For two years when I was aged 16 and 17, I lived in a place which changed my life forever.
Looking back at life, I'm not very fond of myself till I reached 12. Since then I think I've become better [questioning sideward bend of the head to everyone who's known me since then]. But as I heard from AJ recently, I didn't exactly have the good guy image right upto when I was 16.
Six guys in the one school, in two rooms, and in three a little later. A hostel with people starting out on their Class XI thru practising doctors. Each of the other five has taught me, in one way or the other, something that I have carried through all the way till my 24th.
During the times we banged on each others doors to sleepily run to those tuition classes at 6 am. From when we stooped under the barbed wire fence to save two kilometers of walking. From when we ran back to get our breakfast ten minutes before the start of school. The walk through an eternally shaded field of rubber trees on the way to school, talking about how the rubber was processed on one day, how one of us should become Indian President the next.Evening TT and volleyball sessions in the backyard.Trooping down at 7.30 every evening to the mess hall for the best food I've eaten in any hostel to-date. The religiously allocated one hour of TV watching that was permitted each day. The weekend outings to movies or relatives' houses. Talking about girls without talking to them. The "finger-lickin' good" Christmas candlelight dinner in the courtyard. My dear roomie who swore to God he wanted to change the Indian administrative system. The kid from Kuwait who remains till today one of the best dancers I've known. The guy from near my place who had the largest stock of PJs ever. The purebreed mallu who true to his dream, managed to work his way up the CA ladder. And the dude who calls himself DB, who has, unintentonally, taught me a lot about just how to be.
Five friends and two years, that made me who I am today.