HAR EK FRIEND ZAROORI HOTA HAI



Some of my S.Y. B.Com students, who have their third-sem exams starting from tomorrow, had  decided to sit in my class and revise for a longer time. They were doing their studies on their own in the class room and I was doing my work in my office. Around 12.30 in the noon, two of them came to me. “Sir, we are ordering some fries,” one of them said, “Shall we order for you, too.”

I had carried my lunch and, therefore, said, “Thanks beta… I have brought my lunch.”

Then, out of curiosity, I asked them, “What fries… veg or non-veg?”

Half of them had planned to order veg and the other half, chicken.

I got tempted and shamelessly said, “Well, I will taste from yours.”

Remembering my college days I asked, “Who is the Godfather - your Sponsor - today?”

“No Godfather sir,” they said, “It is TTMM.”

“What is that? I was curious, “Tu tu me me?”

“No, no… It is Tu tera, me mera,” one of them explained.

“Tujha tu, majha mi,” added another.

“Oh, that was called ‘Going Dutch’ or ‘Dutching’, did you know that?” I asked.

No, they didn’t.

“When I was your age, we used to call it ‘Soldier System’, I recalled.

My young boys went back to their class room to continue with their studies while my mind went back to my own college days…

Our degree-college group consisted of five of us… Me, Joe, Paul, Pius and John. I, Joe and John never had money with us for eating out. Pius always had, because his two elder sisters (who were working) pampered him with good pocket-money. Paul hailed from a business family and was always cash-rich. So, whenever we five went to eat out, it, invariably, meant either Pius or Paul would pay the bill. They were our perpetual Godfathers, our Sponsors. Pius expired some years ago due to a heart ailment… Paul has become a very wealthy businessman himself. I am not in touch with John. Whenever I talk to Joe or Paul, we recall those good-old college days and laugh.

Some things do not change when we grow up in life. One of them is how we deal with our eat-out bills while young and not earning. The misers always remain misers… The cribbers always remain cribbers… the suspicious ones always remain suspicious… and, yes, the generous ones always remain generous… There are ‘show-offs’ and they too remain so when they grow up… The most importantly, the vast majority - who understand the spirit of sharing the bills as per the norms of the day – yes, they remain responsible and dependable later in life. 

Respect for money – how to value it along with friendship – yes, this is one lesson we all get to learn while young but outside our classrooms…

Every time the Airtel ads used to come, they would bring in my heart a simple joy of being with friends…

“Jo mera hai woh tera hai”… What a valuable lesson!

“Har ek friend zaroori hota hai,” what a truth!









GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Avinash Mantri

Videos: YouTube



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