Then there was this mysterious friend of mine let’s call him Mr M. His name starts with M and I used to call him M….. The great. He just got married. The first one from my immediate circle to take the gauntlet or to throw in the towel as they say. I am happy for him may be more than happy. We have or may be had a very strong personal relationship for I don’t know how people change or are supposed to change post marriage. Me and MTG we confided in each other and a lot of trust ; Yes am one of the surreptitious few who know the girl he married was his one yes one and only love while he managed to fool the world into making it an arranged affair. You see what a genius, this mysterious friend of mine; even his parents thought that he is marrying on their choice alone. Genius yes or wait you need to be more than a genius to pull it off; you need destiny ,luck ,fortitude or whatever you like to call it for it’s no mean a feat . Whatever be it, the thing that matters to me more is that MTG has achieved his only demand from life as he put it. But there is a dampener for me in all this so far hunky dory tale. You see , can you believe it, does it make any sense , how do I say it; You know what my genius friend has cut all contact with me post wedding. The last time we talked was the second day of his marriage when we our party of four college friends returned from his place. Is it weird or is it normal, see he is the first of my close friends to get hitched as they say so maybe that is the way it is, or may be that will be the way it will be ,that he has started a tradition for our circle or well may be it will depend on the girls that come or the bahus that come into our lives and homes .
At times I get may be angry at him at times I try to contemplate may be he is angry at me too. I try hard to recapitulate my brief sojourn to Sopore for his wedding , maybe I did some mistake or maybe he did not like the gift that I gave him or may be the sherwani, he did not like the sherwani that me and Tawseef arranged or wait nothing MTG never bothered about such mundane things he always talked and even thought on a higher plane or at least made it out to be so for now we know what a master he is in making things out.
MTG was always a mysterious figure. He would mostly avoid the classes in the college and books too I mean the books in the syllabus. He had immense dislike I think, for regimes and routines, for curricula and syllabi. The guy who did not read the topic before an exam but immediately after returning he would in all earnest start reading the topics that had been asked without caring for the next paper. He hardly ever failed , he hardly if ever scored well, he just passed the exams. And he did not care for he did not give a damn to the grades or the pointer. He used to enjoy his life in the hostel. ‘I wish I could spend a lifetime with you guys here ‘.
There were two things that kept him constant company his cough and cold and his Shahrukh khan like hairstyle- he was smart too – You could at times mistake him for the real Shahrukh if he had just woken you up after a fresh bath. ‘The bathroom and the balteen are now all yours to relish’. Yes after he had relished them for an hour or so as he usually did. Then came along what was to become his third constant companion the cigarettes, the gold flake cigarettes. He claimed that smoking had cured his constant zukaam and for some strange reason it in fact had had a positive effect on his . I never understood why ,to me the smoke should have choked his bronchi more but then he is our Mr mysterious the MTG.
You know in an engineering college placement time is festival time , everyone is looking to get placed and with fat packages, someone is revising his books, someone is browsing interview tips from the net, someone is getting a brand new suit for his interview, still others are getting their funky styles transformed into more somber ones. Everyone is excited, full of hopes wanting a share of his pie. And here I am looking frantically for my mysterious friend. He has suddenly disappeared on the day of placement. He did not want to get placed, he did not want to leave Kashmir, his family here, he did not even want to think so ,not to even take a chance with, so he just vanished from the hostel for the day. He is not even receiving anyone’s calls. ‘The number you are calling is not responding’. Call after all call, corridor after corridor, Bathroom after bathroom my search , our search yields no results- i.e positive ones for he is again as I said earlier a genius at hide and seek :at making things out.
But then he is a lovely friend to have one of my best. I shared all things about my life I could possibly share with any friend with him. He was such a nice friend to have full of love full of care. More loyal than the king , if I may take the liberty of using the phrase for he really was more concerned about my concerns than even I was, especially when it came to the matters of heart ’ dil ke mamle’ as they call it . His smoking stints would increase in frequency in direct proportion to my travails. He was and is such a lovely person to have as my friend and yes we agreed on almost everything we have the same world view more or less- a rarity for my oh yes our worldview. I can only wish he gets over his wedding hangover (if there is any such thing) soon or may be that I need to write an application to bhabi ji for that .