The night we ‘did it’ was a long one. It was so long ago that the details have started to blur now. It happened on a night when we had partied long enough, and hard enough to lose sight of right and wrong, when youthful enthusiasm, and curiosity had quelled the sane voice inside us telling us not to embark on this foolhardy venture.
That night when the party reached its climax, several of our friends started to slip away, silently, one by one, stumbling, finding the way back to their hostel rooms with difficulty, helping each other along the way.
Three of us still remained – Rahul, Vineet, and yours truly.
Rahul Joshi was built to live life to the hilt. Lively and boisterous, he was the ultimate prankster in our batch. Endowed with all the vices known to men, he wasn’t in the ‘good books’ of many in our batch, but I do not think he could have cared less. He lived his life, one day at a time; the world be damned. Short and stocky, he was powerfully built and always fashionably dressed; if he could, he would have worn his shades even to the bath!!
Vineet Chaturvedi, was one of the brightest boys of our batch, yet prone to the quirks of nature which all brilliant men are guilty of, and which the lay public sometimes labels as insanity. Well, he WAS loony, strange, quirky, unpredictable. He had topped the state medical entrance, and was amongst the toppers of the BHU entrance examination. His large eyes, placed wide apart in his head, gave him a sort of bovine look. His loud laughter, and jokes which few could understand, set him apart from the others. When he came to join the college, he came with his bags packed, ready for the new life, and went straight to the hostel after the paperwork. He was one of the first of us to join, and start living in the hostel amongst the seniors, with the result that he was ragged most brutally in the beginning but was let off once others joined, thus shortening his period of torment. Even the seniors were appreciative of his courage, his offhand way of treating even seemingly serious issues, and his straight-forward approach to life.
And myself? Single child of middle class parents, convent educated, shy and introverted at school, never stepped out of home, squeaky clean image, obedient to a fault, envy of my cousins who had to hear a lot of comparison; I was your classical ‘good boy’. I had discovered my self-confidence, and the fact that the world could exist even outside the confines of my home, only once I joined college. The freedom, the intoxicating freedom, and the new found confidence had pushed me to excesses, and hence here I was, in this unlikely group of friends, a motley group thrown together by destiny.
To be continued……..
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