Sunday, December 17, 2006

Year 2006

I am sitting with a calendar in my hand trying to write this post. This calendar brings back so many many memories that are close to my heart. I thought 2005 was an exciting year for me, but hell 2006 was not only better but kicked 2005’s ass.

As we come to a close of another exciting and eventful year, I feel that I have to write everything that I have done this year. I have forgotten a lot already, a lot.

This post is a bit haphazard and not properly sequenced in any order as such because I have just put them down as and when I have remembered. This post is mainly for memory of my childhood and my feelings then. Again, this post is very unsystematic and disorganized.

To remember and cherish this last year of mine in school I write this long post.

The year started of with 5 of us sitting and chatting on the Burjuman’s white-‘blue sofas’ in front of Virgin, trying to reminisce 2005 and making far fetched resolutions. I failed with mine that very day. We had just spent the 31st in Zabeel Park playing football on the amphitheatre and talking to Sukoon (Anish’s friend).

Soon we were kicked out of Burjuman and we went to sit under Tejas’ Dubai building where we took some crazy photographs. Anish I think you have them.

Nothing else that I remember in January. Shit!!

Then I remember the farewell for Grade 12(05-06 batch). It felt like a mini- prom in the Modern High, seriously, where everybody dressed up formally. There were boys and girls, music, Band (Ali and Tejas performed “Welcome to wherever you are” by Bon Jovi and Ali’s solo along with Aarthi in Somewhere over the Rainbow.), Dinner and Grape Juice (to represent Wine!!). Only with one tiny glitch, in this prom boys and girls were not allowed to talk to each other. Some prom!! Oh…yea there was also MNN. Shit I start remembering as I write. The first major and exclusive Redial Production. It was a great success.

Now it seems that our farewell comes closer and closer. It keeps reminding me that my time in Modern High is almost up. You 11th graders better give us one heck of a farewell for us to remember.

Followed by the Standard Chartered Marathon Concert, where Redial along with School band gave a stunning performance, seriously I was stunned after Aarti pointed the mic on Ali’s ELECTRIC guitar. Some of us will never forget that.

16th March. My first ROCK concert technically. The Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2006. I didn’t want to go at first, but then Ali kept pushing me. Finally I decided to go and because of that we went through the whole last minute cheaper ticket thing which really pissed Ali off, he did manage to get me one at last. We were so pumped up that we showed up for the concert at 7 hours before it began. I finally got my ticket from Lucas, through Nikhil an hour before gates opened. I loved it, every minute of it. We stood right in front after our 100m dash from the gate. I loved the performances by 3 Doors Down, Reel Big Fish (along with the fat guy with beard sitting in the middle of the stage for no reason and drinking his beer), Testament (the freak band), I also remember the tall-white-hair-nostrils-desperate-loser-dude who kept pushing us. Mannikind (Local band), and Megadeth (for whom we were too tired to stand and hence we slept and watched them, except for Ali who stood right in front for the whole thing). It was an awesome and superb experience. Rock on Dubai!!

The next few days went worrying about prefectship and the intense 12th grade syllabus. All the deserving got their honorary badges and positions. No regrets now. I think the fundraiser was also going on side by side. The next day was the late-children’s-hair-do- day in our school. After that I remember coming back home with Tejas and then going for lunch with the new couple (vice- captain and throw ball captain) and Ankita to Bikanaerwala where the vice captain complained of not getting non- veg in a vegetarian restaurant.

Our 12th grade started off with new science teachers. I was hoping them to be better than the previous year, but I was soon disappointed by one. I do not know why but every time I come see him, a rush of anger flows through my body. It’s his slimy smile, his pessimistic and sluggish attitude; his boring classes and his lack of sense of humor…everything. He just gets on my nerves. I know it is disrespectful to say that about a teacher, but that’s what I feel no matter what.

21st April. Robbie Williams. Thank you Anish and Harry. I have to say this, What a concert, what a performance, what a performer, what a show, what entertainment. Seriously it was an ‘orgasmic experience.’ I will never forget that day. We went for his concert at 10 in the morning when the show would start at 9 pm. We waited there the whole day and yet we were not the first ones in, but we did manage get the front row of our section. During the wait, we played football and more football. Tejas had to be hospitalized in the middle; Ankita had to bring medicine and water for us from home. Some went for movies and then came back, while we did rot in the sun. Some came an hour before and still got to stand right beside us. Hell, one of the craziest days of my life. Well it paid of as soon as ‘he’ entered. Oh…. yea I even learnt how to whistle that very day. Kool stuff. Thanks Shireen’s sister!!

May!! It was a very hectic period in school with all the football and basket ball matches back to back. Match of the tournament, Orion vs. Cygnus. 1-1 at half time. I admit, I did cross that ball to Sebastian outside the line for him to score the winning goal for Orion. There you go. But it is the aftermath is what I remember. The shock!!! Cygnus went berserk. Mr. Muddu started pulling everyone off the field and ordered them to boycott the game. Nawaz went crazy and started swearing at everyone in Hindi. Bharath ran up to me, called me a cheat and ran back. Tejas, Rohan and I just stood there in awe watching the drama. Laughing away all the while. Mr. Ahmed screwed Cygnus all I can say. Aquila won both the football and the basketball tournament. Now they won cricket also, dogs!!

May 17th would be remembered to the world for the Champions League finals. When Barcelona beat Arse-nal. I would remember it for Ritesh’s Birthday Party. WoW one hell of a party! From HB’s Bacardi Breezer to ‘Chandu gana ga’ to Unmukt trying to choke me with a sock. OMG!! Even the 4 of us trying to sleep on that one couch was crazy man. (Refer to previous post for more details.)

I am forgetting a lot in the middle; help me out if you guys remember more.

Enter first term exams. The worst exams of my entire life. The last minute preparations, the selective studying and those desperate phone calls did not pay of at all. I could not believe it for quite a numbers of days the result that I had got. For the first time in my life I had failed in a subject (chem.) and almost got failing marks in another (Phy.). I started to regret science. The most horrid time of the year for me. I was grounded for the whole summer holidays and was put to house arrest. I was even sent to a private coaching class by my parents which was unbearable. I quit that very day.

Amidst all this we bid farewell to Mr. Biswas, our football coach. He was the humble-est Bengali I have ever come across. A very kind and straightforward person. His knowledge and passion for football was incredible. More than our coach he was our friend. Plus he also had a twin brother, who is an accountant, which was very hard to believe. Since I am talking of football in Modern, there was one more person who came into our lives for a brief period of time, Zaid a.k.a ‘Z’. He was Ali’s nemesis and posed a great threat to him as the centre back of the team. He was a cool and fun guy. Good luck and God bless Sir and Zaid where ever you are.

I almost forgot, the greatest event of the year. The Football World Cup. No wonder I failed in chemistry. Everyone’s favorite club players fighting it out for their countries for nothing but pride and honor. I am praying to see India play the WC one day. For now, England is my team. Beckham faced a lot of criticisms even after playing better than most English players. Not fair!! The England’s coach was to blame not Becks. The WC finals were even more exciting than one would have expected. With Zidane getting sent off for a controversial ‘head-butt’ and ending in penalties to declare Italy as the world champions. Took me quite a long time to digest that fact too. The funny part after all this is too read Anish’s predictions on the WC in his blog.

Even after I was put under house arrest, luckily, I managed to enjoy most of the birthday season. Tejas and I stayed up all night to make a radio show “Rockin’ Radio” for Proma, Ankita, Ishika and friends. It was fun making it. You guys should hear the bloopers, crazy shit. For Tejas’ birthday Ali, Govind, Bharath, Rohan and I presented him with his very own Acoustic Guitar. I guess he loved it as we had hoped.

The summer was full of Hangama. Thanks to Anish, I became part of SFS. It helped me change my views on a lot of things. Altered my perspectives drastically and opened up my mind on a wider horizon along with it. I enjoyed being there. It made me happy to see smiles on the children’s faces and to make them laugh or just to see their reactions. Anish is right when he said that the children teach us more than we teach them. The moments where we teased Harsha, when we got beaten up by Ahmed and Mustafa, when we gave fake phone numbers to Aziz, when I became Sameera’s husband are unforgettable and are treasured by me. I ended up making new friends and got to visit different places in Dubai such Wild Wadi, MOE, Mega mall, Thunder Bowl, Encounter zone. What started out with an aim to get a community service certificate for college transformed to become my hobby, something that I love to do now because in the end of the day it makes me feel good.

The Documentary – ‘From The Inside.’

Again Anish pulled us in. Mr. Dhruv Dhawan was directing us to direct and make this documentary. It started off well with us watching hard core documentaries to learn from and getting a serious crash course from Dhruv on film making. He was so inspiring that he was able to influence many young minds in our school to change their future aspirations. One day we met in Fudruckers where we were given our positions and thus was born the Modern High Documentary crew. Our first interview session with Varsha was followed by Aditiya, Anushka, Mr. Khan (Ali’s abba) and the corporate guys. We even interviewed Mr. Sunny Varkey (Rich dude) and his son Dino Varkey (Rich dude’s son who can do splits). We even interviewed Rima Shah, an ex-student. I became close to her dog, Nixon.

Finally after all the interviewing we made our first draft. It was pretty good. It was working well until Mr. MJ came back from holidays and took control over the whole situation. He added his touch to it and slowly removed all our touches from it. I got swayed by him too and couldn’t manage to stick by my friends. I am sorry guys for having two minds then. He managed to alter and delete all our work and in the end compiled a good A.V presentation of Modern High for the world to see. Not a documentary.

One thing Dhruv had said was that “you never know what you catch on camera.” It is so true. I caught our principal cursing our own school, our chairman having farfetched visions such as a “parent spa.” We all managed to capture our chairman making funny expressions and rapping “group in a way.” Mr. Mason and his ‘oops,’ our ex-student and his scary body movements, and Varsha singing ‘if you come today.’

What started of with humble beginnings with an interesting bunch of Modern High Doc. Crew. We fought with each other and argued but we got things done. It was truely ‘from the inside’, where students were trying to portray Modern High in their own vision. Which soon became a one man’s show with an uninterested bunch of followers to support him and massage his shoulders.

Independence Day. Along with swantantrata diwas we were celebrating our one year anniversary in video making. Kool huh! In the morning we went to Indian High School to see the flag hosting, we missed it but we did catch our Indian consulate general speak on behalf of the president. Soon we got bored and left to have brunch in Royal Garden. Then we went to play football in the children’s play area 6 on 6 or something with Proma in the middle of 11 guys. Next we watched friends, the one where Joey speaks French. I guess after that Ali went to have lunch with his Abu Dhabi Aunt and Tejas and Anish went to meet Dhruv.
And Proma, Bharath and I went to Burjuman to have lunch and play pool. These are just random things coming to my mind.

I remember the days where one by one everyone started coming back from their holidays with different views, outlooks and perspectives. With different thoughts and state of minds. Some trying to begin a new life, a new home, some experiencing their future and some hoping for a better and exciting future than it already will be. Some changed emotionally. Some found new love. Some found new hope. Some went out of their way to impress the other. Some hearts were broken and some hearts were bonded.

I remember Ashiq used to come down to my house occasionally after summer school and we used to just sit and gossip like old ladies. Harry came now and then to watch football matches in the evening sometimes even to study a bit.

This year has indeed been special. I got my Tooth Filled. The front tooth which I had broken in 4th std. was filled up this summer after years of persuasions. I have a beautiful smile.

Teachers Day was impressive as usual. In the process people managed to attract a lot of 8th graders. After school began we began to stay back till 10 - 11 at night to complete the doc. The Alumni Reunion dinner, a day before the creative festival, our parents were invited to see the documentary. KO’s show ‘Cats’ was spectacular. I heard Karishma sing for the first time and I was awestruck. Well done. Respect!

Ali was given two thumps up by KO also. Oh…. Yea we met Sonu, the lights dude for CATS, we found out that he had also done the lights for Robbie Williams… freaking amazing huh? Respect to you too. Creative Fest and Ali’s birthday was highlighted with the sudden appearance of Proma and Sahil from India. We went for Dinner to Wok Inn below my house. The whole time we were narrating funny incidences of our teachers and our school. Creative Festival went well with modern controversially winning the music competition and all the other stuff.

Along with all this another ‘rat race’ had started. A race to Mr. Naidu’s office. It became a daily routine to chase teachers for recommendations letters with utmost politeness. It is hard work yet on top of that teachers started black mailing us for it. Everyone started to hunt down universities and colleges. Go through a millions of sites. Writing down ‘n’ number of essays multiplied by the number of colleges they were applying to. In the end of all this I hope everyone gets into the universities they desire and deserve. I also hope we keep in contact with each other as long as possible.

We celebrated Harry’s and Nikhil’s birthday together in India club. We bowled a bit and had a fun time while playing indoor football. Tejas, Jeetu, Shrivats, one-more-guy and I kicked everybody’s ass. Shrivats proved that he is better than Ali in football also. Then we went onto have a very wholesome meal in the club’s canteen. Tejas came back to my house for a sleep over when we made the ‘the call’ video that night in 45 minutes as a tribute to the movie ‘Phone Booth.’

Soon after CF we began our football practices for the Sharjah tournament. Introducing Mr. Mahesh Kumar Sharma, our new football coach, who began to instill within us the killer-instinct-attitude. Everyday before school we had our practices followed by early morning practices during the Eid holidays. With all this intense training, it became difficult to study for exams. It got tougher with three tuitions, each twice a week. It got even more frustrating while waiting in the sharjah traffic for two hours to reach physics tuitions. I had hardly any time for myself as the days became more and more hectic as we approached the football tournament and the exams. And to add salt to the wound my ankle got messed up thanks to Edwin just a week before the tournament. More FRUSTRATIONS!!! AHHHH….

Now the news of the year, we WON the sharjah soccer tournament, the one and only football tournament for us. Kicking our nemesis Indian high’s ass 4 -1. With a few earlier defeats we managed to pull through as a team. The 11th and 12th grade came to watch us play in the finals and they did cheer us to victory. I got my first cup that too for football, I couldn’t be more proud. Let’s not forget the countless evenings spent under Maktoum Bridge practicing with Dubai Scholars guys (Rohan, Daniyal, Roysten, the two sardarji’s etc.)

A week after the tournament our miserable second term exams began and ended as miserably as they started. Luckily I passed in all subjects this time. Seriously very lucky. You know, in times like these I question myself and my judgments. I know my strengths and weaknesses yet I don’t do anything about it. From high 70s and 80s in 9th, 10th and 11th to unimaginable marks in 12th (the important grade) is just horrendous.

My birthday. Not the apt day to say a happy one. I got most of my terrible papers on that day. To celebrate it anyway I was being treated by my friends to Casino Royale. While going for the movie, Govind, Bharath and I had an adventure of ourselves. We couldn’t find a taxi, so we decided to walk to City Centre. In the middle we saw 6S and hoped on. It was Govind’s first bus ride. I thought it would take us to city centre but I was wrong, it was to taking to Al Ain. We realized soon enough to get off the bus in the middle of the high way. We could see Wafi in the distance. We ran to Wafi and caught a cab to reach city centre at 9 just in time for the show after leaving at 7 from home. Casino Royale was awesome. Daniel Craig rocked. We stayed over at Anish’s place that night. But I have to say this, after watching DHOOM 2, Hrithik is much more hotter than Daniel any day. Watch it to believe it. While watching Hrithik I was going mad. I really started to doubt myself in just more than one way.

The day after my birthday, I went to the beach for SFS. A lot of new people had joined. After the usual get together, I was sitting on the rocks with my friends looking ahead at the calm, serene, never-ending sea. Moments like these you drown yourself in thoughts and nostalgia. We realized this was our last year together here. After this we would meet a year or so later as friends yet strangers to each other. It is easy to say that we would be friends forever. But in a year a lot changes. People change. After a year we might not be able to connect with each other because all of us would be going to different parts of the world. I hope and pray that it does not happen. I hope we come back to the same rocks and stare out at the sea discussing our lives as friends and not strangers. Just like ‘Dil Chahta Hai.’ I know it’s a bit clichéd.

This year along with all the joys and thrills, two of my friends had to go through the most terrible times of their lives. They went through very difficult phase which I wish no one has to ever go through. They have taught me that to survive in this big bad world you need to be mentally very very strong, not necessarily physically. They have proved it time and again that this mental strength can make you fight the world. Living in a country alone without your parents in a different home is not easy. Living with insecurity and uncertainly at home is not easy at all. Yet they have managed to cope up with it and do wonders in their respective fields. They have grown, matured and learnt to fight the world and through them, I guess, so have I.

Some random but memorable events to remember –

  • The beginnings – Anish’s Blog
  • Anish and I went to see SA RE GA MA PA and witnessed the rebellious Indian crowd.
  • I went for free guitar lessons to DMS for 3 months.
  • I apparently asked my EVS teacher out.
  • I made a birthday video for my dad and he made one for me on my birthday.
  • Tejas moved to Sharjah and left me alone in Bur Dubai.
  • I had a fight with Swatik.
  • I learnt to play Volleyball. Thanks Ashiq and the previous batch!!
  • I had the most frightening car ride on the sheik zayed road in Deepa’s friend’s car.
  • Had quail for the first time in Rubin’s house.
  • Naima’s farewell beach party – ‘KING KONG HEAD’
  • Standard Charted Concert and the whole Aarti thing.
  • I changed the décor of my room and my hall and thought of taking up interior designing.
  • Unreleased THEW 2
  • I bought new speakers 4. 0 and made my very own room theatre system – thanks Ashiq again.
  • 24
  • Physics Tuitions with Rubin.
  • The Holy fights between Sebastian and Ali. ‘Oh my lord Jesus’
  • I taught Tejas and Ali a Bengali song which they sang for my parent’s party on Bengali New Year’s Day.
  • Countless hours of meaningless but fun gossip with Ali, Prema, Ashiq and Harry.
  • Snow park and the snow ball fights.
  • School at 4 in the morning.
  • I made my own Blog.
  • The Documentary Blog.
  • The mocumentary.
  • Billy Mack and 'Christmas is all around us' and Rubin's Dance.
  • The day we broke the camera.
  • The night before Rohan’s birthday.
  • The failure of Rohan’s birthday surprise.
  • Dandia night and the dance and routine practices.
  • Ali's Ma..yu
  • Ankita’s dad’s shorts and third degree by the Dubai Police at the beach.
  • Our new jerseys.
  • “Football is a game of Position”- Mr. Sharma – ‘Baja beta baja’
  • Our failure and our victory in the football tournament.
  • Fire in my hood before Eco. exam.
  • 'Snifetube' - salt bridge
  • PAB
  • Ali’s new found Vibrato.
  • Ali’s Josephine.
  • Sebastian and Jesus.
  • Desalination Plant and Anish’s Rap.
  • I sent college applications. YAY!!
  • 2 children's day in a year...2nd one rocked!!!
  • I met Kal Penn.
  • Many many sleep overs followed by breakfasts in Venus.

This year is not over yet and there is more to come. Next year would be even more exciting because we would be closing a 17 year long chapter in our lives and moving on to the next. Taking a step ahead to our future. I hope it is full of adventure, excitement and happiness for everybody.

P.S - This post is solely for my memory. It had to be long. I have put a lot of redundant stuff for most but I cherish all of them. I have not added a hell lot of events because unfortunately I have forgotten them. If you guys have more please do add to the list.

Merry Christ–mas and a Happy New Year.