The fun and fancy in life is always enjoyed while we see that and it is irony while we ourselves in an awkward situation, later while sit back mow down the memory ... it is really funny.. may be we would contemplate the consequence... May be I should not have acted like that... !
It was a gloomy day , I was at college- second year, we had CATAFETE , catering festival , the fanfare and pomposity was not the same as the first year, obviously we had drained the college coiffure on our maiden attempt!!! ( Our STUDENT WELFARE ASSOCIATION represented by Kasi Reddy,Rajasekar, Rahmathulla, Prakash and subsequent year, I was elected unopposed VICE CHAIRMAN, along with Rahmathulla, V.Sekar, Mario Lazaro) Though the event sailed away without much glamour... The hostel was overflowing with occupants... so we all day scholars decided to get back home..It was late and there were no transport available, all of us being boys, most of them from Nungambakkam, Loyala college and around.. later by 1.00 a.m. we decided to walk the distance from Taramani to Nungambakkam that was almost 12 km.
Patrick John, Micheal Arul, Backer, Raja- Patrick's cousin and others were about 30 odd people began the walk... after the closing ceremony. The stretch from Catering college to Anna university through I.I.T. was quite adventurous, walking through dark, thorny bushes, to evade off the fright, each of us were singing and making fun of others, were with a merry mood crossed over near Kotturpuram, the passage from Kotturpuram to Nandanam was only the huge drainage pipe lofted over Kovam river with iron pipe barriers running through that stretch just 3 feet wide. No one would dare to walk in that odd hours.. until then none of us knew the tradition of that settlement area!!! ,that, was the area were the city's most wanted criminal were nestled and incidently that was the time the local thugs like Kabilan who was shot in an encounter by the police and the most publicised Auto Shankar who used to abduct girls and get them killed!!!!was using that place as the hideout ...
We were just wondering that, the locality being so dark and each of us had the stigma of fright but not letting that surface, cracking jokes and as we reached the other end of the passsage... As we were getting near the main road we rounded up by the police in 5 different vehicles.. just in a flash.None of guys who were there had any strength in them to come forward to ward off the police presence.. Micheal who is 6 footer.. was not to be seen anywhere nearby.. and the main noise creators... were dump struck and were literally shivering... I really did not know, from where i gathered my guts... and fortunately I had my business card ( My brother Raja had a style in showing off and he always had me as his guinea pig for all his trials!!! his friend Akbar had started a screen printing unit and he had my business card done on screen printing which was unique those whilst the normal type set printing was the vogue!!!- I should admit that paid off then ...) I just walked over to the Deputy Commissioner who was one of the Special search squad sitting in that Jeep-!!! and with no nonsense attitude, I just flashedd my business card to him.. he was little hesitant to be aggressive, capitalising on that, I just started off explaining that we all are students returninng from the college function and as we had missed the public transportt and all coming from same locality chose to walk back home in this short route... He just looked at me sternly then acccepted my explanation, later briefed us the reputation of that place where were rounded up, then he let us go by also informing on his radio to other search squads about our group and where were heading too, so we, not be stopped any further..!
As we walked ahead few paces... each one of us had our breath coming to ease..! All my friends immediatly took my business card!!!!
Then on my entreprunial stint, we had to start our own screen printing unit, though it appears that we had been too adventurous..! but the situations we dragged ourself made us to be so..! Raja had the business cards on tinted cards which was the on demand and to our customers' surprise we had our delivery slips screen printed, the attempt was prompted by Muthuganesh and now while I think of those attempts...I am quite amazed , had such resourceful minds around.. for each and every situation, one of us had a practical solution, be it organising George's marriage ( My first event mass catering for 1500 people..!!! made all in our family proud) None would believe, we - Raja, Muthuganesh,Periyapillai, Ramesh-another soul who had a short life span, passed away at Kumbakkonam Mahamagam while our then Chief Minister Jayalalitha took a holy dip in the temple pond that is surrounded by a short wall, the anxious public assuming that they might see her as glamourous as she used to be in her tinsel world, tried to steal a frame of the bathing scene, pushed little too much with much obsessed security, Ramesh was in scouts was voluteering there was pushed into the pond and caught in the mele of the stampede as the wall collapsed, he fell into the pond and drowned.. while I heard the news of his accident that took his life away, I was spell bound and even today while I go in the tube in London, I still wonder, seeing people very similar resembling him, I just stand for a few moments.. thinking of him, ! and not to miss my great pals...( Regret to mention not i touch now for last 5 years.. yearning to see them and talk to them, a gulf of disagreement had lopped up,,, Bhaskar, Bala, Zubair, Vishwanath, oh..! oh... Freinds were the bricks in my edifice of PICK PACK CATERERS, Muthuganesh, and Raja were the pillars... but.. it lasted 3 balance sheets, 4th year , it was an overnight shutters down, all the were like autumn leaves... just swished away .. hard to forget that,
at times I used to wonder how I had tackled the situation with Muthuganesh & Raja besides me.. they were the inspiration for my all attempts.. yet, when difference of opinion started gulfing in there were not a soul around us...
With Muthuganesh, he was such a loner and most pampered brat in the family, if I ask myself how he got into this business act...! I have no logical explanations... while we moved to Chennai, Jaganathan and Muthu came for a vaccation from Trichy to Madras then - now Chennai, their arrival was an episode filled with humourous incidents... while they began their journey they wished to savour every minute of their journey by deciding to travel by First Class in a passenger train...!!!!! from Trichy to Madras which is almost 450 kilometers, the train they took, stopped in each and every stationand they almost travelled for 38 hours which normally would have been an 12 hours journey in an express train, we were informed by our uncles' that they would be arrriving, but none were aware about their adventurous attempt , traveling by the passenger train... here at home, my Mom was so concerened and eventually both of them after reaching home proclaimed that they made the Southern Railway pay back every penny they spent on the First Class ticket by undergoing such a long journey..!We got the pun later while Jaganathan quite discreetly stated that by mistake they took that train..
On their maiden trip to Madras..! that wass when even I had the opportunity to go around places in Madras.. The Safire theatre complex where we saw the movie SILVER ARROW!!- a non stop movie in that complex, which normally used to be a joint for college boys and girls to elope around...
Jaganathan who generally has the habit of watching movies on the first day of the release..( until I teamed up with Zubair & Bhaskar- I had never seen movies on the first day of the release..!!!) coming to Madras, on the second day, they left home and till late midnight there was no news and my Mom was so upset... I have no words to explain.. her restlessness, assuming that these two guys having come to the city, not aware of the city dangers..!!!!- pick-pockets, acccidents, her imagination had no boundaries, finally they two came home around midnight, hiding her emotions, served them the dinner .Later quitely Jaganathan related their first hand experience watching movies from morning 10 A.M. to midnight ...we were all zapped...
Subsequently, while Muthuganesh had a job proposal from Mr. Vimalraj -who is related to Mr. Lourdsamy the contractor, who constructed the compound wall of the Ponmalai workshop which was possible because of my grand Dad - Muthu Pillai!!!! The legacy goes like that which gave a break through for Muthuganesh to get an Accountant job with Vimalraj and also be responsible for the flooring contract. During those days getting the MOSAIC TILES in the construction was a luxury, Muthuganesh was brain behind Vimalraj to move in a production unit to Madras at Madhavaram at St. Isabel's Hospital which was under construction in 1986-87. Though William , brother in law of Vimalraj was there Muthuganesh landed in Madras to take over the project, at that moment we had just moved to Perambur , while my Dad had retired.
Our mode of commuting was bicycle and we had the luxury of 2 bicycles at home.. We were curious to go see the place, but our timings would never let us go see the project at broad daylight. One fine day, Muthuganesh adamantly dragged us to visit the site from Perambur to Madhavaram after dinner, it was almost 11'o'clock at night, yet we Raja, Muthu, Sundaraman and me. took the expedition and as we reached half way through, it was padddy field on either side, dark with no street lights, roads were dilapidated.. certainly it was an expedition.. reaching the site, it took almost 40- 45 minutes, Muthuganesh showed us the place, not realising it was getting late..
After the tour of the site, we decided to return home, it was very much dark and quite, we could only listen to the sqeeking of the cricket on the paddy field and frogs croaking. we would have cycled for about 10 minutes, suddenly from nowhere, a group of street dogs came charging behind us and barking madly, I was sitting behind, Muthuganesh was peaddaling and on the other cycle, Raja and sundaram were coming. I could hardly imagine anything but begging Muthuganesh to pedal faster as the barking dog's wiskers were brushing my heels..!!! My heart skipped a couple of beats, imagining the consequence after the dog bite for the rabies treatment getting 12 injections around the navel..!! In that wintery cold night we all sweated like hell and were drenched as if we were drenched in a storm.. It was the fear more than anything else.. but having crossed the boundry... the dogs retreated and we had no valour to even look back at that direction, reached home, quite sincerrely latched the entrance door, and took a deep breathe and all laughed such a way that our heart poped out of our mouth...!!!!
I quite naively mentioned ,'This was how Muru would have experienced while he and Kannathan were chased by the street dogs at Neravy...!!!!!