Thursday, December 06, 2007

Transit friend

Definitely not!
I am talking about Mr. Agnello Felix Ceasar, Indian born Australian. I must re-phrase it. He is Indian to the core and wants to marry only an "Indian chick".
"I am tired of Aussies dude. They just don't measure up," he says, with that trade mark naughty smile of his.
Aggie, the guy could never speak malayalam without making us laugh. This after he spent the first twenty odd years of his life in Kochi, among us full-fledged mallus.
Your guess is correct. My friendship with Aggie dates back to our school - St John de Britto Anglo Indian Boys High, and to our college - Sacred Heart (SH), Thevara.
The college where Aggie ruled as the undisputed cycling champ with the boy next door charm. Girls loved him to the same degree they hated me. If he was the boy next door, I was the Al Qaeda man of SH.
Now the kid's a sailor, in his words, "sailing between Tasmania and Melbourne and not getting much fun out of it".
Oh boy his school boy charm has still not left him and I realised that talking to him this day at Chennai Airport, where he had a six-hour stop over, on his way to Kochi from Melbourne.
Two days back he had called me saying he would be spending some time here and if possible we could hang out. We did have some catching up to do as the last time I spoke to him was a year before, Christmas time. Besides I was never going to miss a chance to meet a friendly soul in this city.
He messed up the day he was arriving though. Good old Aggie. Always had trouble communicating in Malayalam. He could have used his Aussie English with me. I ended up waiting for him yesterday. I called it a dry run for today even though I was cursing him and myself.
I spent the whole day with him at the airport, all the while telling each other that we chose the wrong career. Should have been pilots. See the lovely chicks around dude.
He was doing transit to Kochi and the reflection made me laugh. Aggie was my friend. But is he just a passing face in my life. Bull shit! He is never gonna transit through my life. You're going to stay, aren't you buddy?
We just can't be the hi-n-bye type because of many things. As starters, we were sportsmen, the fact which Aggie is so proud of. Now retired of course.
We are from the infamous Fort Kochi area in our town and that in itself is a distinction and a bonding factor stronger than a Fevicol joint.
We have done things together in college that would make today's kids look like art movie action heroes. He was my student too, in the Way of the Empty Hand - Karate.
But I can't explain this any more. It ain't easy you see. I guess the only thing to say is he is my friend, as simple as that. No fine print. Just a good friend.......... Never a transit face.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Brothers in arms

To a dear friend

Which is the greatest of all human relationship? The obvious answer everyone points to is that between a mother and child. The divine relation. But ask me and friendship comes a close second.
Sure there are arguments like - how can you even compare a mother-child relationship to friendship? Have you forgotten the ten-month old bond of the umbilical chord?- and so on.
Well frankly even the blood that runs through your veins are gifts from your mama, everything I would say. Except the man you are. That is where friendship comes in.
Our character, the manhood or womanhood in you, is formed from our childhood as layers. But the last layers are laid during our adolescence by our best of friends.
In my case, that's where Manjush comes in..........................

Teaching me to walk

Well, not literally of course. But my first steps as a wrestler were guided by none other than my buddy Manjush. And as a destiny or something, my last steps were also guided by him - as my coach.
We were brothers in arms. Learning the trade of man to man struggle, using it for glory, sharing the pain, the trials and tribulations that came with it.

Guarding each other's back

It's a challenging world when we are teens and to add to it the rivalry of competitive fighting. Our's were a different fight. One that involved emotions that were in essence the same as every other gang fight with the stark difference being we fought for a cause. Glory in the arena. I still remember bleeding my nose out on to Manjush's T-shirt in a place called Poonjar and he supporting my desire to fight and fueling it. But I'm sure inside him there was also that genuine concern for the safety of his friend. That same concern, he used to express when I was in no man's land career-wise.

The bond

It's something beyond the ring. It must be amusing for my friends to hear this. But it was Manjush who showed me what friendship is all about. He is an example of an ideal friend. Wait a minute, there can't be an ideal friend. So I would say, he is the one who is closest to an ideal friend you can ever get.
And this truth made me get close to him and respect him. The unselfish gestures he would show is something out of this world, considering the state towards which this commercialised world is moving.
I shouldn't be writing this at all because whatever I write won't be enough to describe what he means to me. But one thing I want to reiterate here is that no matter how much I try I can never be the man my buddy Manjush is. You're the man dude........