a rotton joke there … 10 minutes of long distance calling to bridge the gap built over years.
Damn the miserable twit for getting me all choked up but I am so glad to have him back… just so we can skewer him to the first signal we come across.
Oh and, Thank you Internet for your billion networking sites.