His name is Jain.. Achal Jain.
Not Aanchal, not Anshul, not Chanchal.. its Achal.
A synonym of “Hill” in “Hindi”.
Or as the heading says, “one who cannot be moved.”
I primarily was not inclined to write this post at all. Because I couldn’t find anything which has not been written over here among all these blog-posts, or said to you directly. Or via Whatsapp, over calls, elaborated text messages and other hundred modes of communication. Out of the 26 years you have completed on this planet earth, our invasion into each other’s life is now exactly two decades old. We’ve been pillion riders on Bajaj Classic Scooter and Yamaha RX-100 for Christ’s sake! It actually sounds like something that should have come out from our father’s mouth. Are we that old?
Looking back now, it actually feels like an era has passed. We have actually witnessed each other growing up, And believe it or not, I do remember how we first met.
So this is about when we entered 1st standard. 1st July 1997 (It must be it, supposedly! I am not that good at remembering stuff), After a blissful summer vacation of entire two months, it was the time to go back to school. The first day of the session, no matter which class, is dreading anyhow. That’s what “the set of unwritten laws” says. To top it off, I had to change my mode of transportation also. As if the tiring work of applying covers to the books and copies, and making crucial decisions regarding which cartoon name-slip will go on which book cover was not draining enough.
This migration from Horse-Tonga to Auto, was pretty taxing mentally. How much could a kid take on the first day itself? As soon as the high pitched horn sounded outside, my mother rushed me with an enthusiasm she probably wanted to see in me. Had I gifted her my bag, she would have happily took it and rode off in the Auto to school. Sadly that’s not how it works.
As I dragged my feet to the gate, I was accompanied by my colony friends, who have been using this Auto for eternity and didn’t had to worry about being the new guy not only in the class, but also in the Auto. I saw them giving their bags to the driver, as they happily started conversing with their friends. A look back to my excited mother’s face ensured that there was no getting out of it.
So I silently walked to the driver, handed him my bag, and gave a look at the children to find a space where to sit. Such an unfriendly bunch of runts I tell you! Just busy in discussing about Shaktimaan and Kapala fight! I thought maybe the friendly neighbourhood friends would help me out. But no, they were the moderators of the group discussion!
There was this one guy with ultra straight hair and kinda triangular face, who looked at me and moved aside to let me in. I jumped at it and the auto started. After waving off to my mother, whose excitement was turning less visible with the auto picking up speed, my colony friends finally could see me again, and introduced to this triangle boy, who was the only guy in that auto of my age and class. “Hey Achal, this is Abhinav.”
“Hi! So which section are you in?”
“Cool! I am in the same class! That means we are classmates!”
I didn’t say much in that entire journey to school because all the talking on my behalf was being done by our common friends. We ended up on the same seat in the class, and by the end of the school that day I knew about his interest in drawing. I guess that was the point which led to the starting of a friendship. This friendship.
Taking a trip down the memory lane does bring up many great things. But that’s the stuff to discuss and reminisce some other day. Enjoy now, as it is the gateway to a new you, 26 year old you. Question everything else but yourself, as it’s difficult to surpass 26 years worth of experience. Maybe next year?
Any specific wish you have? Start collecting dragonballs then. Will give you a head start in it.. 🙂
Many Many Happy Returns of the Day!