We often do things in life for mundane reasons like hide a weakness. So in college while my friends chased girls, I was discussing Marx. I used words like bourgeoisie and proletariat quite liberally and it was huge. Birju and me were far too timid, introverted, un smart good for nothings. We did not have the guts and the guile of Ramesh. Birju of the English, major. He-me practiced dialogues for imagined girlfriends, Mahesh always came up with a wittier line and our inferiority complex was complete.
Dialectical materialism was our cover for the skewed personalities that we were. Only Ramesh had a complete ‘all roundly developed’ personality, he was almost holistic. Soon Birju graduated to Don Vito Corleone and we began to have our differences.
He thought Don Vito was a much more evolved specimen of humanity and communism was anti evolution. “if you don’t let anybody think and do differently and grow, then we might as well be bacteria or whatever there was at the beginning of the world”. That stumped me completely though I still couldn’t figure out why Don Vito had to make his fortune from bootlegging despite his intelligence? Birju said it was because of his intelligence, not despite of.
Once we had a heated discussion at the Baba’s tea stall on Vietnam. It was over Lemon tea when he said ‘continue the discussion girls are coming, it will impress them’. Ramesh said ‘only if you order another round of tea’. Tea was ordered.
I met Birju thirty years latter I had changed. Birju had not changed so the differences were glaring. I had become 300 pounds of lard and my movements were slow. He was still 90; we hugged after 30, years, lacerating affection at the reception of hotel Chanakya. Birju had come to attend a wedding reception. I waited for my driver. Soon I was hoping he‘d go to his reception. He didn’t.
We ended up at the icici atm, he borrowed 4000 bucks. He had asked for five thousand I bargained ‘expenses were mounting these days you see’. I had 1247500, in my account. It could have been a thousand less eh. When will I buy that Limmo. Could I lend such amount from my pay?
I still don’t get it. What is the need for every one to do every thing like, pay ones child’s school fees timely?
These days I dig Khalil Gibran.