About Mirror of My Self

Self is God. Self is Guru. Self is Everything.

This blessed mirror reflects nothing but the Self of my Beloved Brother, my Highest Gurudeva and my Spiritual Father. Whatever you see, read and experience in this blog are only from Him, through me, for you, my dear visitor.

This slave is taking immense pleasure in welcoming you to experience my Self in all its glories!

Shree Rama Jayam.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My good old school mate

I happened to see my good old school mate, when my brother and I were on the way back from the movie Autograph. It is always a pleasure to meet old friends, especially school-chums, who bring back the fond memories of our innocent childhood.

As I did my schooling at two beautiful hill stations, Coonoor and Kotagiri, in Nilgiris, I altogether had a different set of friends with different ambitions, interests and background. This made the ‘surprise’ meetings more exciting. Because, chances are, I may come upon friends who might be a fledgling director, a mouth-tight geologist, a restless market vendor, an aspiring writer, sometimes a carefree gypsy, and of course, the run-of-the-mill professionals.

Though, I loved such unexpected encounters, there was one thing that had always bothered me. It may be my forgetfulness, or my inability, or my poor memory, or my absentmindedness, or, call it whatever, but there was something that didn’t allow me to recall their names. I always had a tough time in remembering their names, that too, when my friends used my name once in every ten seconds while conversing… my god! I was embarrassed.

And this ‘dear’ friend was no exception. He called my name aloud and smiled. I don’t know whether he expected the same from me, but I went one step ahead (literally!) and hugged him tightly, so that he will never get the slightest feel that I had forgotten his name.

Freeing himself from my affectionate embrace, he began to ask all the regular queries - about job, health, family, friends and so on. Though my face was calm and serene as that of Buddha (of course, I should also mention the-all-knowing-smile my face exhibited) while answering his ‘thought provoking’ questions, there was a restless battle taking place within my mind to remember his name.

It came up with all possible tricks to get his name from his own mouth. Like asking his full name, or wondering how our English teacher would pronounce his name (since our English teacher was an Anglo-Indian, she always had a peculiar way of pronouncing our asli Indian names, giving altogether a new name, which instantly became our nickname), or, to the worst, in the act of getting his phone number, asking himself to spell out his name with initial…

Though a lot more ‘innovative’ ideas were buzzing in my mind, without trying any I simply gave up. Meanwhile, I may have used all the words that a slang thesaurus could possibly suggest for an ‘intimate’ friend (who knows, I could have also contributed some new words).

But, the moment I gave up, to my surprise and to everybody’s shock it happened. An uncontrolled force, deep inside from my stomach came through my mouth, thundering out his name ‘KISSHHHOOOOREEEEE!’

That was enough for the whole street to turn at us, and especially for a stray dog to run away, barking.

My dear friend, whom I thought would be happy with me for remembering his name, who was till then smiling and talking cheerfully, was now looking at me crazily, as if I were an unwonted extraterrestrial from one of the sixty three moons of Jupiter. My brother, who was till then engrossed with his mobile phone, gave me a look, which undoubtedly questioned my sanity. And that was enough for me to turn away from him, immediately, and grin at my friend, innocently.

Though the joy of discovering his name was overwhelming, I slowly understood my ‘affectionate’ outburst had created an ‘unaffectionate’ situation. Just to make it normal, I started conversing with him. I asked how our old school-mates Saravana, Anantha, John (the few names that popped up in my mind) were doing, and started saying stories about our pranks and (I alone) laughed loudly. Even the corner of Kishore’s lips never moved a bit to any of those mischievous-stories, which usually provoked non-stop laughter when told.

He remained disturbed and his eyes were now looking at me more strangely than ever before. I felt, he was not yet relieved by the shock of my outburst, or may be he might have understood what my brother had meant with his looks, and took that seriously.

It made me to wonder how to continue the conversation or better how to end it and escape from him. But suddenly my ingenious brain reminded me that I have not yet introduced my brother to him. So, immediately, I turned to my brother and said, “He is my good old school buddy Kishore. We were best friends at school. We sat next to each other, and he always used to empty my lunch box without my knowledge. Though he was very poor at his studies, he used to get through the exams by copying all my answers. He was an expert at that. And we both fought once to sit next to Shalini, our childhood sweetheart at Green Valley (Note: ‘Our’ here means not just we both, our whole class).” As I was excitedly recollecting our fond memories of our school-hood, I saw my ‘dear’ friend’s face showing all the awkward expressions (only) his face could, possibly, show, and his eyes slowly beginning to emanate anger.

Seeing his eyes turn blood red like a furious Bollywood hero, I was confused, and was not able to comprehend the reason for his sudden fury.

I gave him that smile of knowing him for years, and asked, “What happened, don’t you remember any of them?” I winked naughtily and whispered, “How were you able to forget Shalini?” And that was enough for him to vent out his ire. Moving his head left to right and shaking his hands uncontrollably (I doubt whether he was shaking or it was the anger that made him shake his hands), he replied, with all hatred, “You jackass, I never studied at Green Valley, I studied in Stanes!” and left the place, giving me the same look my brother gave me before.


This piece of fiction cum true incident was written a year ago after a bizarre encounter with my school mate!


Ayesha Parveen said...

Hah hah hah! Mani, you have a great sense of humour. What with the all-knowing Buddha-smile and the Anglo-Indian way of calling out Indian names...it was really fun to read.

I was somewhat upset last evening..your post has made me smile again. Thanks, friend. Now I will be flying to Kolkata tomorrow, with a happy heart.

Hare Krishna!

KParthasarathi said...

A very humourous write up.I frequently face such situations in covering up my forgetful memory till the friend introduces himself again exposing my pretense of remembering him.You write exceedingly well.Do write more stories, manivannan

Shravan | ശ്രവണ്‍ said...

lolz mani..oh good morning.. and am glad that i have never been in such a situation.. have always remembered the names and persons.. but this one made me smile.. am having an all smile beginning for this day :) cheers :)

A New Beginning said...

lol Mani that was smthn, u managed to get him mad at u!Cant stop laughfn! Excellent post! Made my day!:) Cheers to u and ur sense of humour!

Femin Susan said...

its always a pleasure to see your old friends.....
you are really lucky for that.

venus66 said...

Meeting old friends is wonderful. It's like bringing back all the past memories.
How are you? How is work?

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Mami:)

What a coincidence! I was in Kottagiri in 1968 as an NCC cadet for Republic Day selections. We traveled to Kottagiri by bus from Mettupalayam. I had a good time there. I remember climbing pear trees and filling my pockets with pears--nice big juicy ones. I remember attending mass on Sundays in a small church. I even took one huge cabbage home.

I'm also very bad in remembering names. Very often I got into very embarrassing situations on account of that. In my case, it was a big handicap because I was in the sales.

Once I met a man in his office. I requested him to get an order ready and I will pick it up the next day. The same day evening I met him in the market and he told me the order was ready. I could not recognize him. I wanted to know which order is ready and where is the order. Finally that man came to my rescue and told me that we met in the morning at the Electricity Stores office. You can imagine my embarrassment:)

I enjoyed your post very much.

Have a nice day Mani:)

Sneha said...

I enjoyed reading your post.it was humorous as well as the flow was consistence.:)

have a nice day.:)

anupama said...

dear mani,
hearty congrats!i was really surprised to read your post as we are sailing in the same boats!i was about to write a post on my poor memory and how i land up in embarassing situations!even afirst child taught me a lesson!
i enjoyed reading your post.happy blogging.

manivannan said...

#Ayesha Parveen

Hare Krishna!

Ayesha ji that was really a heartwarming comment :-) I'm so glad that Krishna made me as a tool to bring smile in your heart, His Grace! Thanks a lot for your kind appreciation.

Wish you a safe and happy journey!

May Krishna guide you, always :-)

manivannan said...


So you too fall in the same category. That's very nice to know :-) I'll surely try to write more such stories even if such encounters doesn't happen again :D

Much thanks, dear sir, for your encouragement.


manivannan said...

#Shravan | ശ്രവണ്‍

Oh! Then, you should really be lucky, and your friends must be fortunate :D I am so glad that it brought smile in your face Shravan. I can ask nothing more :-)

Keep smiling, always :-)

manivannan said...

#A New Beginning

Thanks a ton sana for that *cheerful* comment and wishes. I'm really happy to know that you laughed out loud :-)

Have a great day friend!

manivannan said...

#Femin Susan

Welocme again, susan :-)

Yeah...it's always a great pleasure to meet old friends. And, yes, I was fortunate to meet him. Or else, would I have got a story to share with you all :-)

I am happy to receive your comment friend. Keep visiting often :-)


manivannan said...


Much thanks for the read and kind regards venus. By God's Grace I am doing well, and job is going great! And I hope the same with you :-)

Take care dear friend!

manivannan said...

#Joseph Pulikotil

Sir, you surprise me most times :-) It's great to know that you have been to Kotagiri, and done what I have exactly done, filling pocket with big juicy pears. It was a routine for us after our school was over :-)

Thanks for bringing back those sweet memories :-)

And that was indeed funny :-) I can so well connect with you. Since I have felt the same embarrassment many many times :(

Again, much thanks for sharing your memories and kind appreciation!

Warm regards!

manivannan said...


Thanks sneha. Now I am assured :-)

Take care!

manivannan said...


Welcome anupama! Thanks a ton for your read and encouraging comment. It's really great to know that you have also thought to write a post about it. Please, go ahead. I would love to read your experiences :-)

And yes we are indeed travelling in the same boat. Actually, when I commented on your blog, I thought of asking what *sasneham* means, but didn't. When I saw your reply, I was *surprised* to see you given its meaning. Telepathy, ah?!

*with affection*

lakshmi said...

lovely moments indeed........though totally in two different directions.......


surjit said...

Wow!!!A captivating post.
Thanks for sharing.
God bless.

manivannan said...


Yeah, you're right akka :D Thanks a lot for the read. :-)

Have a good time!

manivannan said...


Thank you surjit ji. I am really happy that you liked it :-)


Whirlwind said...

Very interesting and extremely hilarious!!

manivannan said...


Thank you for the read Swetha. I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)


Vishwanath Seshadri said...

Hi Mani,

I was most amused to read your post.. Do you know why ? Not only was it humourous but it is exactly what happens with me all the time...

I use some tricks like asking him / her for a visiting card or introducing him / her to a friend who is with me without giving names and hoping that they will share their names with each other !!

I guess none of us usually have the courage to confess !!



Cyrus Rumi said...

A great story:)!!!!!


manivannan said...

#Vishwanath Seshadri

Ah! Again some parallels between us :-) And you've given some good tips Vish, may be it would be of help in the future :D

Yeah, you're absolutely right, none dare to confess. Thanks a lot for your comment friend.


manivannan said...

#Cyrus Rumi

Thanks a lot for your read brother :-)