Monday, February 29, 2016

Celebrating Friends: Episode IV

Always been a fan of Selfies when Smart phone wasn't around.
All his pics are taken from laptop and I have plenty of them stored since college days. 
The first time I heard, "Dawa Tamang, Warangal", at Indian Embassy in Thimphu, I took my placement letter and left the hall. I was so pissed, where the heck is that place? I thought, I was very much sad and very much angry. All my friends had availed for Civil Engineering, and we all expected to be placed together. Turned out, life had better things stored for us, and today, I do believe that everything happens for a reason. 

There was a tiny guy, who told me, my friend as well will be leaving for Warangal. You are taking my body guard away, and then there came this six foot tall handsome man, well built, shook my hand and said: Charo chey ya Warangal inna. 

I was least bothered, who the heck was going with me to Warangal. I wasn't at all interested to make new friends now. That's the first time, I met with Jamyang Singye. 

Our placements were finalized and we were given Cheques and pocket money to leave for India. My father, who has this knack of always being in hurry, asked us to leave as soon as possible. That night we packed all our stuff and left for Phuentsholing. We drove and reached Phuentsholing around 3 am in the morning. 
Sometime in Second year. 

Apa's friend, Uncle Milan had arranged for our bus tickets and hotel with a guide in Kolkata. 

And then, any journey with Jamyang Singye has always been a funny one. The first thing that happened was, I found him very much laid back. He was one. Jamyang had never come to Thimphu before he got Scholarship. It was through him that I realized how hard students in Eastern Bhutan worked, how they studied. My cousin Sangay Tamang who was leaving for NIT Jaipur told me, "Dawa, it seems like you are traveling alone". I too thought so. 

When we reached Kolkata, we would already change three buses. First one was wrong bus that we entered, second one broke down somewhere near Siliguri and the third one reached us Kolkata. I was so freaking tired and when we reached Planet X in Kolkata, there was this skinny Indian man. 

Second year. 
The first funny incident. The first time was that Guide taking us to roam Kolkata. Jamyang wanted to buy shades. We were taken into this very fancy place whereby eight suited men were there, and I realized that we couldn't afford those shades. The shades ranged from Rs. 4500/-. I knew that was out of our league and there were two suited men who attended us upon which shades we wanted to. I saw those price tags and knew, I WOULD BE FINE, THANK YOU, BUT NO THANK YOU! 

Jamyang however started to try those shades and selected one. When he heard the price, it was something Rs. 20000 plus. When he heard the price, I was smiling. He then was asked his range, he said: somewhere 8 to 16. What Jamyang meant was, 800 to 1600, like we did back in Bhutan. What those 'alter boys' kind of looking men thought was from 8000 to 16000, sometimes 0 being valueless shows its value. 
Six Years after Second Year. 

We left that shop and I told that Guide, that he should take us to affordable places, just because we were foreigners didn't mean we were rich. 

Then later that night, when I wanted to smoke, I asked Jamyang, Charo, don't mind okay, I will smoke in Toilet. I was dead scared to offend someone, and he was freaking six feet tall man with a good physique, he had some eight to six packs abs. When we were gone to India, we were advised not to talk with other passengers and not to eat what they offered us. It was Jamyang who talked with them and ate up all those ladoos they offered. I guess, I did see a different world through him, and I did change a bit looking at him and how he dealt with life. He would talk with them, those people and later when we reached Warangal, these few men even came out of train to see us off. We were friendly people to them. 

We were college roommates for first year and wherever we went, we went together. We were the first Bhutanese after a decade in that college, and we were already very much popular for being from Bhutan. But Jamyang always had this knack of telling jokes and being funny, even at odd timings. Like the time when we didn't have college fees sent by scholarship division and I was very much worried. In that heat of Warangal, I didn't know what else to do, and he was trying to joke. Now I realize that maybe he was trying to cheer up, but I really got annoyed. 

Second year. From Left: Me, Bob and Arnab. Front: Jamyang
Jamyang would always make new friends with Indians, while I was very much guarded to befriend them in first year. I was sort of orthodox that I now realize, that was in first year. I thought not all are good people, but I guess, Jamyang has always lived his life in a very different way: he always sees good in people. Through him, I would know many new people. Like friends from Nepal, Shuvaraj Neupane came to our room, first time he came was after Lunch wearing that Chelsea jersey. I remember that because I was once into football and was a Chelsea fan. Then Jamyang would introduce me to Apachan from Kerala in front of that Night canteen, which I hadn't visited because I always stayed in room. We were both smokers in first year and while I refrained myself in my room, Jamyang always found an adventure. One time he showed up to room so late and I knew he would have gotten lost outside the campus because he said he wanted to visit a market, and it turned out that he had lost his way in Market. That ways he has always been adventurous, he always wants to explore. 
On all his birthdays, he would write his age on his chest.
This was taken in final year. 

Jamyang never had a girlfriend, he was way too shy to be in love or to know a lady. He is a typical engineer in that way. Always shy and timid. Like the time when a girl asked him whether he worked our or not: He would say, it was working in village fields. He is very naive at times, he can put Salman Khan from Bajrangji Bhaijan to shame for being naive. Like there was this time he told us, that when he first came to apply for Scholarship, he wanted to roam Mongar Town, and he left his luggage at the bus stop and roamed the town. He was lucky that nobody nicked him. 

Today, he looks after network system of BOB. He is the reason behind, why most of the BOB employees have tough times I guess, because when he updated the system for BOB Bajo, the next day the bank didn't function well. He finds it funny and I too, because at times, people are just weird. 

Back in college, we would prank new Indian boys who were so fond of us and never left our room, which disturbed us while we wanted to study. So we would prank them telling that we were princes from Bhutan. One time Jamyang was bodyguard and I was prince, oh please come on, back then in college, I was a pretty boy. And other times, we would tell that Jamyang was a prince. Then we would bluff that we knew kungfu and there were always some days that we would say something new and laugh over. 

Jamyang is very creative person and his puns are my all time favourites. Like he once said when so many people were shouting: I feel sorry for these people, these are the off springs of those parents who didn't feel horny that night. If you will know him, you will know that. Like the time in first year, we named our room as BHUTAN HOUSE and all our text books which we bought would have that written on it. There was this guy in my class, who came from Hindi Medium. Jamyang didn't know his name and named him Hindi Medium. Later on another Punjabi guy (Rav
inder) called him that, a state fight between PHD (Punjab, Haryana & Delhi) & MMPO (Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa) nearly broke out because the guy whom Jamyang named Hindi Medium was from MMPO and his seniors didn't like the name. Nobody could come charge Jamyang though, he was six feet and had a good physique. 

People were always fond of him in college days, he was very much popular and he would always make jokes. Like the time when he was asked to introduce himself, he went in front of the class and told them he was 26 years old man with two kids in Bhutan. Later, it backfired on me, people were thinking I too had kids back in Bhutan, and was 26 years old. He wasn't that old either, he just wanted to laugh over everybody, even his professor. There was this time as well, when Arnab from Bangladesh was too sad over love, that Jamyang played Coldplay's 'I WILL FIX YOU', time and again. I guess, it was him and few of our other friends' idea to burn all our notebooks after exams and we did that, we actually burnt all of them. 

Jamyang didn't know how to speak in Nepali & Hindi, and by the time when he was done with college, he knew both the languages fluently. 

When we were in first year, the Nepalese group asked us whether we wanted to join their fraternity. Which meant they would rag us till we had our fresher's night and after that we had our pros for being in a fraternity, like we getting opportunity to rag the new juniors, we getting text books and past year questions, we getting help from seniors, we getting treats anywhere from the seniors if we bumped upon them, etc. 

Thapa Dai: (Left) who told us about how Jamyang was seen not to be ragged.
Jamyang and Bob (right). 
I went alone to their seniors place and talked out diplomatically, because we didn't want to get ragged. I told them that in future our new juniors will come and we Bhutanese didn't digest the idea of being ragged. The Nepali seniors understood us and they became friends. We would go out with them and drink. Till third year, I was living in my bubble, that my diplomacy worked and we were saved from ragging. But it turned out that, a senior, Thapa Dai, whom everybody feared told us. It actually happened that they wanted to put us in their fraternity and wanted to rag us, they were in large number. And they had asked for our pictures from their juniors, our batch mates. Jamyang being Jamyang, would always loiter around in his underwear in first year, told you, we only had two seasons, summer and super summer. So, when the pictures reached the seniors, they saw Jamyang with his muscles and said: If we rag this boy, we would get bashed up. Till this day, I however want to think that it was diplomacy and not his body lol. 

But Jamyang isn't into fights. He is a gentleman. And the more you know him, the more you grow fond of him. Today, all my high school friends know him and they are much closer to him than I am, even Imam. They hang out more with him than they do with me. He is that person who lives for the little moments, like when we would come back after vacations, he would only carry a small bag and lock up his other stuff back in college. He as a friend, never lets you down. I don't have to say much about him, everybody knows how much of a nice & helpful person he is. All our memories of college are too funny to be shared.

Like there was one time, we drank a full vodka bottle together within an hour, competing each other. We had shots after shots and left for room, without getting drunk. Our livers were young, so were we. There was a time, that if you wanted to party with him and get drunk, even Charlie Sean would say: I got shit to do. He will never leave unless everybody is gone. And one point, I got drunk and was laying in my bed, while I couldn't lift my head, he would say: I got you this drunk, you should reply me by getting me drunk next time. However, that next time never happened.

If there is one thing that I have learned from Jamyang then, it is this, no matter what life brings you, you accept it open heartedly. I have never seen him angry in all those nine years. I have never seen him stress about anything, I have seen him being nervous, but not too anxious. Whatsoever he has done so far, he has always been a calm man. And I guess, that's something very hard to do. 

 While I write episodes of celebrating my friends, I realize, how many good people I have come across so far. And the reason why I am still friends with all of them, isn't because I am nice person. Each day, they remind me to be nicer than I was yesterday. I guess, all of us, we have friends. We need them. Some people never have had friends, and I have come across few of them. Not even a single friend, whom they can call best friend. In a way, I feel sad for them, because it is either them who is misunderstood or they simply are mean people to have friends. Because to have friends around and to make them stay, a lot has to be done: sacrifices from both ends should meet, then only you will have a friend. You can't have a friend after exploiting someone, lying to someone or cheating on someone. We ought to be honest to have friends.

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