Old friends

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Four years ago, when the internet was still young, a friend of mine who I'd not met for ten years - Jayant V, decided to look for me on Hotmail. And he found me.

Today, I'm thinking of so many of my other friends from Kuwait, who I never even got a chance to say good-bye to. Childhood friends who I've not seen for atleast 14 years. I'm wondering where they are now.

So, since finding someone on Hotmail today is not exactly the best way to go, and google turns up too many results and expects you to remember the names exactly, I thought I'd put their names up here and hope someone who knows them would help them get in touch with me.

In no particular order -

Amit (Gupta?) - He had two brothers - Rohit and Sumit, I think - and a baby sister whose name I don't remember.
Amit Thakkar - I think he'd been studying in a hostel in India a number of years before 1990. He'd come home to his parents once in a while.
Dushyant Bansal - a.k.a Pintoo. Was in Vashi last time I heard. His family left Kuwait to come to India on vacation the night before Saddam invaded - 1st August 1990. And they didn't have an inkling of what was about to happen. (My family was already on vacation and we were supposed to return to Kuwait on the 2nd of August. Saved by a day)
Puneet - The hindi teacher's son (Deshpande? Probably) Also class topper.
Upaneesh - Also one of the class toppers. Probably in the other class, since I only remembering being in the same class with him in sixth or seventh standard.
Savio Gomes - English teacher's son. She was our teacher in fifth standard I think.
Neeti and Chhavi - I forget their last name. Their mom was my Hindi teacher in third or fourth standard, I think. Neeti's real name was Aditi. Chhavi's name was probably Bhavna (forgive me for forgetting). The three of us used to play as kids. I realize now that it didn't make much of a difference to me at that time, that my first friends were girls... Neeti had once colored-in a kangaroo in a coloring book I had. She'd used brown pencil color. I think it was quite neatly done. Angry that she'd dared to color in my book, I painted on it using green water color. Thankfully, my artistic sensibilities have improved over the years. Atleast I think so.
Viraj Tipnis - A year older than my brother, he lived in the next block of the building.
Deepak and Sumit Singh - Deepak used to rip out the d.c.-motors from the remote control cars we had, and make other remote control cars out of them. We all used to play on the terrace and go bicycling together. This was mainly during Ramzaan, since all the parking lots would be empty in the afternoons, and made for great cycling-spots. We had names for all the spots, though "sandy place" is the only name I remember... These two, Viraj, me, my brother Vicky, and probably one or two others, would ride our bicycles mounted with big rubber bands sling-shot style, and a small bag of paper bullets attached to the handle. I forget the point of that game...
Tony - Sat next to me in class the three months I was in Kuwait during seventh standard.
Kunal - I guess his mom taught Social Studies in our school.
Dolfrey - I'm probably spelling her name wrong. She started studying in India quite early on and I don't think I saw her after first standard. And anyway, she was a woman. By then I was going through the "I don't like women" stage. Thankfully, it only lasted around three weeks...
Prashant Jha - a.k.a Shimpu. He had a sister, I guess. His mom used to make the most amazing "butta sabzi" - an Indian preparation with Corn as the main ingredient.
Hakim and Farhana Electricwala - Not too sure about the last name, though. They lived on the same floor as us in our old building. Their elder sister (Sabera?) got married about a year or so after they moved into our building. Don't remember her at all. They were both older than me atleast by a couple of years but their first week in school (I was probably not even in first standard then), I would lead them to the right bus. Made me feel all grown up...
Vinu - Can't remember his full name. We'd play catch in the mornings, I guess, while we waited for the school bus.

And does anyone remember Motu? You know, the fat Arab kid in my building who used to bully all of us until someone broke his glasses. (Or was it him that broke my glasses? Memory... plays a lot of tricks on you) My brother and he became quite good friends, later.

More names, as I remember them.

So, anyone of you out there?


dumbs said...

14 years and u still remember names. man tha is gr8!

hey when will u start writng articles like the ones on Sulekha?

Rajesh J Advani said...

What do you remember, if not names? I've always felt bad about not having any childhood friends who I'm still in touch with. So, thought I'd try this way of reaching out...

I do try to keep writing and have a few stories that are more or less complete. A couple of them I've posted here before, but the longer ones I'm preserving for Sulekha - much more visibility, I think. But I'll submit the rest, only after they print the last story I submitted. It's been almost 14 weeks now...

sumandatta said...

hey! u write great. and we do share the PC and asimov between us. Think u can write up sthg nice for this just-timepass-online magazine i hav floated?

sumandatta : http://www.geocities.com/vibeindia

Rajesh J Advani said...

So, you want me to write about food?

Btw, did you try creating the mag in Blogspot? It's much simpler than creating the whole damn thing on Geocities.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rajesh
I am Dilip Tipnis uncle, Father of Viraj, I think viraj will write u back in few days time He is in states.
I was happy to receive a email from Rajas my yonger son informing about this blog. I need to know ur dad'd email so that i can be in touch. I am in Dubai. how isVicky?
Give my regards to all
Dilip Tipnis

Anonymous said...

oh! I forgot my email. it is diliptipnis@gmail.com
Dilip tipnis

Rajesh J Advani said...

Hello Uncle! Nice to find you. I sent you an email at your address quite some time back. Didn't get a reply, though. Will email again.

Meena said...

Oh My GOD!!!!

Such a small small world!!!

I'm from Kuwait too - Carmel School!!

And the nest part is yet to come -
I know Amit Thankkar: married to my best now, our weddings were just 2 days apart!

I know Dushyant Bansal too!! :o)

Anonymous said...

Hey Rajesh,
I came across your blog by chance. This is Savio Gomes. I can't believe I found you. It's been so long. Well this is the only way I could think of getting in touch with you. My email address is saviogomes@gmail.com

I'm working in Mumbai. So what're you upto? Hope to hear from you soon. Savio.

Joe said...

I was in Kuwait, and I do remember a few guys you mentioned here.

Hakeem and I were classmates along with Prashant Jha. Varghese married my neighbours daughter and they live in Thiruvilla. Jayaraj is a full time artist. He had 3 other brothers - Anand, Sam, and Amrit. Prithviraj is in California.

And of course, me - I"m in Virginia and left Kuwait through the Jordan route. It's been so long that I don't know many names. Do you have class pictures?


Rajesh J Advani said...

Cool to know that you are still in touch with friends from then. Don't know any of the other people you mentioned though.

Class photos, nope. No artifacts from Kuwait. Not even photo albums. So I'm just left with memories :)

Joe said...

I made a small mistake. It was Vinu (Vinod) who got married to my neighbour's daughter. He used to stay near the Safeway.
All of us studied at Indian School Fahaheel then at Mangaf.