Paartha Nyabagam – Px05 – Placement


Year: February 2004
Place: Campus Placements, Ethiraj College, Chennai

“Why are the campus selections happening around here?”

“Isn’t our college big enough and shit man… there are 5 more colleges here for the entrance test”

“Machi… There is nothing to worry. We all are going to US for Masters. This is just a backup plan. Let’s make it here and keep our options wide open”

“Makes sense, but tell me, what’s your GMAT score?”

“Alright fellas…topic change”

“They have a presentation in the next 30 minutes”

And then the presentation went on and on for more than an hour. These guys were from Infosys and I just can’t understand why is that they are going ga ga about their company!

“Fuck man! I told you… No more interviews. We have already been selected for a reputed company and I am walking out!”

“Watch out…The presentation has just come to an end…”

I spotted her again! She was in pink top and a blue jean… She is the same girl from… Wait… What a jerk!

“What happened…?”

I was startled but I said, “Nothing!” (I just remembered that the girl whom I met in the train, MIT and Fisherman’s Cove were all one and the same… Her torn jeans gave it away! Wow! What a remarkable change)

“We have to do well in the exam followed by the interview machan…This is a wonderful company and I am already in love with it…” Karthik said

“Aye” I said

“What’s wrong with Raam?”

“He wasn’t interested for this interview since morning and now a sudden adrenaline rush!” said Dhanan.

And the awesome part was when she came and sat next to me during the written test! I was on C 9!

“Hi…” She didn’t notice…

“Hi…Remember me?”

She stared at me and said, “Hi…Do I know you!”

“You two, can you discuss this little pep talk later… Can you please start with the test?” said the invigilator

“Sorry…”

I completed the test and waited for her to complete so that we both can give the papers at the same time.

“So… how did it go?” I asked.

“Don’t know… I screwed the quantitative section! Why do they set such tough papers…”

“Premier companies… they have their own high standard”

“Hey sorry…I haven’t introduced myself…I am Raam”

“I am Preethi”

“Good…So you remember me now?”

“I am so sorry but I don’t remember you! You look so much like some I had met before…”

“2002, MIT Fest…”

“Yeah…Might be…”

“Never mind, so want to start working and settle down…”

“Well actually I have other plans…I want to go to US for my Masters”

“Oh! Good…Which universities are you applying?”

“I had thought about three universities…

1. Pennsylvania University because my brother is settled there
2. Florida University because my uncle lives there…
3. And California University…”

“And who lives in California University?”

“No one… Just applied to the university as I heard it’s a good one!”

I just couldn’t stop feeling great from inside! The universities which I had planned to apply were in New York, Minnesota and California…I just felt the real need to get into this university but wait…let me do a reality check; there are a dozen universities with the same California name. Anyhow, let’s not get into specifics… I said to myself

“So where do you live?”

“Anna Nagar…”

“Do you have any boy friends?”

“Is that supposed to mean anything with the current context of where I live?”

“No…I am sorry…Even I am going to Anna Nagar, if you don’t mind, I will drop you!”

“Thanks but I have few friends of mine waiting for me”

“Alright…Friend or Friendie…?” I grinned.

She smiled and said, “Friendie…”

“Ok…So see you then tomorrow during the interview”

“But we haven’t got the results for the written test?”



I smiled at her and said, “Bye…” and drove away…

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Paartha Nyabagam – Px04 – Live Together


Year: April 2003
Place: Fisherman’s Cove, Chennai

“No I can’t…”

“Why?”

“Because I love you”

And then they hugged and kissed!

“Why is it so horrible to believe?”

“Rani and Karthik are a couple now…” said Malar.

“You got to be kidding!”

“You got to feel happy for them!”

“What the fish… Why should I? A year ago he said he was in love with a girl named Kirthika, and in 2 months he said, she is not the one! Then it was Poonam, Kavitha and last heard was when he went behind the girl in the green chiffon sari… Now I am 100% sure, he would screw up his friendship with Rani…”

“Relax… He had been behind her for a very long time but it was just that it didn’t happen because of ego issues. Raam, you know that Karthik is a good guy but it’s us who need to understand that from now he will be very much in the group and we can keep an eye on them as we know about each other!”

“Karthik and Rani walked towards us hand in hand…”

“Guys…I just can’t wait to watch this disaster happen!”

“Raam”

“I walked away”

They spent the entire time in Fisherman’s Cove just discussing about this. Karthik walked towards me and said…

“Machan…”

“Shut up!”

Karthik said, “Illa Machi… This is my life and I am very serious about it…You need to understand that I am confident about this relationship…”

“One more word form your mouth, I am going to throw up!”

I sat on the beach and started to read Midnight’s Children. I was immersed in the book and by the time I turned 35 pages, I looked around once and saw a young couple fighting who were of my age. That beautiful hair, lovely eyes and her endearing expressions just swept me off my feat. I sat their looking at her and she had an argument with her boy friend. She was the same girl whom I had seen in Madras Institute of Technology fest last year. But wait… She wasn’t with the guy whom she said was her boy friend at the fest…

Wow! She changed guys? No…No…She should have lied to me… Who cares, leave it and get along… But I couldn’t… Man! She is so beautiful.

“Now someone seems to be checking her out…” said Malar with a wink.

“No…She was just having an argument with the guy and…”

“Do you want to know who she is?”

“No…Why would I want to know? That’s none of my business!”

“Are you sure?” she asked with a question mark look
“Of course…yeah”!

“Ok…You got a chance and I am not going to tell you when you ask for me again”

“Why would I ask you…I am not interested da…You know me…”

“And that’s exactly the reason why I am asking you…”

I smiled and said, “no thanks…”

“So be it…”

“Karthik is planning on a surprise B’Day party for Rani. Any suggestions”

“Is he really that serious?”


“Hell yeah”

Paartha Nyabagam – Px03 – Chiffon Sari


Year: September 2002
Place: Madras Institute of Technology Campus, Chennai
All the students are requested to please queue up as this is your last registration call for the next 5 events.
Ad-Zap, JAM, Ice Breaker, Off-Temper, Quiz…
Me, Samuel, Karthik, Dhanan, Malar and Rani registered our names as we were representing our college, Satyabhamma Engineering College. We tiresomely waited for our turns and I never stopped looking anxious.
After spending more than 1.5 years in Chennai and in Satyabhamma in particular, I was a changed person. I had lost 10 kilos, I didn’t have long hair as in school and most importantly I was patient enough to listen and approach people. I was indeed turning into a decent sober fellow. I followed a strict college and disciplined house culture, was studious enough to get 85% in the 1st year and God… that was so unlike me but it was still me who has changed forever.
“Raam and team from Satyabhamma Engineering College…”
“Ok… You topic for Ad-Zap is this…”
The chit read – “Flying Lungi”!
“What is God’s name is that and how could we even pull it off? Flying Lungi!!!”
“You have 10 minutes to regroup, prepare and present it to the audience and I hope you know the rules pretty much clearly…
Ad-Zap is a game that originated in the premier B-Schools of India like the Indian Institute of Management or IIMs which requires a team of 5 -6 people to endorse a fanatical product chosen and given to them by the organisers.
The product name is given to the participants in the form of chits just 10 minutes before the performance and we are required to be as innovative as possible to put it across and make people understand about it and see to that people are really impressed by our product selling capabilities. This event is seen a chance to show off your marketing capabilities and Satyabhamma students never used to participate in any of these programs other than Quiz as we used to suck at others. But not this time…
We prepared some amazing concepts and just about when we were about to get over with the final rehearsal, a girl came up to Malar and started to strike a conversation.
She looked exactly like someone whom I had seen somewhere. She wore a green chiffon sari and had a perky smile… Baloney! I don’t remember where this girl is from but Karthik already wanted to have his babies with her.
“Hi… These are my college mates”
“Hi guys…”
“This is Dhanan, Rani…”
“Can we have the introductions later? We have a situation here?” I said.
Her face turned pale and she said… “Sorry guys and bye Malar… Catch you sometime later… Next time, come around with friends who are genuinely good with others” and she left.
“What’s wrong with you da?” said Malar
“What’s wrong? We have a show to perform and you guys are busy checking out a chick!”
“Hey! Show her some respect… She is a girl! You got go and say sorry to her” said Karthik
I just couldn’t stop laughing and said, “Machan… Sorry da… I apologise and will apologise to that girl and hook her up with you by evening… Now, can you please help me perform?”
“Hook her up!” said Karthik with his eyes split wide open!
“Deal?”
“Hell! Yeah”
So we went ahead with our performance at the cultural fest.
Don’t ask me what we did there but we at least got the 2nd prize and that was bit of a history for our college and as usual, we got the first prize in quiz and JAM.
That was bit of an achievement and as promised to Karthik; I looked around for the girl in arena but couldn’t find her. So I decided to go to Malar and ask her whereabouts.
“Malar… Can you tell me where I can find the girl who came down to meet you in the morning?”
“I don’t know?”
“Can you find her and tell me where she is?”
“Do you want to know her name?”
“Why would I ever want to? I don’t want to know her name… Just tell her where I can find her?”
Malar was a super duper useless girl who didn’t know what it was for and she went straight to the girl to tell her that I am trying to hit on her and I wanted to meet her.
Now here, I was completely unaware of this situation or what Malar spoke to her earlier.
She walked straight towards me and said,
“I am not interested in what you are going to say but just tell me soon whatever you want to say!”
“Sorry?”
“I am not interested with what you trying to?”
“But I haven’t started yet”
“Alright… Shoot!”
“Whatever…” I said with a smirk
“Look… Mr… (She looked at my participant badge) Mr Raam. Can you see the person who is conducting the events there?
“Yeah the cultural secretary…”
“He’s my boy friend. So think twice before spilling the beans!”
I couldn’t stop laughing but still went on, “Ok then! I am sorry! Thank for letting me know…and started walking back.
“Don’t you want to be sorry for what you did??
“Sorry! For what”
“For what you did in the morning…”
“I was bit rude to you and I apologise. I am sorry”
“Your apology is accepted” she replied with a smile
I grinned and nodded… “Thanks…”
“See you then…”
“See you too…”
“Bye…”
“Bye”
Machan! You are genius da… What did she say?
“Karthik… I am sorry but you got to forget the girl. She already has a boy friend!”
“Yen da? Yen? (Why da? Why?) All the good looking girls are picked, sliced and diced and we still remain losers!”
“I don’t know whether she has been sliced and diced but you got to hold on… It just means we aren’t ready and above all… What’s it with girls?”
“Whatever da… I am going to Le Flame… Are you coming?”
“Sorry machi… got to go home!!!”

I started my bike and drove past the girl in the green chiffon sari. 


She smiled at me and so did I…

Paartha Nyabagam – Px02 – 2nd Innings


Time: 2130 Hrs
My train journey was further derailed when the girl in white top and torn jeans came up to me and said, Would you mind if I sit here for a while as the aunty there is trying to put her baby to sleep.
I just couldn’t bear the sight of this chick… She had a drooping look, shabby looking with a tom boyish dress and above all her hair was a complete mess. To top up her beauty levels, she had a bubble gum in her mouth with which she made bubbles to show off her coolness!
She was hate at first sight!
“I need to stretch my legs and sleep… So…!!!
She gave me an “Alright Jerk” look and turned away.
“I am sorry…”
It was 3 AM in the morning; I had this unusual habit of hitting the restroom for reducing the tension in my gal bladder. So went up to the rest room and the mere look of the toilets, made my gal bladder to take a call on whether to go or get back to the ctrl+alt_del mode.
But I couldn’t.
I turned to the other side of the compartment and found 1 of the two toilets in the similar state and other one locked from inside. So I stood there for 10 full minutes before knocking on the toilet door.
Oh! No… It was the same girl whom I showed attitude in the evening.
“Don’t you have the manners to wait when the sign shows ‘Occupied’?”
“Sorry… My bladder couldn’t read English…”
“Now until you say sorry, I am not going to let you inside, Mr. Bladder”
“Alright Tommy, I am sorry… Now will you please let me in?”
“I want a genuine sorry!”
I folded my hands and said, “I am sorry! Please let me in…”
“That’s better and she let me in with a smile on her face.
I released all my tension and decided to look for the girl who troubled me just at the right moment but sadly couldn’t find her.
The next morning I reached Chennai and Mano uncle was waiting for me. He was my 2nd uncle and he was a terror in my family.
“Welcome sir! How are you?”
There he goes… That’s a sort of satirical warning! “I am fine mama…”
And then he enquired about a lot of things from my parents to my other cousins in Hyderabad.
I gave him a edgy smile and said, “They are all good”
We reached home and he asked me to get ready for breakfast…
Mama, but I never have breakfast; I just have brunch at 11 AM.
He turned towards me and said, listen very carefully Raam. I don’t know the life you had in Hyderabad but this is Chennai and you are at my place. Your dad and mom have given me complete rights on you and I hope I don’t use any harsh ways of making you understand things. Here things go my way and you have to oblige and listen to it. I respect your father and I have made a promise. Hope you help me in it or allow me to help you. From today, everything will be as I say and decide for you.
I just couldn’t understand the situation for what he’s talking to me but certainly he was clear in what he said…
I… I will…
Good!

Paartha Nyabagam – Px01 – Banished


Year: June 2000
Situation: Hyderabad Railway Station, Hyderabad – Chennai Express

I passed my 12th board exams and my dad was never disappointed with the marks I got. But he was upset for a range of issues that I was involved in my school – from being expelled for bunking my classes, proposing a girl in broad daylight in Paradise Circle who later turned out to be the daughter of the local police inspector and in turn punching my Principal’s son (classmate) for letting the girl’s father about act. Overall it was an eventful finish to my school journey but had to face the flak for my real bad behavior with everyone. But trust me, each of it had a story behind it and I was super rebellious throughout my 10th, 11th and 12th grades in school.

My dad spoke to my uncles (Mom’s younger brothers) and decided to send me there in order to restore some etiquette in me. My uncles were pioneers in strictness and they never had a second thought to kill their own people for family, pride and discipline. 

My mom was crying for the fact that her only son is going away and she couldn’t stop controlling herself. You know… Moms!

“Ma… Please… Please… Don’t do this here… It’s a public place”

“But I am going to miss you dear“

“If you would really miss me so much, you would have convinced your husband to let me stay back”

“But Raam, it’s all for your good and you know your father… Once he decides, he would never take back his words!”

“Awesome…When everything is so clear, why cribbing and crying?”

“Because there is no more fun here without you around!”

“Mom…”

She smiled and hugged me, “You remain good and things will fall in place. I will speak to your mamas and I hope Mano comes to receive you!”

“I am going to miss you…“

“Miss you too kanna…”

“Alright guys, see you soon during vacations….”

“Bye dad…”

“Bye Raam, but can you please get into the train and wave your good byes?”

My dad never believed me. The reason for them to come to the station was I would lie to them about the traffic and give them a million reasons for missing the train. So my dad decided not to take any chances. He cancelled all his office meetings, came down to send me off to Chennai…

The train departed and I said with a smile… I hate you guys so much!