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52 weeks of Gratitude .. Week 7 Says the title is “A friend 1”

yaar ko humne ja-ba-ja dekha kahin zahir kahin chupa dekha..

Wherever I see, I find my friends everywhere. Visibly or indirectly, I see them all around me

Today I am going to talk about my best friend, The first I had, He was the only good thing to have happened to me during my school days (which were not very pretty), his name is Anup…. I can’t remember how we met, but we were in the same class and use to sit together. In our Xth class we sat in the second row Gagan, Me, Anupinder, Vinney Partap Brar, Bhupi virk, I front row were the girls 🙂 .. yeah you can trust me to sit behind the girls.

Holidays use to so much fun and I must say here that those were the days when one could go to a FRIEND’S place unannounced, Patiala in those days was a beautiful place with not that much traffic as it is now. I can remember all those days so clearly,  We had a Brown Vijay Super scooter  with not that much petrol as was the case with most youngsters in those days, The poor scooter carried a lot of us and never broke down, Anup would be driving, me behind him, Vinney partap as third person, Sometimes We had Ajay too, ajay is Anup’s younger brother. Those were the the Mad days… The Clutch wire or the accelerator wire broke, one person held it behind.. He would shout Pull to accelerate or slow down to change the gear.. The guy behind would be doing the needful. Hilarious situations now that I think of/

The day we did not have the scooter it was the trusted ATLAS cycle, me sitting on the Danda in front and him paddling.. catching hold of the trolley behind a tractor to take a lift .. I would spend a lot of my holidays with them in patiala, sometimes he would come to stay with us in Chandigarh.

Aunty ji would make us jugs of milk shakes and Aloo paranthas.. Anup was funny if he got engrossed into reading a novel he would not move, Me and Ajay would do things to him 🙂 put his legs around , and stuff like that but Anup would be so busy and concentrating in the novel he would not mind. He was a very good basketball player.

I can still remember the trips to the 22 number phatak   (which sadly is all changed now, as they have built a flyover now) It use to be THE place in those days, everyone in evening would come , especially the lovely beautiful Patiala girls. A famous fast food place called Pick a chick  that served pizza’s and burger, Order the food then finishing a bottle of ketchup eating it up.

One incident that stands out to me ALWAYS  and (which I think changed me too) was we had gone to Jammu and Kashmir tour with our school, bad luck for Anup he was stuck with me ,  I was a hostler in school and got bullied a lot, sadly those guys were also in the same tour. I remember we were at Verinag where it is believed the River Jhelum starts and had a night stay at a place called KOKERNAG, for some odd reason these guys challenged us to come to their room in evening. I was a scary cat But I still remember to this Day Anup telling me We have to go , it’s the question of Sardari, honour we have been challenged so no matter what we have to go, I was trying to dissuade Anup into not going but he was adamant.

We did go both of us against the 7 or 8 of the gang, though we got beaten up but I am really happy we made that, and thanks to Anup I also had the courage to stand up to these bully’s.

The first time we had a drink together, The time when his grandparents had gone to Canada and we painted the village Red, loud music , dancing the whole night drinking.. it was awesome. I remember in those days punjab had black clouds in the form of terrorism, very risky to go out at night but we were super humans no care in the world. Ajay was the scapegoat when the drinks finished we would tie a turban on him, send him off to the liquor store to get some more. Dancing to some silly songs ALIBABA, Queen and stuff I bet the villagers felt what the hell was happening in the village.

Like me Anup was very fond of food, I guess I got it from him,  I remember once I landed in Patiala, Anup and Ajay were getting ready to go to some wedding and in Punjab or maybe all over India if you are invited to a party then it is understood that Everyone who is in the house is invited, no second thoughts about it, I did not even have a change of clothes so borrowed his. The reason I am mentioning this episode is because we ate so much at one stage it seemed that when ever they served fresh bowl of chicken it all landed on our plates.

After my Xth class I came to Chandigarh , he stayed in Patiala, Then went to Australia for higher studies , stayed there for six years, meantime in Chandigarh my group of friends changed.. a lot happened in those year.. But then I heard Anup was coming back and we met after so many years .. It was back to where we had left.. Nothing had changed between us, he had just become a bit Sophisticated, Drank Scotch on the rocks, used the word MATE a lot.. 🙂

He was so knowledgeable and knew a lot about World war stories, He would read so many books , I would envy him how he could manage..And the Shayari he did , he had a SHER for any occasion.. he could recite couplets from heer-ranjha , Mirza ghalib. He took so much pride in the surname MANN, very Fond of classical and jazz music, when he had come to UK I had trouble finding a nice Jazz place .. and Yeah STEAK he loved it , I took him to a pub here to have steak his words were “This is not Steak”.. The day I landed in Vancouver for his wedding, we hired a car and he took me straight to this place where they made STEAKS “This is a STEAK” he said ..

A funny incident happened at the restaurant we had hired a two-seater car, automatic, I was driving one for the first time in my life, I don’t know what it was but for some reason we could not get the key to start the engine, we fiddled around for ages, in the end we rung the company we hired from, I bet the girl at reception had a hearty laugh when she told us you have to put the car in parking, press the Clutch and then it will start.. Made us look dumb.

He was very outgoing, each time we talked on phone he would tell me he had gone for mountain climbing or sky diving.

I got invited to his wedding, Went to Canada, for his stag night we went to a club the hilarious thing was he was so tired for some reason, he went to sleep in the club while we drank our self senseless and danced around 🙂 But when the time came to come home I have no recollection of how we managed to get home, Anup brought us back somehow, I met his beautiful wife.. The wedding party was Good I remember Dancing all the evening with him and bhabhi ji.. The highlight of the evening was being introduced as Anup’s Best friend who had come all the way from England.

This article is dedicated to my Best friend Anupinder Singh Mann, he is missed and will be missed always and ever.. Sadly In August 2007 My best friend passed away due to an accident while sky diving. Anup where ever you are I love you my friend, and I miss you.. there is a lot of me that was made because of you and I am very thankful to you for that. I am a better person because of you. Thank you for being there all the time, Thank you a lot.. I prey to god that everyone has a friend like you.. Everyone deserves a good friend in their life, and you ARE the BEST.

I wish and pray I am half the man you were.

Anups Mum wrote this to me :- bikram .ajay was always my strength and anup was my weakness.but after going to canada he slowly became my strength too.every morning starts with his thoughts and every evening ends like that.when he was in australia he might have been going through rough times financially or emotionally but when asked how r u son he would always say ; chardi kala; that was anup never cribbing about anything. one common sentence every one said on his passing was that he had no mean bone in him. even to the servant he would not like if anyone said servant, no he would say domestic help. To his seniors he was never rude or reply back. he may be very upset by their behaviour maximum he would say mom it is okay status quo has to be maintained. That was my son and am proud that i gave birth to such a good human being who was such a puritan in deeds and thoughts. I could go on and on but i will finish here with these lines

na haath hi pakar sake na pakar sake daaman
itne karib se uth kar chala gaya koi.

Mainu Yaar mere Jaapde
Khuda Warge
Kisse Allah de Fakeer di
Dua warge…
(Anup and me just after passing out of 10th class)
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Comments
  1. nimz says:

    Lovely.. 🙂

    Like

  2. You were lucky to have such good friends. I never got any 😦 Sad to know about the sky-diving incident. I thought it was safe!

    Destination Infinity

    Like

    • Bikramjit says:

      DI indeed I was lucky to know such a lovely human being .. and hey dont say that I am your friend .. Always here buddy ..

      sky diving is safe .. I survived , but accidents can happen …

      Like

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    He sounds wonderful; you’ve sown a tiny little seed of nostalgia in my head now 🙂

    Like

  4. eva626 says:

    such a good idea!!! i wanna do this…if onl i didn’t hav commitment issue ro writing lol. loved readi about ur friend!!…a hostler hahaha

    Like

  5. eva626 says:

    and you.had a great friend!!! its always sad when you lose such a good one. hang in there :/

    Like

  6. You remember so much of your childhood. Felt sad to read that Anup is no more. I think you wrote about the accident too. You were very upset.

    Think only about the positive incidents and be happy always, Bikram. Life should go on. Take care.

    Like

  7. Anita says:

    Friends make us feel blessed.
    May we always be blessed, Bikram!
    So many memories associated! Nice share & cool pic 🙂

    Like

  8. srividhya says:

    You have recollected lot of things and felt sad that ur friend is no more 😦 accidents sighhhh

    Like

  9. pseudomonaz says:

    Right through the middle of this post, I had a feeling that it’s going to have a sad ending and I was right. I can’t imagine losing someone so close to me.. I am sorry for your loss. But at least you got to live all those moments with him. Sometimes memories are our best asset and you are so good at reliving those memories with your writing. 🙂
    P.S. The ones that love us never really leave us. You can always find them in your heart. ( I really felt like sharing this quote with you)

    Like

  10. jaishvats says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to believe when close pals leave us and this world … Guess one needs to pacify oneself with the thought that we were blessed with wonderful times spent together ….

    Like

  11. Ann Koplow says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog today. Amazing post and I’m sorry for your loss.

    Like

  12. He sounds to be a great and adventure-loving person..sorry for the loss, Vikarm. Good friends are so rare to find… 😦

    Like

  13. sm says:

    beautifully
    i also used the atlas cycle

    Like

  14. Trish says:

    Bik! This is a beautiful post..Thanks for sharing your beautiful friendship with us… I’m sure Anup is smiling at you, wherever he is, today. Hugs..

    Like

  15. Beloo Mehra says:

    A lovely account of a deep friendship. Sorry about your loss, Bikram. But he is always alive in your memories, isn’t he.

    Like

  16. hahahaha so many funny moments 😀 what a nostalgic post 😀 enjoyed reading.

    Like

  17. Gasolina says:

    You are blessed to have had a friendship like that.

    Like

  18. Such a beautiful journey down the memory lane – funny and filled with love and care.

    Wish we could time travel to those golden days.

    Like

  19. Very beautiful and nostalgic.It is strange how simplicity has a unique charm.But it is too bad about Anup.Strangely,i too had a friend Anup Kaur and she too died young.

    Like

  20. Deepa says:

    I don’t know what to say ya. Have come to realise that platitudes don’t help, however sincere they are.
    Let me just say, I wish he was around physically. And here’s a toast to his greatness and your friendship!

    Like

  21. pins & ashes says:

    It hurts a lot when you lose such a close friend! but you know what it means to say friends and be friends.. and the power of it all.. wherever he is, he’ll be there for everyone! hugs mate 🙂

    Like

  22. Panchali says:

    Lovely….such beautiful memories….!!!

    Like

  23. what nostalgic moments! it’s a loss of a lifetime….but he’s safe in your memories..

    Like

  24. Shilpa Garg says:

    It is a blessing to have wonderful friends in life. Sad that you lost him so young!

    Like

  25. AdiC says:

    I wonder why this didn’t show up on my reader!

    It’s a very emotional and heartfelt post. So sorry for your loss. I hope you find the strength to emulate the man you admire so much!

    Like

  26. dNambiar says:

    As I was reading your post, in my mind I was wishing you guys many more good memories and crazy times until I got to 2007.

    I feel heartbroken, now. So sorry to hear about your loss Bikram. I know its a big one.

    You are fortunate to have had a best friend. I’ve had a few people tell me that they have never had a best friend.

    Like

  27. Ananya Kiran says:

    Friends are god sent, I cannot imagine a life without them.. Great post
    Glad u have great friends 🙂

    Like

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