I really want to put an end to these disastrous sequels, but if Spielberg could come back after 20 years to make a sequel to Indiana Jones, then so can I. (p.s. – The fourth sequel finally made it to the top ten list, albeit with fewer readers that is) And while at it, make something radically different like inserting a .5 between four and five. So here I am to talk of homes, that were home to me more than home itself.
During my second stint at Calicut, i made my first genuine friend, who still remains to me one of my closest buddies - Ajmal (or in short Aju.) Aju’s family considered and still considers me as one of their own. This was proven by the fact, that this year when I called to wish them for Eid, Aju’s mom very nostalgically reminded me that, every Eid I would be the first person to wish Aju at his place. I was touched. So yeah, during the time of my adjustment to the new life of Calicut, my new school mates, my new teacher, my new friends, Aju and his family really made me feel at home. I still remember, before I returned back to Calicut, the last movie I had seen in a theatre was Titanic with my family in Muscat. Its true, I had not seen a movie in the movie theatre after the 1997 blockbuster. And then in 2002, I remember Aju getting all excited calling me over to his place. We were going for a movie with his Dad. He used to be the asst. commissioner of sales tax in Calicut at that time. I still remember sitting in that red Indica, visibly excited to go for my first movie theatre experience in Calicut. The movie – I Spy. Yeah, I know it was a crappy movie to go for. But I still have the movie tickets with me, in one of my personal diaries back home. And I shall keep it.
Aju’s family was pretty much like ours – 3 brothers and his parents. In addition to that, there is his grandmother, who is like the most jovial Grandma i ever know. Once, Aju had invited me and our friends over for dinner, and it was his grandmother who was there on the front to greet us. As soon as we entered the gates, his Grandmom bellowed – “Come in, come in. Your comrades are awaiting you.” We were literally blown away. Here was an old lady speaking us to in English (you should understand that we were in Calicut, and none of our Grandmas knew English.) It turns out; she was once the headmistress of a school. Nowadays with old age, her energy is not what it used to be. But she still recognizes me, although I have to tell her who I am when I come into the house. And then there is Kadistha and her two sons, one of who is deaf and dumb. Very nice people, the whole lot. Miss all of them.
It is also from Aju’s place that I got into watching U.S. TV sitcoms, starting with Friends, Scrubs and more over the years (literally picking up on one show after the other.) I have only one person to thank for introducing me to the joy that is pop culture – Suhail Rehman. Today this very man is marrying a close friend of mine – Mizaj Mammu. But that again is another story, for another blog (and hopefully not a sequel post.) On top of that, Aju and Suhail introduced me to hardcore gaming, allowing me to watch and play (some) of the dozens of games that was popular in the 2000’s. That is how I got hooked onto one of my favourite games – Mafia. And then there were the racing games, which was pretty much the only game I could beat Aju in.
Aju’s home is the place where I would run to everytime I used to get a chance. Lunch, dinner, sleepovers, movies, celebrations – Aju’s home was, is and will always be a part of the homes I can never forget.
After Aju left for Thrissur, I got to visit his place, only when he came down for holidays and vacations. That was when I got close to my own place, I guess. And then came graduation. Along with graduation came friends, new ones, good ones. And one home that stays out during this time, and still does is – Mekha. Mekha is the name of the house I spent most of my graduation days, and is also the name of one of my closest friend, Mukta’s Mom’s name. It is basically where I grew threw my troubled phases. The amount of fights, celebrations, happiness and sadness I went through at Mekha’s is like infinite. I remember the first time I had gone over to Mekha’s. I had taken my then new bike, Passion Plus, and gone to drop off Mukta, since we had gotten out of college late. I met with her Mom, her uncle and his wife. I still remember the drawing room was dimly lit with a light bulb (its changed today, with a CFL bulb doing the job now.) But from that day on, Mekha was as much a home to me as it was to Mukta, her bro Mritul or even her parents. It was also home to my favourite Grandmom - Chandra. Sadly it was also where she breathed her last. Sad, but never forgotten she is the soul of our heart.
I also remember Mekha for the time I had there with Nawab, another of my best friend, from Afghanistan, when we used to get together to study. Mekha aunty (I never called her by that name, even today. Although I do try) used to make us dosas in the morning, and all of us would sit around the kitchen waiting for our turn. Even today, when I go back, that is one thing I don’t miss on my itinerary. Sitting on the doorstep, eating dosa with chutney and sambhar and chit-chat with Mekha aunty – priceless.
There were charts made, movies and TV shows watched, there were fights, there was watching the Oscars, the IPL, football and what not. I was also in awe of the number of plants in the courtyard, that i actually took a few of them and went and planted them at my place. they are growing just fine. So i could say i have a little bit of Mekha in Falaq. Mekha shall forever remain etched in my life as being my home away from home.
Sadly I do not have neither home’s picture. But I believe I do not need one. Its painted in my mind for eternity.
Until next time for the final piece on my nomadic life, ciao.