Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gunda

I had wanted to pen this anecdote for a long time. My company magazine's group members asked me for a write up on Thanksgiving, and I decided it is time to pen the long pending thingie. Here it goes -

Thanksgiving , though a gerund, must be practiced in life as a present continous verb. One must be thanks-giving throughout the year, and throughout one's life - even for the small things that gives happiness, joy and comfort. Enjoy an early morning walk, a sunrise, a full moon over the brooklyn bridge, a view of new york's night skyline.

One of the things that I am thankful for is the wealth of friends that I have. Here is a glimpse of the wealth that I possess.

Circa 2000. Yours truly will be graduating from college in about a month, and my first job at Wilco was waiting for me.

At this time, I was invited to Hyderabad for a "One day tour of Wilco". Wilco had sent over first class train ticket for the event.

As I was prepping for the trip, my friend Gunda (we call him Gunda, which means fatso in tamil), said, "I will give you company on the trip. We can checkout Hyderabad after your Wilco tour."

I was thrilled, and nodded.

Gunda purchased sleeper class tickets for the trip on the same train that I was taking. On the day of travel, when we reached the station, we saw that the first class coach was just about a mile away from Gunda's sleeper coach.

In true camaraderie spirit, I dumped my luggage in the first class, and joined Gunda in his coach. The train pulled out of the station at 4:30 PM.

At around 7:00 PM, the train pulled into the first station from the array of stations it had to stop before reaching Hyderabad.

I said to Gunda, "Let me go to my compartment. Lest, the efficient Ticket Checker would sell off my berth for some pocket money."

"What about dinner? ", blurted out Gunda. His first love in life was always food.

"In about an hour food will be served on the train. You take the food, and come over to the first class coach. Let us have dinner together. Since there is no throughway to the first class from the sleeper class coaches, wait for the next station. It should be coming around 8:15pm, I guess.", thus I instructed.

He was vigorously nodding.

After a brisk mile walk on the platform, I got into my coach, and was happy to figure out that my seat was not siphoned off.

At 8:00, food was served. I was waiting for the train to pull into a station so that Gunda can join me.

It was 8:30, and there was no drop in the pace of the train. But hunger was pacing up. The station, that I thought would be arriving at 8:15pm, either didn't exist or the train driver decided to skip the stop.

9:00 pm, and there was no sight of any station. I gave in to hunger.

I was getting ready to hit the sack, and the train pulled into a station. The grandfather clock on the station wall was displaying to the world that it was quarter past 10. I got down from the train to stretch myself.

"Gunda must be fast asleep", I thought. "Its no use walking a mile to confirm this!"

After the grandfather clock's longer hand traversed 12 degrees, the train signalled that it was bored of the station, and would like to move on.

Hearing the cry, I was about to hop onto the train. At this moment, I noticed that someone was jostling his way through the crowd on the platform. He was moving in a funny fashion. He was holding out his hands, in a curved shape, and was balancing something between his two palms.

The figure, as it drew closer, surprised me. It turned out to be Gunda.

Gunda was huffing and puffing as he approached. I was more shocked to see the thing he was holding between his hands.

He gave a wide grin, put one leg on the coach's stairway, turned and said, "Come lets eat."

My heart sank.

8 comments:

catcharun said...

didnt know this one..that was the trip i stayed back on. the narration was smooth except for the multiple nodding heads and mathematical references..were you too lazy to express that in radians?

no surprise that someone who takes an hour and half to eat kumbhakarnatic quantities of food decided to cave in to hunger..wait let me guess..you ate again with gunda didnt you :)

PRS said...

good stuff... it is more interesting when you know the actors in the blog!
... there was also a similar one where Gunda went to a job interview in LA... at the risk of alienating some others, I cannot risk typing it up here.

passer by said...

hehe..:)

i am hungry now..:(

Venkatesh said...

Good one da ... wish I could string narratives together too!

shyam said...

was interesting, the narration excellent na, wish i too learn this skill...the platform, train, compartment, clock..all vividly described...put the whole event right before my eyes....nice one...keep continuing

current said...

thanks for your comments.

@catch - it was railways saapadu, not home food.

Fun with Boredom said...

my heart sank too :)

--- said...

what a gem of a person your pal turned out to be..