Of CDs, Culture Shocks and Lasting Memories

The prompt for last weekend’s WOW on Blog Adda sent me back about a decade ago, with memories that came gushing out with the words on the prompt – Idiot, CD and Perfume. No, they do not have any relation to each other and nor did I succeed in weaving a creative gem out of them. These were simply some of the most unforgettable objects, that I can associate with that period of my life.

The period around 2004-2005. My first job. The first training. First time staying away from home, away from the constant supervision of parents. New friends, new environment, and a lot of cash in hand. You get the gist? No, don’t jump to conclusions. I did not go partying wild or shopping like a maniac (well, maybe a little). This was when I met some very different people, and their uniqueness remains unparalleled till date. Most of them have scattered away, gone to far-off locations, or probably are living right there in the next street but I do not know of it. We have lost touch, except for a handful, and even those it has been more than a year since we met. The time we spent together though, remains fresh in my memory, like the scenes from a movie I saw just yesterday. So, remembering them, here I am doing what I seldom do in my posts – make a list. A list of memories and glimpses that prompt evoked in me. My dear friends, if you are reading this, I am sure you will smile at those wild moments we had. Other readers, I am sure you too can relate to some of these memories, for you too would have similar ones.



Courtesy: Web

First let me tell you about the words in the prompt – 


My friend G one day swore at Ch, calling him an “Idiot” (yeah, that was the level of swearing G and me knew then). And immediately, D starting teasing her, “Aww! You called him Idiot! You know what that means?” It turned out that it was supposed to mean “I Do Ishq Only Tumse” (I love only you), and G turned a deep scarlet. From then on, all of us would watch our tongue, careful not to utter the word, for if we did, we were surely the subject of entertainment for the rest of the day.


That was the time I started collecting CDs like crazy. Music videos, MP3s and movies, I built up a large collection. We were introduced to “Bin Tere Sanam” by D, who used to sing that romantic song in a drawl, and though it sounded funny, I actually liked it. He also introduced me to Kaante songs, and I could watch him endlessly pelt out Rama Re or some dialog from that movie. P and me shared the love for Yuvan Shankar Raja, especially his songs for Dhanush’s Kadhal Kondein and 7G Rainbow colony. I remember how V, G, P, myself and P’s uncle and aunt crossed over the border from Bangalore and entered Hosur to watch 7G, since at that time an anti-Tamil aggression was on in Bangalore.


Till my association with V, I only knew deodorants. Had never used perfumes too much, and when I did, only the cheapest of brands (Tommy Girl something). The way V extolled the virtues of Elizabeth Arden and Burberry got me hooked on to them, and perfumes went on to become the one thing that I splurged on, till the time I kept a job.


Before 2004, i.e. before I started working, flirting was considered ‘bad’ (by me, of course). The boys who did it were ‘bad boys’ and the girls who did that had loose morals. So imagine my shock when my intellectually sharp, witty and smart friends flirted so casually. There was this particular guy Ch. Thinking of him still brings a smile on to my face. Scrawny build, broad-rimmed glasses and a geeky appearance. But man, how he used to flirt! We were on this queue at the food court one day, and he was in front of me. He said something I couldn’t understand, and I asked, “Excuse me?” He replied, “Squeeze me!” The blush came on (on me, who else), my jaws dropped. I wonder whether I was able to camouflage the fact that I was scandalized. I do not know where he is now, but he was one of the first ‘cool dudes’ I have met, and I absolutely adore him.

Boys Vs. Men

Till college, most of the male friends were just ‘boys’. About the same size or taller than me, boyish face and boyish antics. If I was taken aback a bit when I first met P, wondering if I was going to be working with this ‘anna’, I warmed up to him because, despite his build, he had (and still has) a boyish face. I was however, no way prepared to meet SD and CP, with their matured faced and broad shoulders. I used to feel quite intimidated in their presence for a long time.

Social Drinking

Again, till college, drinking was a ‘bad thing’. I would chide my male friends for drinking, and heavily advice them not to (I am sure they would slap their heads once I turned away from them). But enter work, I got introduced to the new concept of ‘social drinking’, where the male colleagues casually sipped vodka or whiskey as we all ate during a party. Again, scandalized I was at first, for I could neither say no to the outings with friends, nor tell them not to drink. They seemed to know their limits and were cautious when drunk. so slowly, I went from shock to gathering a lot of information about ‘drinking’, getting to know names like pint, bloody Mary, margarita. I quite prided myself to be in the know, though I never drank myself. That much innocence I continue to retain. My maximum tryst with drinks was a sip of some cocktail containing vodka (it was white colored, forgot the name), on our trip to Goa.

These might actually sound silly for some, but these things have had a profound impression on me. Call it the loss of innocence, or growing up, my sojourn at Bangalore left me a changed person forever. There is so much more, but I will stop my list here. Some memories are best protected inside the heart, to be peeped into now and then and returned back safely to the deepest corner. It’s almost an year since I first met these fine people, but this gang remains my last set of ‘best buddies’ till date. There’s been no one after you guys. I do not think I even told them, I had a name for them – Infyclosknit, which I christened the folder in my Outlook with and would store all their mails there. And read them whenever I missed them.

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