Saturday, December 30, 2006

Ravi … Man, eh?

Well here’s the one that everyone’s been waiting for. Well, they do say that patience is a virtue and I could just have been testing your patience … just as Ravi would have … ;)

I’d like to begin by drawing your attention to the testimonial this gentleman once wrote for me. I’m sure he meant well when he began his ‘testimonial’ to me thus – “murgi...the only person on this earth who can gimme competation for the biggest ahole....heheheeee....” … Well ladies and gentlemen this is vintage Ravi. This one sentence apart from proving that he spells nearly as badly as Bharath, summarizes the abomination known to us all as Ravi Maney.

I still remember Ravi’s first week at college. He had some kind of plaster on his nose or eye or something and I genuinely felt bad for the dude as he seemed such a nice down to earth person. A couple of weeks down the line, I was looking hither and thither for the person who did him the injury in the first place so as to personally thank him for the great service he’d rendered unto mankind … well, temporarily atleast. I’ve often thought of performing similar services for mankind a number of times in the years that followed … : )

Now for those people who think I’m being overly harsh and judgmental, let me tell you a little more about the kind of person Ravi is. Imagine that you are an assassin in the act of murdering Ravi (don’t we all like to imagine that every once in a while ?) by stabbing him with a knife. Ravi’s the kind of person who would refuse to die and then make you want to stab yourself by calling you a lousy murderer and telling you that some cousin brother on his father’s side who was 7 years old could commit murder better than you. He’d drive you closer to suicide then by telling you that the knife you selected and which was now stuck in his abdomen was not even sharp and that his grandmother could sharpen knives better than you. Then he’d probably say that the knife that you used was possibly not even a real knife but a paper mache knife that you had bought second hand from some dingy grey market shop … grrrrrrrrr … I still remember the time when I came to college wearing my brand new Adidas shoes, the purchase of which a number of people (self proclaimed authorities in sports shoes) had been involved in over a period of many days after visiting a number of stores across Bangalore. I finally manage to pick a pair at quite a hefty price and decide to wear them to college right the very next day. Ravi sees the shoes and says – “Nice canvas shoes dude. What happened to your old ones? How much did you buy these for … no, how much did the store owner pay you to take these off him … giggle giggle … “ … It’s a good thing I didn’t hear any more of what he was saying because I was cursing his family unto a hundred generations ...

It can’t just be a coincidence that I always somehow manage to befriend the thinnest people around. I’m like a magnet for thin people and all my best friends in school and college have been extremely thin. Well, one could surmise that most people in my vicinity would look thin anyway but it has always bothered me to no end that these thin people who had decided to affiliate themselves with me, made me look fatter than I already was. Ravi’s like a parasite and an underfed one at that. Well I don’t mean that in some weird Freudian psychoanalytical way but simply in a grade school level biology class way, that he was like an organism that attached itself to a host and then sucked all the nutrients that the poor host organism had spent quite a while in assimilating. Ravi spent most of his engineering days attached to one host organism or the other (read Harsha or yours truly or a combination of both) eating whatever came it’s … err … his way … : ) … I’ve often been scared witless when during a meal at ‘Sanman’, a hand would suddenly materialize out of nowhere and dig into the contents of my plate. Wonder why Ravi still stayed the way he did and I, the way I am …

Rumours abound about a recent treat that Ravi gave some really lucky people, with his own money. But I’m not believing any old house wives’ tales about these treats that Ravi gave unless any food that Ravi paid for comes my way, period!

Ravi once said that after engineering he’d extort a percentage of everybody’s salary once they were all placed and then live happily ever after without lifting a hand for the rest of his pathetic life. The bloke’s dreams were short lived though as he got placed with Oracle soon after Engineering and just when everybody thought that Ravi would finally dish out those long over due treats (he owed us big time folks), he proudly proclaims that the placement firm that he got into Oracle through would be collecting the first few months' salary so we’d still be seeing hands materializing out of nowhere and digging into our plates at restaurants …

I’m going to be writing a book called ‘Mein Kampf’, on my struggle to get my copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ back from Ravi. He borrowed it shortly before I left for Hel(L) and my persistent requests (read death threats) have not resulted in the said book reaching me. But judging by the state in which another book that I’d once lent Ravi, reached me (3 years late by the way), I wouldn’t be resting my hopes on this one reaching me in any better shape. Ravi was quick to point out that the book was in three pieces when I lent it out to him but I swear to God, the book was brand new when I lent it to him.

I’ve often wondered what Ravi was up to at office and my ponderings in this regard have multiplied manifold after one particular incident that springs to mind about when Ravi in a spate of boredom (Oracle had put him on the dreaded ‘grave yard’ shift) sent a mail out addressing each and every person in class including some people whose existence yours truly was well and truly oblivious about ! Well that one mail categorically proved that this monster had a soft side too because the size and scope of the email suggested that a gargantuan effort (by Ravi’s standards) would have been necessary to compose an opus of such epic proportions. Well it was the usual ‘Raviesque’ bitching but we all know that the dude means no harm at the end of the day … and that’s the story of what has since gone down in the history books as Ravi’s 'magnum opus'.

I can never forget what will go down in my memory as the ‘Ooty incident’ when my posterior was exposed for the viewing pleasure of half the population of the hill station when Ravi in a state of mild madness caught me unaware as I was engaged in conversation with another classmate (who shall remain unnamed for it is his misfortune that he would have to die with the memory of yours truly nude (a truly ‘intimidating’ sight but a ghastly memory nevertheless : )). To put it in simpler language, I was talking to another classmate when Ravi, all of a sudden decides to (for whatever twisted reason unbeknownst to the rest of humankind) pull my pants and jockeys down. What transpired over the next 20 minutes is something that I would like to erase permanently from my memory but something that Ravi would never allow with constant reminders to me of all those empty threats and expletives and ‘brutal blows’ I hurled in his direction. Ravi, dude, you and I have kept all those things that Rowen uttered that night when he got sloshed in Ooty secret. It's time to let the world know ... hehehe

Well, all these little incidents and accounts apart, Ravi’s been a person in whom I’ve always confided my deepest and darkest secrets (wonder if that was such a good idea). Ravi would be the person I’d call when I was in dire straits with certain (all) subjects (not having opened the prescribed books for the entire term) to ask him which portions of the syllabus were ‘worth studying’ and which were not. A typical conversation over the phone on the night before the exam would sound thus –

Me: Machaaa, I’ve not started da (10:30 pm on the eve of the exam) … what do I do ? I’m screwed da …

Ravi: Chill da… Open the syllabus sheet. Ok … study the fist chapter, the second one … just glance through it … the third one simply follows what’s been learned in the second chapter, so it shouldn’t take you more than half an hour. Leave the fourth chapter … you wont be able to understand shit in so little time … actually YOU would never have been able to understand it … and so on … : )

Me: (A lot more relieved) Thanks da macha … so you’re sure that I’ll be able to finish the entire syllabus in an hour and a half like you said ?

Ravi: Yeah, I finished it in an hour and that’s why I’m telling you that you’ll take an hour and a half ...

Me: (that cocky @#$%^ … grrrrrrrr … some day …)

Ravi’s never gonna make it to the UNO for sure ‘cause if he did he’d cause a war between two countries and then ensure that the two warring countries went at it forever. MC and I would have made up much earlier if it hadn’t been for Ravi. Come to think of it, we’d have never fought in the first place. Wonder how Oracle included him in that quality audit team ...

Ok … well most of what I’ve said above may have been just a tad over-exaggerated (well, that’s left for those of you who’ve had the privilege of knowing Ravi to decide) but Ravi’s been a best friend all through college and one of the few people who’ve gone through extraordinary measures to ensure that we all stayed in touch even after we left college. Ravi'll never be the one to back-stab anybody (he does a pretty good job saying stuff right in the person's face !!). He'll never be the one to back off from lending a helping hand to anyone in trouble (He likes to stick around and laugh at the person). He's one deeply religious 'mo fo' but he's goin' to hell for sure ... muhuhahahahahaha ... but then, aren't we all ???

Ravi … the dude who we all hate to love and hate to love … naaaah … just kidding … love you the way you are bro … You remind me of me, maybe a tad worse than me but close nonetheless (you're probably right when you say that I'm the only person on the planet who can give you competition for being the biggest a**hole ) … rock on dude … You rock and you know it !!