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Sunday, 4 August 2013


Chalk and cheese, two sides of a coin, oil and water, and the twain shall never meet. I can go on and on with day and night, North Pole and South Pole, black and white but I presume you have already got the point. There are people who are just not same from any angle. While the phrase opposite attract each other is often true so is the fact that opposite are not compatible once the novelty wears off. The last phrase I am going to quote here is exceptions prove the rule.

This story of me and my friend had its beginning in the remote village of Keezhambur in the remote district of Tirunelveli in the remote state of Tamil Nadu. As immediate neighbours in the single street agraharam, we were best friends, sat in the same bench of the same class of the same school. Thick as thieves is a phrase which was bandied about by everyone in the village about us. We played together, played truant together, prayed together. The village routine was if you wanted to find one, you could as well hunt for the other. In short, inseparables. If all this seems routine then the similarity ends here and the oddities take over.

Our ideas, our views, our wants, our likes and dislikes, our habits and hobbies. Nothing matched, in fact were mostly the opposite. In school while I selected Tamil as second language he took up Hindi. My thaai mozhi to his rashtra bhasha. While I would be disciplined, well mannered, goody goody types who always did his homework and was the teacher’s pet, he was the naughty, unruly, teacher’s nightmare types. While I was the home-to-school-to home type, he would insist skipping school and do a ‘sight seeing’ trip to Tirunelveli town. While I could not raise my eyes to meet the same of my parents, he was the eternal rebel. His parents insisted that he should cultivate my habits while mine often threatened  to banish me from home should I continue in his company. The net score was while I almost always finished his homework too, took a lot of blame for his pranks, did his odd jobs during his ‘sight seeing’ trips, occasionally got belted by the villagers who when they couldn’t find him for his activities took their frustration out on me. This continued in high school, college and worklife.

Our principles, our ideologies, our tastes differed too. I was a firm believer of Marx, Das Kapital and “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. He was a staunch proponent of Darwin’s “Survival of the fittest”. While I did rounds of the employment exchanges, wrote bank, railway exams, he did rounds of companies which offered PLI – Performance Linked Incentives.” No pay, only pension” was his oft repeated ridicule about ‘sarkaari naukri’. I would enjoy seeing those mushy love stories in Tamil films which were screened in the nearby town, he preferred to drag me all the way to Madurai or Madras to watch the latest Hollywood action packed blockbusters. While I enjoyed watching mass games like Kabaddi and football, he called them ‘oh so pattikkadu’ and followed Cricket. Liquor, cigarettes, pan masala were a sacrilege for me while he tingled in the pleasure these gave and the ‘high’ of doing it in spite of parental objections. As a result once again I paid the price of being a ‘non-smoker among smokers, teatottler among alcoholics’. And while his trips to offices of private sector giants continued, I had to foot his bills too as I had landed a clerical job with a local firm once I had been declared ‘reserved out’ of a  Govt job.

But nothing, just nothing came between us when it came to our friendship. It was almost like we were twins, the modern day Duryodhana-Karna, the Jay-n-Viru combo. Nothing, no one, no situation was capable of driving a wedge between us. We were the proverbial two bodies, one soul, till death does us apart kind. The kind about which pen wielders and poets have sung hossanahs. He lived his way and I bailed him out from every situation, every difficulty, and every problem as he struggled to realize his dreams, achieve his destiny, maximize his potential, his wish, his wants, his ambition. After all aren’t Friends like this only. I had faith in his abilities and his grit to strive and reach the level of excellence he was capable of.

Then the inevitable happened. It had to. All his single minded focus and efforts finally bore fruits. He landed a plum post with a leading MNC and rose through the floors in the swiftest elevators ever invented by man. And dragged me out of my clerical job and made me jump into his bandwagon. Every month, every day was a discovery of a new peak he would aim at and reach. All this was so exciting, so exhilarating. And it made me a very very happy friend. The exception had won, the friendship solid as ever. Every success celebrated mutually and at every new destination, together as always. The exception had just busted the rule. Opposites not only attract but can remain compatible even when the novelty wears off. We were the real examples of that. Nothing, just nothing has changed between us. Well on second thoughts, just one thing has changed between us. He is now the Managing Director of the company we work for, I am his Personal Secretary. I now call him SIR!     


Hope @Kingkrish94 is a happy friend now!


Agraharam: A street with predominantly Brahmin residents.
Thaai Mozhi: Mother Tongue
Rashtra Bhasha: National Language
Pattikkadu: (Literal) Barren forestland.(Simile) Villager/Paindu types, derogative.
Sarkaari Naukri: Government Job.           


  1. The best of your work so far. I lived through the write up.

  2. Thank you Sir! I hope it revived some pleasant feelings in you.