The day comes sooner or later for most small town guys and even some big city guys; when you leave home; the hitherto taken for granted comforts such as an own room; mom’s cooking & dad paying for everything become history. And in my case Mumbai meant bright lights, hep girls & an underworld ready to pounce on you as you step down on the platform from the the Cochin-Kurla train…And the lure of a career away from troubled world of engines which i couldnt comprehend; to the world of MBA- with white collars, A/c offices & revolving chairs.
First day of college was amazing; 120 aspiring managers from all parts of India. First conversations were always about accomodation "Have you found a place yet?Am looking for room mates n so on". I met an old Quizzing days acquaintance who spoke my language !! We decided to bunk together and recruit 3 more for sharing the flat. So the main task on first day was trying to locate kindred souls trying to find acco. After seeing a couple of places & interviewing potential roomies from the batch of 2001 of the Bschool we finalized on a flat & inmates.
A-204 Premjyot Complex A-204 Premjyot Complex was situated in the classy locale of Govandi (obviously Italian like Vivendi, Fendi) over seeing a lake….
Well, jokes apart ; u Mumbaiites will be thinking wtf.. yeah actually it was a Godforsaken waste dump suburb of Mumbai & our flat overlooked a sewage canal (looked like River Thames at night if you have a cold & you could not feel the stench.
The final line up of roomies included the following... K my friend was a Palakkad Iyer ; born n brought up in Calcutta. A brilliant engineer, very vegetarian, no drinks type & could do arithmetic calculations with the speed of lightning in his head. Unfortunately the calculations went like “I paid Rs 4 for the bus tkts so well your share comes to 1 Rupee 35 paise”. But me and K later formed a pretty strong Quiz team winning many a Biz quiz in Mumbai; a fact ( for which we were known among peers & even to the later batches)
G was K’s engg college classmate; well this is one guy whom you’d remember even if you forget everyone else in class. He used to work with a famous Indian Paint co; a fact he never let anyone forget. An average conversation involving G ended either when the victim found an excuse to run or G found another victim. First time I met him he left me with a deep inferiority complex when he told me how joined MBA he was losing his “competitive edge” at his previous job & how he planned to “leverage” his quantitative skills and head a “profit center” asap. (Duhh,I’d joined MBA basically because I hated engg; but i did use G's lines in an interview after 2 years when they asked me why I decided on an MBA ;-)))
R was from Orissa but studied all his life in Bihar or mebbe it was viceversa. A very decent guy, much older than the rest of us ; he wanted me to speak to him in English to improve his English whereas I wanted him to speak to me in Hindi for the same purpose.
There was S; a Sardar from Delhi who was supposed to join us but did not turn up ever tho’ he paid the deposit. He either was found in the class or in the library reading the newspaper. Don’t know anything more about him.
SSS ; the finance whiz from Chennai moved in slightly later to complete the line-up. He taught most of the class more Fin/ Cost Accounting than all of the Profs combined; and I am indebted to him for getting me pass all those dreaded papers. Come exam time he was often seen selflessly teaching all and sundry (even the Punjab daa puttars who wouldn’t have anything to do wth anyone south of the Vindhyas otherwise) these subjects before the exam; anyway he needed no preparation as he proved by the whopping marks he used to get. Due to all this I guess we can overlook his tendency to listen to Alaipayuthe and Kandukondein Kandukondein over n over again; his tendency to complain about anything under the sun & the obsession with washing clothes!
The most important room in the entire flat was the middle one (after the loo; depending on the time of the day) of co; supposed to be the kitchen for a normal household. Ours being anything but a normal household; the room behaved like a boggart in Harry Potterian terms (for the uninitiated: this room changed shape frequently till another one of us came n converted it to something else as if by magic)1 ;was a Puja Room in the mornings, the “read-newspaper-while-u-wait-for-the-loo-to-be-free” room slightly later, and music room playing FM at the same time. Late evenings it hosted discussions on topics ranging from “Branding strategy of Hindustan Lever” to which girl in class might be interested if one try-marofied. Later at night its the dining room for those who decided to take a parcel (Mumbaiya for take-away) & most importantly it morphed itself to bar on weekends & certain " i'm-so-screwed-up-i-need-a-drink" kind of weekdays.
More on that ; but i 'm really dying to write about my hostel which was my next abode...