Lest we forget: M

M, on the other hand, was MM's (let's just call him ABC instead) flatmate, and S's cousin. ABC's girlfriend, T, was one of my closest friends, even though I'd known ABC longer than I had known T. I didn't go to ABC's place often, though I spent almost entire days at T's place, and she would get upset if I stayed away. We were like family, the three of us. T had gone home to Bombay and I had no place to park myself during the day, so I went with ABC to his apartment where I met M. M was 5"9', and at that time seemed like a nice young man with an excellent collection of music. He was from Benares and stayed with his cousin S, and ABC and his brother EM. He spoke his hacking emploits and experiments with coding. In fact, in the days that I spent at their spacious flat, he added the finishing touches to a rather complicated plotting program in C that was thousands of lines long and mightly impressive. He had a crazy sense of humour and we got along quite well. Unlike my PG, or T's ultra-clean, no-smoking-no-drinking flat, this place was a party house.

Several of M's friends came over often, as did ABC's and EM's. We did nothing throughout the day but make prank calls, talk, listen to music and try to study. Studying was tough because at any time, someone or the other was talking, or on the phone, or listening to music.

If I remember correctly, M didn't smoke, unlike the rest of those guys. He did, however, drink and drink often. He took pride in showing off his collection of empty bottles, kept in the bottom shelf of a steel almirah, ranged from rum to vodka to whiskey to wine...he had quite a collection.
He also told me about a particular wine that he had procured recently with great difficulty and expense. He'd just returned from Leh from a vacation with the family, and had taken the wine as a gift for his father. His father was a businessman.

At that time, I had no mp3's- just a hundred cassettes. Maybe more. Few people actually had mp3's and M had a whole lot that he had bought from Palika in Delhi. He had quite a lot of G 'N R, Metallica, Eagles, Iron Maiden and then some more, and the rest was trash: trance, pop and Bryan Adams. M allowed me to borrow his entire music collection and one afternoon I dumped it all on AKM's hard disk. AKM, at that time, was my roomie. M had also recently purchased a really cool Nokia phone that played mp3. I know it's a common thing now, but that was expensive then - 13k - and he was very careful with it, and paranoid about it.

The servant they employed for cooking for the four of them was a young trustworthy chap whom M had brought from home. M also looked after all the finances. M was a very enthusiastic fella, especially when it came to drinking. I don't remember a single day when he didn't suggest we all get drunk, and also remember the way his chubby face lit up when we agreed to drink cause AC was there. AC was T's friend from Bombay and he deserves a book written about him, not a post. Anyway, while everyone else drank vodka and ABC had only a sip of beer because T had made him promise he wouldn't drink (girlfriends are such control freaks, I tell you), M and I shared a half-rum. AC drank half a beer, added some rum and vodka to it and tried to force ABC to drink it. M had some of that, most of our shared rum and then went on to get more rum for us to "share". And he still wasn't high. Anyway, both the bottles went into his collection.

A few months later, ABC and EM shifted out. Why? ABC wouldn't elaborate, but T told me. M was handling all the finances - for the telephone bills, electricity, rent and servant. All in the space of three weeks that M was away, at home, the servant mustered up enough courage to ask ABC and EM why they refused to pay his salary, the landlady asked them to pay the rent, the electricity got cut and phone line was disconnected. M had been paying the servant less, paying less rent and not paying the phone and electricity bills. He told the servant that whatever was being paid to him was from M and S, and that ABC and EM weren't paying up. All this money had been used to fund his wine purchases, excessive drinking and his mobile phone.

Anonymous amitken said...

Heheh.. I like M..

December 29, 2005 10:38 PM  

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