A lot of people say that it’s difficult to make friends and maintain friendships once you’re in your 30s or 40s. Unsurprisingly, I’ve been in my 30s and 40s my entire life. While a lot of it can be attributed to my debilitating introversion, sabhakambam, and shyness, there certainly are other contributing factors — me being an ass, for instance. But I was not the only ass.
My scream is not your scream
Let’s look at the Sports Day of 1997. Mukku and I, both of us unathletic and useless on that particular day, pooled in money to buy a cup-icecream. Pocket money was a theoretical concept back then so this was a fairly big deal. After procuring the ice cream we, in a very clandestine manner, ferried it to a spot away from the crowd engaged in sporting fun.
Now we were in a dilemma. Should we wait for our third friend, who was probably the only other friend we both had during that year, and share the ice cream? Or should we just eat the ice cream since she didn’t know that we were in possession of one?
We debated this at length as we finished the ice cream, told ourselves that we are bad people, and slept peacefully anyway that night.
Three years later, Mukku and I were aimlessly patrolling the corridors of our school during the Science Fair of 2000. We dropped by the history section to chat with a classmate who had painstakingly put up a Qutb Minar exhibit made from chalk sticks if I remember correctly.
She had been standing there for a long time and wanted to take a bathroom break. So we took over from her temporarily and stood there sermonising about Qutb Minar to passersby. This was the time a reporter who was covering the science fair also decided to drop by.
The following weekend, the Hindu Young World paper carried a small but nice photo of Mukku and me standing proudly next to Qutb Minar like the Iron Pillar of Delhi. Did we know we were being photographed? No. Did we feel guilty about it? A little. Did we in full glee accept compliments for being featured in the newspaper along with someone else’s exhibit? Yes.
Squid games – Nanthancode edition
A year later I think, Mukku and I, still unathletic and of no use to sporting teams, were at the playground with Toadshi, also unathletic and not a priority for sporting teams. Then we invented this game called – Who Kicks Toadshi First? The rules of the game were eponymous.
Did we actually go ahead and play this game? Yes, every year after that, until we finished school. Did we popularise the game among more people? Yes, in fact, I think our entire class may have played it once if either my memory or imagination is correct. Did the rules ever change? No, whoever kicked Toadshi first always won.
Are we bad people?