Aug 1, 2008
Mostly we gushed about them together and forgot about them together!
Yup Fino and I always had a thing for similar kind of men. Invariably I’d end up liking the men she liked. The men would range from 28 year old, guitar playing, confused , engineering drop outs to slightly eccentric, bloody well read, confused and eloquent contemporaries in college to the quintessential confused boy next door. They all had one thing in common the predominant state of confusion that reigned supreme in their minds. Yes now in retrospect I recognize the confused trait in all of them. But to give them their due credit all these men, boys or lets just call them members of the opposite sex were sooo much fun. We have had the funnest times with them. Be it researching for the moot court with the eccentric lawyer when we’d invariably end up taking coffee breaks together and Fino and MR. Eccentric would be arguing on the nuances of the case and me trying to grasp all that I could to try reaching a level closer to them to meeting Boy Next Door in the middle of the night in a deserted lane and chatting non stop not realising one doesn’t make a half an hour long stop over at such an unearthly hour to staying up all night with strange guitar playing boy and singing songs the very first night we met him when everybody else we knew had hit the sack. We were foolish young girls acting on our crushes and not a worry in the world that we liked the same men almost always. Not that we did anything about them ever except for going out for drives, getting stoned or just hanging around in college or at oaks drinking away merrily. The infatuations came and flitted past by with a regularity and we were happy.
I remember telling Fino “ Nothing can ever go wrong between us.” But it did and guess it had to someday. For once she fell in love with somebody unintentionally and incidentally I had been nursing a broken heart for the same idiotic beanpole for the longest time. I remember that day vividly when both of us had tears in our eyes at the NCC canteen . She had finally figured that I knew something was not right. We were crying for the same man and this time we felt it from deep down inside. It wasn’t some silly laughable crush. Things weren’t quite right for 6 months as I tried to get over the one man I should have at 18 and not wait for so long to do so. I handled things hap hazardly and didn’t know whom to talk to cos the one person to whom I could talk to about everything , all my heartaches , my goof ups, my goals, my dreams, my aspirations was the reason why I was hurting so much. It was nobody’s fault but a twist in the plot none of us expected. We kept out of each other’s path for some time until I was fine with it. Yes I found another object for my affection and life was la di da’ again and we were back to where we had left off. We had never thought we would but there we were that rainy evening sitting in Barista as I told her about Frankenstein and how Fido Dido did not matter to me anymore and this was the only way I could have ever gotten over him.
Fino has influenced me in Law School in countless ways and I can’t even begin to thank her. She was the one who urged me to take part in my very first debate and said “ No you can do it. You are taking part. No two ways about this.” So there I was stuck in the auditorium and as they closed the doors the sinking feeling in my heart told me “ Ah well you are truly stuck. You have to, have to go ahead with the speech or else you’ll let yourself down and her belief in you down.” So I went ahead and I didn’t do as badly as I thought I would and Fino went on to win the debate with finesse and they mentioned fine performance in ‘The Indian Express” the next day. . She managed cajoling me to come for Mood Indigo when we had the most cheapest and magical of holidays in Bombay. She knew I loved singing just as much as she did but hadn’t had the courage to express it so I got a chance to sing at the Antakshari. I remember that stoned night when I wanted to go for a walk on the field and she was the only one who indulged me and both of us jumped over the ditch walked a mile just so that I could look at the stars while sitting on the grassy field. I recollect songs being sung at the top of our voices, Fino playing the guitar to the best of her ability and Red Head and I begged and pleaded her to Play “Last Kiss” once more. Every year unfailingly I would get a job in a call centre to earn some extra money and every year with clinical precision she’d convince me into quitting it to take part in the moot courts. She‘d attend my every hearing even if I’d be dying from inside cos she was in the audience and what she thought of me mattered to me the most. She was my friend, philosopher and guide. When she got through London School of Economics for her Master’s in the final year of college with a scholarship I was one of the first people she called and I remember both of us running gleefully to embrace one another cos I knew how important this was for her. I met her before she went off to London. I was about to start working in Chennai and we bid adieu. I’d always known she had the passion and zeal in her that I seldom saw in people. Now she is a lecturer at a law school, think she is the youngest lecturer in college and one could easily mistake her for a student if not for her attire and stern ways hehehe! She can still make me see reason when I am bewildered and we still express amusement at what we use to be. The greatest phenomenon being we can laugh at ourselves and the absurdities that defined our friendship then and continues to define our friendship now. Yes Fino we'll always have our moonlit nights, your guitar and you and me singing.