Caught in the time frame
This dates back to 2006–2007. Approximately five years ago, five pretty young ladies decided to have fun at my place. And a special memory was created.
To give a background, we all were in the same section and needless to say spent most of our time together during those two years of junior college at S.I.E.S, Sion. Those days were one of the best phases of my life till now (Thank you Bryan Adams for the inspirational line). Honestly, if Karan Johar had approached me then or at least given me a slightest idea that he wanted to make a youth movie, I would have given him our story for his Student of the year—a much better, peppy, realistic, and fun version. Alas! His loss. Sorry, Karan.
Neway, the six of us were completely insane in our own special way. Probably that’s the reason we were together. Janhavi a.k.a jaan was the fevicol of the group or wait a moment, was she the cupid? (Considering she got partners for all of us during our prom since we all lacked to find one for ourselves). Both of these I think. Daring, bold, and confident, she is the main reason the six of us got to know each other and stuck with each other. She’ll come up with the weirdest ideas at times and makes friends easily with the opposite sex and is also partial to them (no wonder she got us partners without hassles). She is better known as my antagonistic half in every way imaginable. A darling momma of the group.
Nikita or Nikki or even better sukhi (Rang de basanti was the flavour of the town and we had to have our own concocted version of it) was our very own Da vinci. A splendid artist with a flair for all sorts of art imaginable—poetry, dancing, painting, sketching—you name it. She was different from the rest and most of the times came up with a wacky take on situations and issues. She never took the usual path. She was also my first friend in college and we did all the crazy stuff together, always. However, they’ll never find any mention anywhere whatsoever. Highly confidential stuff. Anyway, with us you could say that we were just short of being conjoined. Even our birthdays which fall back to back on 20th and 21st August are a proof of that.
Deepa was the charming one. Sweet to people, cute in pink, good at studies, warm at heart, celebrity to quite an extent; all in one you could say. Jaan and she were the first best friends. The best thing about her is she is as much of a chatterbox as I am. We would yap for hours on the phone with neither of us having the will to hang up. She was the sweet ‘girlie’ girl. Loved and cared for by us all. Since she donned a lot of hats and was our delicate darling, she was the apple of the eye of a lot of our peers (if you know what I mean). She always encouraged my writing and even wanted me to write a diary on all the moments we spent in those two years. Though I started it, I haven’t been able to finish yet. Someday I will Deeps, I hope to. She recently shared an old picture of us. And her timing couldn’t have been better for my post today.
No group is complete without a nerd. Jessita was our fun nerd. She was cool and not geeky but yes albeit a nerd at times. She was exceptionally good at mathematics and I sucked big time. I can vouch for this since I sat right next to her. I have always admired you for this jess, if you did not know. Her eyes always closed when she smiled making her look like a cute little Asian (Yes, chinky–minky is the term you are looking for but the word is banned now so I am not endorsing it. This was just FYI). She still has that darling smile. She is very dear to me for my own reasons and she'll always be that way. Guess certain bonds are beyond the scope of reasoning. She is also the reason that I speak broken Konkani. I had fun learning it from her. Tuka moh korta go chelli!
Poorvi was the saint. She was the scholar amongst us but equally down to earth at that. An innocent jovial person with simple thoughts and desires, Poorvi was an angel then. She still is. She is that do-gooder and trustworthy one. Someone you can always bank on, someone who sincerely does all the homework, someone who becomes your life guard when the professor refuses to sign your journal but does so only when she vouches for you in front of him. You ought to have one such pal who is in the good books of the professors and saves you from drowning. Poorvi always stood by us and helped each of us. You’ll instantly fall in love with her genuineness when you meet her.
Coming back to my photograph after that intro on my pals, this day was special since all of the six of us came together at one place. It always so happened that someone or the other was always missing whenever we planned a group meet. However, this time all the six of us were present. We yapped, we played dumb charades, cooked snacks, and relished them. Yes, pretty much a so-called girlie affair sans the slumber but a memorable day as far as I remember.
L-R: In the first row, Jaan, Nikki, Deepa, and Poorvi
This picture of ours is extremely dear to me. More so because I did not own a digital camera back then. I remember trying to analyse and adjust the right position from the view finder of my semi-automatic camera to fit everyone in one frame. There was no luxury to delete any photo if you did not like. No zooming lenses or LCD dislays. The film roll had to be dealt with special care. And every mistake or a wasted photo would cost you. You had to wait for a few days till the film rolls were processed and you got the prints. I cant believe this was not too long ago.
Another interesting fact about this picture is that back then girls weren’t as fussy about getting their pictures clicked as they are now. Admit it! This is true. No offense ladies but we do get annoyingly fussy about our pictures now. Having said that I also agree that we have our genuine reasons to do so. One of the primary reasons why we were less picky was this—Facebook fever had not arrived till then and Orkut was still in its nascent stage. So it never mattered who saw the pictures, how many likes you got, how many smileys you shared, how many comments were posted, if your hair was okay, if your nails were done well, and blah and blah. It was more like I want a copy of that photo. It has all of us together. I’ll add it to my slam or pin it to my soft board or preserve it in an album or a frame and reminisce about it some afternoon when I find it as I clean my room. Life seemed so simpler and this was just five years ago. Aah the irony of modernisation!
My mother took this picture for us since my semi-automatic camera lacked the self timer. So when the prints came, we all were ecstatic. And a little later, we upgraded ourselves too since Orkut was catching up and it was cool to have a profile on a social networking site. We got this photograph scanned and converted into its current form thanks to jaan. Another interesting feature, this is the actual photograph without any edits whatsoever. No picasa or photoshop effects. Not even a crop. Raw and rustic yet delightful and authentic.
And today all of my pretty young ladies are dispersed in different parts of the world occupied with their education and profession. It’s been a long time since the six of us have met together under one roof. We are remotely in touch on and off. Now I agree Facebook has surely come to my rescue for being in touch with them. I am yet to try Skype/Google hangout. But what I cherish the most is the times I have spent with them. And I also know that they’ll never come again. We’ll get busier from here on and life might complicate even more. We’ll lose track of how time has passed away. These photographs will be the only testimony we'll have. I am hoping technology will definitely provide some respite to the distance and constraints faced now in the days to come. Yes, I am waiting to own a Teleporter .
Nevertheless, whenever I will see this picture it’ll light up my face and brighten up my day just as it did back then and just as it did today.