Anil is a serious character. He was my roommate at my hostel during Post graduation, and has been one of my best friends till date. Despite being from the heart of highland Kannur, his Malayalam is basically Cochin slang. There was no much hilarity in his way of talking, but over the years that we have known him, he had been the item of an assortment of amusing episodes.

This happened at a time when Anil was not having the greatest of epoch. It was a period when he was the focus of ridicule mostly due to his endeavour to woo a certain female which always ended in failure.

Anil usually used to travel to and fro with me when we used to go back home to Kannur and return, either by any of the night buses from Kannur or by West Coast Express train. Once after a certain vacation, he did not return to hostel on time.

He had said that he was not feeling well and we guys at hostel decided to call home and enquire. His mother took the phone and on probing his whereabouts, she replied:

“Anikku pallu vedanaya. Doctore kaanicittundu, samsaarikkan pattilla. Avan next week varum.”

“Sad case 😦 we thought.

We were really missing him as this he was the organizer who took initiative for our drinking sessions and we were expecting to have a dry week without him. Nevertheless, we wished for his speedy recovery as without him all of us were like lost souls.

Next day at college, we were in our usual coquetry with the girls around when somebody just asked us – “Aniettan vannille?”

We expected no harm from the question and replied…. “Avanu pallu vedanaya… next week varum”

She replied in a gloomy mode- “paavam… innale vilichappol onnum paranjillalo… ente birthday aayirunnu… Aniettan wish cheyyan vilichirunnu”

This shocked us a bit. The guy who could not talk to us yesterday had called a girl to wish her happy birthday. We were pissed off and decided between ourselves – “Ee penkonthanu oru pani kodukkanam”

That evening itself, we cooked up the story.

And the first thing we did the next day when we reached college was to trap a straightforward female into hearing our story and believing it.

“Do you know why Anil is on leave?”

“No…” – was the answer.

Ennal paranju taraam. Anil innale avante aduthulla Purushuettante veedinte mathil chaadan nokki. Purushuettan armyil ninnu leave eduthu vannathu avan arinjilla. Avan mathil chaadiyathum veenathu Purushuettante kaalil. Enthu cheyyanam ennariyathi tappi ninnappol ariyathe avan paranju ‘Purushuetta anugrahikoo’. Appol tanne Purushuettan ‘anugrahikkameda’ ennu paranju avante thalayude back sideil military gun vachu adichu. Appol avante munnilulla randu pallu terichu poyi. Athukondu Anil one week leave aanu”

“Unbelievable” – was the answer!!!

We told – “You believe if you want to… but this is the true story. If you don’t believe us, you ask our junior girl whom he wished yesterday. Her name is Vindhya, but because he lost two teeth at front, he could not spell her name properly. Munnile pallinte gapil koodi air pokunnundaayirunnu so he could only wish her “Findye, Findye Happy Firthday!!!”

She was dumbstruck at what we said, but nevertheless as all foolish females, she also seemed to believe the cooked up story. Soon, it spread like wild fire.

We guys were slowly enjoying the fun behind the scenes. Anil received endless calls from ladies hostel enquiring about the wellbeing of his incisor, and since there were calls from the ladies hostel, he picked up each one of these and had to face the discontentment of getting scorching yorkers goals hit straight at his wicket.

We were a satisfied lot. There was no much fun than seeing one guy endlessly tormented and agonized innocently in front of girls.

Two days passed. Early morning there was the bell ringing at our main door. I woke up, still in half slumber, and went to open the door unhurriedly. It was Anil. He had cut short his leave and came back to hostel early. As soon as I opened the door, I received a rain of the most prominent profanities that were available in Malayalam language in those days….

“N*****e mone, m***e, nee onnum jeevikkan sammathikilleda? Ninnodokke njan enthu thettada cheythatu?

Was dazed for a trice, but as soon as I recovered my senses, could not stop laughing at all. But the time, the rest of the team also joined in and they too could not control their laughter. It was fun to see the slur on Anil’s face as he was literally cursing the moment he did not attend our phone call when we called first.

“P***i mone, nee okke ithinu anibhavikkum…” was his last dialogue before he raced off to his room.

All of us could not laugh at the soup that he had landed into. But his dreadful period was not to end still, there was more in store.

Morning, as usual, we were late for the college bus. So we boarded the regular 101B bus from BK Pudur towards out college at NH. Anil was still cross with us, so when we all entered through the front door, he made his way through the rear door of the bus. We took our tickets as usual, but for Anil, unfortunately before the conductor could reach him, the ticket collection squad entered and asked him to show the ticket.

He relied slowly – “Aiyā, nā ikkekavillai”

The checker retorted – “Ē?”

“Conductor iku varavillai” – Anil retorted back in the feeblest of voices….

The reply that came from the checker was enough to make his day worse – “Conductor inge vantu ikke koukka nīka mutalamaiccar maka illai. Muṭṭā, fine kaṭṭa illae nā uṉṉai arrest ceyvārka

This was enough for him. He was seething at his misfortune, and he could not stand the scene of all the others, especially us laughing at his state of affairs. After settling the matter with a fine of Rs 500, he entered college, where again he had to stand testimony to the questions posed by his female fans who were so fascinated by the Purushuettan story we had created.

By afternoon, his anger had subsidised a bit. But, we were still having fun and he was the butt of all jokes. A compromise formula was discussed and we decided stop making fun of him, temporarily. And all of us were then back to our old self, helping each other.

I needed to go home next week again, by train. So I asked Anil for a favour, to go to Coimbatore Railway Station and book tickets. He agreed, since it was a harmless assistance that we do for friends. He took with Ajeesh and left off to the station on a bike. He was a bit off colour because of losing money in the bus, so I did a grand favour by giving him extra money for bike’s petrol and parking fees at railway station.

But, misfortune sometimes knocks the some doors again and again….

He just reached the railway station, parked the bike and was off to the reservation centre when he felt something pulling him back.

It was a police officer who was pulling his collar and telling him “Akē nillu”

Anil was a bit petrified, but gathered his guts to ask – “Ē Sir? Nā eṉṉa ceytē?”

“Nīka No pārkkikil bike ae niuttiyirikken”

Anil could not control his anger any longer, he just blazed his reply back – “Sir, nīka inta skūṭṭarka ikē park seythathu pārkkavillaiyā? Njan inge niuttiyathu maṭṭumē ungalkku oru pirachaai?”

The police officer roared back – “Aaithu Staff vehicles tā. Inta idam public pārkki alla”

Poor boy, he looked around, there was a signage which displayed “Staff Parking Only” and  “Trespassers will be prosecuted”. There was nothing much that he could gain by arguing, so he did what was the right thing to do at that time – pay another Rs 500 as fine and get the get the albatross off his neck.

He came back to hostel, dejected, tired and fully sapped of energy. We could not stop laughing at his nonstop saga of self goals that week.

“The man with the real sense of humour is the man who can put himself in the spectator’s place and laugh at his own misfortune” – and this was just what Anil did. After the incidents sunk in, we guys had a great laugh at the end of day, that too over our regular glasses of rum.

What had happened here was just one of the many episodes of hilarity and excitement that happened during our college days. The target of the gag might change quite often, but the intensity with which we all enjoyed these moments were quite awesome.

Miss those days 🙂