This guy appeared prominent amongst the entire batch from the very first day owing to his choice of shirt-the white striped blue one that kinda set him apart from all the others’ plain formals.also during the very first weekend,the pair of jeans that he chose to wear again brought singgers from all and sundry-i mean with a cute little heart sign posted on your right,well,bum,you are bound to invite sniggers from your colleagues for sure.
Ritu Parn-was our dear CR-he was our CR darling-a CR like no other-whose parallel I,or for that matter any of us possibly,had or will encounter in our lives.he was a typical UP brahmin-at least as far as his veggie ways went-as also for his love for politics and the typical UP-north indian package that is so omnipresent in that part of India.our room no. 301,was a meeting ground of sorts,and i remember the first lengthy conversation that Ritu had with us,i.e. frustoo,myself and vivek-which lasted for a good 6 hours on a lazy sunday afternoon-when ritu managed to wake up early.that brings us to an extremely important part of ritu’s character-his sleeping habits.
Ritu is kumbhkaran revisited-period.when ritu sleeps,his old bum chum santosh is appointed as a watch-to wake him up in time for office.and that is no mean waking up job i tell you-you got to go near a sleeping ritu wearing steel armour if possible to try that impossible deed.i myself was subject to a near deadly accident when i tried to wake ritu up on the morning of one of our many trips-santosh innocently let me do the waking up act.i casually went near ritu,gave him a light nudge,saying “wake up fatso”-or something such.next thing i remember,kumbhkaran’s huge right paw wheezed millimeters past my,well,the part necessary to keep up India’s population growth.thanks to my decent reflexes,i live to tell this tale and the cackles of santosh notwithstanding,i learnt my lesson alright.
Ritu was a real master of PR activities-i learnt a lot from him during those 2 months-the guy is great company-can talk for hours-makes a great first impression on everyone around-and is a great,great observer.this last part was exemplified by his obervations on one of my older engeneering grad batchmates whom he judged to perfection in his first week with us itself.from then on it became a usual pastime to ask ritu to judge each one of us,he was right on most counts in his own endearing ways and the only notable exception was that of chaki’s-whom ritu supposed to be some shrewd planner of sorts-and whom nilu just brushed aside as only can,”chaki?nehi tu galat hain is bar-woh toh sirf ek b** hain” 🙂
that reminds me of the wonderful partnership that nilu had with ritu-nilu,the other person to whom i became well acquainted with thanks to the TVM sojourn,was almost a perfect fit for Ritu.together they formed the booze leaders of the class.and were the first ones to hunt down ‘Anil’s place’-oh Anil!that demands another story altogther-which i will write in some time too.but those sessions at Anil’s were the ones i will never ever forget-the first booze with the first ever earnings-that meant something alright.and Ritu was in his philosophical best during those moments-he was a real champion-the way he downed one peg after another,controlled the entire show,managed Anil the bartender and at the same time shared his myriad experiences was to be seen to be believed.so we move on to the next part-ritu’s experiences.
sex,politics,hindu-muslim misunderstandings-college politics-girls-character analysis-you name it-Ritu had it!he had truly been there and done it too.and his way with words was to be heard to be believed.one especially moving discussion was on ‘Bhagya’ or no bhagya-that raging debate poured on to the classroom the next day and rings in my ears even today!now-a-days,a good year after i met this character,at many crucial moments,when i subconsciously end up mimicking his ways while pursuading with people,i realise the deep impact that those interactions with the guy have had on me as a person.
Also interesting were the ways ritu picked up mallu and kannada slangs from our batchmates from those states-not so interesting were the fun that ritu had at the expense of us while applying those newly learned gali-s on us.Another special feature of ritu was the way he could virtually,well,disrobe any member of the opposite gender with his description of what he wished he could execute upon her.this might sound very crude,but with ritu around you are assured of a really poetic sensuous description of this above hypothetical situation.
Semonti-the best thing to have happened to Ritu’s life in TVM,was the memory that Ritu would possibly cherish all life long.we were amazed by the affinity between the two-especially after the history of semonti in the engg. days back in Kalyani.the (in)famous phone call incident between semonti and subhankar on the latter’s birthday when subhankar allegedly expressed his special interest in semonti’s beauty through Ritu turned into a chain of events we had never expected in the wildest of dreams.i won’t go into much details but will offer one image from the TVM album for all of you-ritu and semonti sitting on the railings in kanyakumari beach-gazing fondly into the famous sunset at the spot-and wait a second-did i spot a soft semonti hand brush lovingly over ritu’s…hand?sigh..life leaves us intrigued with its plethora of questions-i leave it as an exercise for all of you to answer this one.
the moments when ritu’s innocence shown through were very subtle indeed.i remember how difficult it was for him to digest the fact that I,being a Brahmin myself,had ordered Chilly Beef at Anilz,and how funnily he made his disapproval known to me.the only occasion when ritu turned into a proverbial good boy was when his dad called him up-and boy,he almost left TCS owing to his posting in Mumbai instead of anywhere near NCR region-his dad wanted him to look after the khetibari instead.and ritu had his eyes set elsewhere-or rather onto someone else in mumbai.in this regard,ananyo comes in handy-as he reliably informs me during one of his untimely visits to Ritu’s place in Mumbai-when ritu answered the doorbell after a long,long while-which was punctuated by many noises of creaking beds et al.and finally a sweaty,blushing ritu pleaded them to come sometime later;)
Ritu,much like myself,never took much interest in techie subjects,and always was busy fighting a battle of survival-a fact underlined by his interaction with his SBI clients in the mumbai office when the SBI Database administrator ended up advising him on the running of the TCS systems-boy i feel scared of my SBI account and its wellbeing…
The ever smiling,reassuring ritu was a real comfort for all of us during the difficult 3 days during “the sapna incident”.i remember ritu was so un-ritu like during that last day in TVM when he was so unusually low-the previous day’s over binge notwithstanding-i wasn’t totally realising the separation from this special set of people till i looked at this guy’s changed feature all through that day.
we don’t communicate much these days-but it doesn’t bother me to the least.knowing ritu-i know he must be busy making the lives of people around him a bit more special in his own unique way.
miss u buddy and God bless.
p.s. I DO believe in bhagya now-or else how on earth cud I meet people like you in this thing called life?