Army brats always have a tendency to stick together. This becomes especially true considering the fact that we’ve to shift schools every 3 years or so and finding that right friend who shares your interests can be very tricky.Not to mention that you’ve to repeat that process every few years and start from scratch all over again! So it was heaven sent that Gobind ended up in my class and that too the roll number right after me!!
While school was boring to say the least, the company of friends one has can always make life interesting. Gobind was one such friend. He was always full of energy and would bring new facts to my attention such as teaching me new bengali words everyday. Our lives revolved from getting the latest tazoos to having the most muscle bound G.I.Joe action figures.
But what got us closest together were movies & cartoons. Gobind was particularily impressed with Bugs Bunny and would go around with an imaginary carrot in hand saying “Ehhh!!…whats up doc?” This may seems a little silly but back then it had made quite an impression as Bugs Bunny always had that line ready while taking on Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam. He was ingenious enough to incorporate many of the sentences he heard on TV in class during english to the point where Ma’am Nagar, a hard taskmaster was taken aback because Gobind had completely dominated the entire class single handedly by making some very creative and witty sentences. When Ma’am Nagar exclaimed how he came up with such extraordinary answers he casually answered in his ever so Gobind style “From Television…where else!!!”. He was so calm and cool at that point I wondered if he would pull that imaginary carrot,munch on it a little for effect and say those immortal words “What’s up,Doc?”. He was such a jovial fellow that it wasn’t long before my brother also became quite fond of him and soon we all became quite comfortable with one another. We watched “The Matrix” which had just been released back then. While it was safe to say that the thick plot line had clearly flown over our tiny little heads,it was quite obvious to us that Agent Smith was getting his behind battered to a pulp by Neo,which was enough to fire our imaginations. We went outside to the garden and three of us began to practise our karate while coming up with some other ingenious/hilarious moves of our own.
He was also one of the only crazy friends whom, along my brother and I would play ” The Car game” .Just as a movie ended my brother,Raphael and I would run towards our car and Gobind would always be close on our heels to touch his car. The game was a little more complicated than one might imagine as a white Maruti car was quite popular back in the day and at night time it would always cause some confusion. We started getting quite competitive,sometimes even running before the credits started rolling in the end. One of my favourite incidents was when we just finished watching Tarzan and Gobind was running and searching for his car all the while singing the song “Strangers like me” which was in the movie because all of us had that song stuck in our heads.
However, all good things come to an end and I had to shift from Lucknow after which we lost touch. I had always hoped I would get to meet him again. Alas, I heard the news that he is no longer with us. I always regretted that we could not meet again but I was quite happy when Lilly Aunty asked me to write a few words on Gobind & our childhood together because though he may be busy taking on Elmer Fudd in another world he had touched the lives of many here in this world and I hope this amateur attempt would add a little more to the evidence to show that this good fella had once graced our lives with his presence.