“Bhai, kab nikal raha hai?” Translated as “What time you plan to leave bro”, this was a staple question that used to get asked at 5.55 PM mon-Thursday, and at 5 PM on Fridays. The good thing about working in a corporate set up in Pune was that most companies provided transportation services. Buses leave from office at scheduled times, typically 6 PM, 7 PM and hence the questions at 5.55 PM, 5 mins before the first bus is to leave. Fridays was a different game because the way back from office was not home, but to Mumbai, my home town.
Looking back about half a decade later, life as a bachelor certainly meant fun, excitement, independence, and above all, the feeling of truly coming out of a protected way of HOMELY life. A typical day was pretty routine in nature- mornings were all about somehow making it to the bus pickup stop, just in time. Reaching that place 5 mins before time allowed the luxury of a cup of tea from the roadside tea vendor. A 5 ft by 5 ft wooden “platform” was all that the tea vendor was, and yet, he had 50 people at 8 am, waiting to sip on his tea!! Office was routine as always and most part of the day used to pass away without a call, until 5.55 PM. It’s funny how works absorbs so much time and energy that people who stay together, almost don’t recollect each other in the day!!!
Evenings were the funner part of the day. Back in the mid 2000s, internet although all-present, wasn’t easily available on wifis. TV was never considered and smartfones weren’t known to exist as much as today. This left evenings pretty much with books, chit chatting and hangouts. Cricket took an altogether different meaning when played with other friends at someone’s home. 10 of us playing ROOM CRICKET in a 10 ft by 10 ft room meant there was enough space for- jokes, laughs, talking about girls, swearing, abusing, fighting, eating, snacking, and ofcourse, the cricket!!
Ofcourse, there were other things too: all of us fresh 24 year old fresh graduates had many things to discuss: girls, friends, GIRLfriends, stories from college, stories about others from college and the likes. Internet, more than a habit as today, was a leisurely past time, meant to be done at the internet cafes. Social networking was hitherto unknown, and as such, Orkut, google and msn were ways and means to keep in touch with friends from college.
Back to the future, life today is a much settled institution. The energies have all settled down, marriage has brought a new meaning, and the future today seems something that needs to be planned and respected. But a lot of the energies of today, a lot of the excitement, has been generated back then. Life like that is all about friends, creating permanent bonds, and ofcourse, growth- cheers to that!