Friday, August 03, 2007

Goodbye, Mr D

Karthik D left for the United States of A today for pursuing higher studies. It's been barely ten minutes since I got home after bidding goodbye to him and wishing him well. And already, I feel quite sad. It will no longer be the same when we go on treks and the like. The impact of KD's absence will be felt deeply. To not have KD in the motley crew is an issue we have never had to grapple with. He was as ubiquitous as the rest of us. Perhaps more so, and maybe this is why it will be the sadder.

As I drove back with Subba to KD's house(his parents had reached there before us, travelling at an alarming speed in a taxi), we felt sad at not being able to meet this good friend of ours for some time to come. Then Subba drove away on his bike and I was left the lone receptacle of the memories. The many treks we undertook together. KD and I were the ever-present ones. We have been on every single trip our little group went on. Right from Sakleshpur to Karwar(with just him, Sandeep, Arvind and me. This was where he developed, quite unprovokedly, a wart. I have written about it elsewhere.), his was a presence which more often than not gave rise to some stuff of legend or lore. Case in point, the unfortunately regular bowel movements he experienced in Pondicherry, the consumption of huge amounts of anti-diarrhoeal medicine by him and the video we have of me making fun of him.

Also came to my mind the innumerable days we spent in his somewhat shabbily maintained room(there was always some male undergarment hanging around somewhere. As also a blue, concave rubbery thing which I'm still not sure served what purpose. I mean, flatter himself as he may, surely even he's not that delusional.) watching some movie or 'Family guy' or 'How I met your mother.' Or just sat around making somewhat ruthless jokes about him. That's what makes me feel sad and a little guilty now. He was always the butt of the joke, was Mr D. The focues would occasionally shift to someone else, but it would soon swing right back to him. And he always took it bloody well. Except, of course, for this instance. But that's ok.

Many were the times when I would stop at his house while driving back from work and we'd go to the pani puri guy near National Games Village. Many also were the days during college when we would congregate in Arvind's house and do nothing. And after every semester's exams, we'd stop by at Venkatesh's chat gaadi in Jayanagar 7th block. This tradition was begun by Mr D, Mr Sharma and Mr Menezes very early and I joined them only beginning in the 5th semester.

We've known each other for about seven years now. I remember him dropping me off home from NCJ during PUC. Then he went and broke his hand. Just like that. I've never told him this, but I forgot to invite him to this little function of sorts we had when we moved to our then new house in BTM Layout. He demanded to know, when he became aware that we had had a function, why he wasn't invited. I said it was because he had fractured his hand in that accident and wasn't supposed to move about for a week and all that. He nodded, satisfied by this obvious lie. I mean, if he had fixed me with a cold stare, I would have broken down and said, "All right, all right, it was me! I did it! I killed the butler!" I would have confessed to crimes I had not even committed. But he didn't and swallowed my bluff. Sorry, KD!

I went to his house with Nivedita today evening and he was busy. Packing this, removing that, weighing two huge bags every eighteen seconds and proclaiming his dissatisfaction at something. So we sat down and ate stuff his mother gave us(we have put her to this trouble many, many times) and Nivedita watched 'How I met your mother' while I read Scott Adams' "The way of the weasel." Yeah, I'm the smarter one. He was doing this and that and we felt we were intruding. So I got busy trying to pretend I was helping him. I whipped out my celphone and made calculations about the weight of his luggage(the weighing machine showed the weight in pounds and I, with my trusty cell-phone calculator, was converting it to kgs.). After a while, this activity too ended and he was ready.

A while later, Subba and I went to the airport. His parents were there, as were Archana's(she also MS). We stayed a while and left prudently, giving the families a moment with their rather short wards. This was Subba's initiative. Left to myself, I would have stayed and watched voyeuristically as they bid their tearful goodbyes. I'm an idiot that way. But we left a moment sooner, wishing KD and Archana good luck with their respective endeavours. The drive back home was tinged with a little sadness.

He'll enjoy his stay there, I'm sure. It will be a little unnerving at first, having to do things yourself that you took for granted here(your parents did it while your fat ass sat watching 'Friends' or something). But I'm sure it'll also be exciting. We were very afraid that Mr D would say "Whaat-aa?" to the customs officers and be swiftly arrested for being a dense fathead or for just being himself(a unique species). I hope none of these things happen, but you can never tell. KD might just start singing "Ah whaat-aa! Ah whaat-aa!" and things could get ugly.

Oh, also, we didn't get him a goodbye gift or anything. I mean, I know, between guys, we laugh at these things("What gift? Stuff it up yours. And I'll kill you if you cry." etc etc.). But it would have been a gesture. But we thought of getting him one and it's the thought that counts, right? Right? Please? Anyway, he couldn't have carried even a hundred grams extra with him, so close was the weight of his luggage to the allowed limit. So the only things we could have given him were cash, contraceptives and chewing gum. And I think he already had those.

Goodbye, Mr D. Have a great time there.


Sandeep said...

At this point I would like add some of the few things me and KD did in the 6 or so years I've known him. We are talking about him like he's dead, but it's kinda fun.

The boring bus journeys during the hot, sweaty summers that we undertook for more than 90 minutes each way for the best part of our college lives.

The countless times we ate Masalapuri at Lakkasandra followed by Chikoo milk shake.

The weird radio/torch that we bought in KR Market for 75 bucks.

The many fights we had over who's turn it was to walk to who's place in the mornings.

The bike rides, the petrol sharing.

The ligament tear and the whole drama that ensued.

The final sem project which we ended up doing together by a strange twist of fate.

Not to mention the many treks we've been on with the boys.

That's my two cents.

My only fear now is when/if he comes back from the US after his MS, he'll have become immensely clever and cool and sport an American accent. Although quite unlikely, it's quite a freaky proposition.

To KD, we wish the best in his new life in the United States of America.

I love Lucy said...

I know exactly what you are talking about...felt the same way when 2 of my closest friends were skipping town.I bawled louder than their own kith!

Sneha said...

oh god! the mood of your post is like you are mourning his death of something. he went to enjoyyyy, you enjoaaai too...

Kavitha said...

"We are talking about him like he's dead, but it's kinda fun."

This had me laughing for a long time......LOL

Suprita said...

You got me missing KD.. And I'm not even in India.. Sigh..

Harish said...

Ade paapa KD. Nee bardirod noDidre avnigeno aagoyteno anno tara ide. Yet, you are right. We will surely miss his company. All the best, KD.

Karthik D said...

:( Olle Bejaar aagtha ide.

The Darkling Thrush said...

is he weeping, already?

devil in disguise said...

quite similar to what happened between me and my friend..not all but the farwell part! but I didn't meet her the last day coz I knew there will be 'ugly' I wound up a day before :P