Saturday, May 17, 2014

Kholi No. 21

Before this 19th June, let me put the memories of those 59 days of 2013 in words which started on same day last year.

It was second visit to UK after almost one and half year from my last visit. This time assignment was only for two months and kind of vacation. J So I was really excited to meet old friends in London and colleagues in Staines. Bigger excitement was summer of UK, a perfect time for tourist! Among all these thought process I never thought or imagined about making new lifelong best friends.

So after some family moments at home in India, I took up a flight on 19th June early morning and landed in London on same day. I had to work all alone for a first week until one more colleague from Mumbai arrived for the same assignment. So as planned long back, I straightaway visited friends in the first weekend.

Start of new week and Sharath, a colleague from Mumbai office makes an entry in office. I saw him sitting on sofa while passing from main lobby; boyish hairstyle, fat but with 6 feet height. I actually felt like I am seeing myself in that sofa! ;) After some time we met "officially" through our manager and I was POC for him for everything as he was completely new to British Gas. By the way Sharath Kumar landed to client's place without bringing company laptop. Eventually that missing laptop became reason for our 'ROFL' moments everyday! Our conversation struck a chord right from the beginning, as we were quite similar in many ways. There were many striking moments from our first day conversation but I remember him calling someone as PMO (according to Sharath, he was equivalent to peon!) who was actually one of senior consultant! And I actually stopped him from making blunder and realised him about real designation of that "PMO". That was just a start of our golden days in UK.

We both were very lucky to get individual service apartment in one of the prime location of Staines. We really had super fun through out the week. So start of new week and we accidentally met one of our colleague Gowtham from Mumbai on Staines road. So let me put the exact conversation and incident here.
(Sharath and me were walking back to hotel after office. Gowtham walking towards us from opposite side, he smiles at us. Out of courtesy we smiled back (Damn, why we smiled!))
Gowtham: "Hey!"
We: "Hey!"
Gowtham (looking at Sharath): "I am from Capgemini, Mumbai. I saw you there!"
Sharath(still smiling, with surprise like he found some hardcore fan from India): "Ohhhh... but I never saw you there!"
(He must be feeling like celeb!)
Gowtham: "Arrey, I sit beside that guy!"
Sharath(with eyes in sky, trying hard to remember, still not able to remember):"Ohhh yeah, I saw you!"
(Meanwhile I was completely blank, thinking Sharath surely doesn’t remember anything.)
Gowtham(changing his facial expression and now with little worrisome face, looking at Sharath and Me): "Actually... I am in HUGE trouble guys." (And I heard him saying, he is huge trouble! J)
Me (with little worried face, now that was genuine):"Why? What happened?"
Gowtham: "I am suffering from bad stomach ache. I had appendix operation before coming here."
Sharath(little tensed): "Ohhhh man, where are you staying?"
Gowtham: "Anne Boleyn Hotel, and I can't cook over there and have to eat hotel food.... spicy...."
(He started making some weird expression. I was also suffering from stone pain that time and understood his pain more than mine! Now Sharath and me completely worried about this small, little colleague of ours.)
Me (with compassion in my eyes): "Don't worry, we prepare food by our own and you can have dinner with us! What do you say Sharath?"
(Sharath was already feeling of his "fan"'s pain)
Sharath: "Yes yes... of course!"
Gowtham(suddenly with bright eyes and big smile on face): "When can I come to your place tonight?"
Me and Sharath: "7:30"(Thats when we used to start cooking, we both thought that this guy will at least help us in cooking. That is how our conversion ended with bye bye and exchange of contact numbers and some telugu talk between Gowtham and Sharath.)
"
After that we reached our room. Right at 7:30 I went to Sharath's flat and we both started cooking for 3 persons. At 7:45 Sharath made a call to Gowtham to ask whether he is coming or not?!?! Gowtham replied, he’d be at our place in 5 minutes and those 5 minutes ended after 45 minutes at 8:30 when dinner was cooked and ready to serve. He made an entry. Sharath and me welcomed him with quite a look! First I thought, "Yes, saale se bartan wash karvaunga" but then realised we had dishwasher! L

And this is how Mr. Gowtham became friend of ours. Meanwhile one of our gang members Prajakta Shringarpure was already in Staines and spent some moments from precious time of hers. After few more days, one more entry to our gang and that was of Dhwani Shah, again from Mumbai! So that was our gang of Kholi No. 21; Sharath, Dhwani, Gowtham, Prajakta and I! J Moreover my parents also visited UK for that one month.

Next 4 weeks were full on laughter riot, with so-called 'ROFL' and 'Bestest' moments! We also had one 'visiting faculty' Resho Pingle a friend of Praji and later also friend of all of us. It is simply impossible to describe so many special incidents and moments we spent together here in detail. So let me just highlight as much as possible here through words and photos.

First time I, in fact all of us saw a man actually "rotating on floor laughing". That tasty Raita every evening by Dhwani, late night 'Gupshup' in front of beautiful river Thames, that 'SRK' moments ;), ‘Apne pair pe kulhadi marna’, fighting for Ice-cream, shouting in office with Sharath and Dhwani, lunch in office with Praji, Sharath and Dhwani, dairy-milk after every lunch, my interesting encounters with security head at office, curries without tomato and potato for almost a month, forgetting mobile at bench in the rain by Praji, bunking office early to visit Windsor castle, that rain and skipping rocks on sea water and super slippery and risky climbing at Durdle Door and 'Maje lete hue Seagulls' with Praji's almost crying face, beautiful Peak District and Cave, that shouting and racing in small town of Castleton, double rainbow, crazy night-out in London(I missed most of it), becoming jumping jacks in Stonehenge, one of the oldest Cathedral of Salisbury, wonderful beach of Bournemouth, spending complete silent moments enjoying and feeling the amazing nature at Isle of Wight, driving along the seashore, stopping a car at random place by the road and getting down to random beach, and finally visiting lake district with so many adventures, playing "dumb charades" late till mid-night, kind of trekking, sitting in the middle of green mountain,  car tire puncture, driving a car with that for almost 8 kilometers and after much of a bargaining spending night in small bar cum hotel with 10 pounds each in village called Gosforth, and visiting our last destination the Wast Water and witnessing amazing, unprecedented beauty of Lake District. Phew… J



Oops, how can I forget the real ROFL moment, when I dedicated a song from film Guzaarish to Sharath, "Ke Tera Zikr Hai... Ya Itr Hai..." and that man to whom this song was dedicated! :D

I am sure we all have permanent frame of pictures in our memory for all of these moments. Thank you so much Kholi No. 21 for giving lifelong friendship and memories. 

P.S. Gowtham, please get up from the floor and stop laughing now! J


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