Friday, January 11, 2019

Celebrating Life, Celebrating Friends: Episode XIII

"Passang, do you have Baba?", said my father from living room.
"No Sir!", said Passang. While Banka and I were laughing.
"Don't worry Passang, I won't tell your mother. If you have please give me some, I am desperate", said my father.
Banka and I kept on laughing.
"No Sir, I don't take Baba", clarified Passang.
"I am desperate Passang, I won't tell your mother, please give me if you have some", said my father again. Banka and I continued laughing. 
Passang then said, "Sir, I don't take Baba Sir. Banka has it!". It is at that time, Banka stopped laughing and looked at Passang with his annoyed and agitated face. That's was his face before he would beat up someone. Yes, in every group, there's a muscle man or someone who is good at boxing or fighting - Banka was our Boxer Bhai. 

I met Banka when we were eleventh standard kids. During those days, they would go to classroom during weekends as well. I however wasn't part of them. I was the good boy who didn't want to get spoiled and didn't mingle with them much.

Banka and I would become good friends as for few months we became bench partners. Back then, I thought Banka was a dumb kid, but he wasn't. He could solve rubik cube then and he was a voracious reader. Like there was a time, when I told him that a book was complicated for him to be understood he was angry and inquired: what do you mean by that I won't understand it? But then, that was ten years ago, when I presumed that he was a dumb kid. He wasn't, and isn't. He is the most rational guy I have met and down to earth. Because, Banka comes from a very good family and I have seen him work at his shop like a labour. That was when he earned my respect. 

When we opted for scholarship, we all availed for Civil Engineering as we thought all of us would land up in same college. He would even scold Lalit saying: why did you take Electrical Engineering? However, fate had its own humour hidden: Banka became an Electrical Engineer and Lalit became Mechanical Engineer later. 

I have known Banka for some 14 years and I have seen him transform from big to small to big. We would joke around and insult each other when we would gain weight. However, his current job keeps him fit and I started to become fat : no incentive for running or being in shape for me. 

Amongst my friends, I think Banka is one of the voracious readers. He reads fast and he grabs what he has read. When we were kids, our friends would introduce him as: Madam, murder case, fighting case, etc., as per the mood - and finally would say - he is our boxer bhai. 

He got that name because his school days were similar to that of Genji I guess. Anybody who acted funny, he would fix them. He was fast, quick and effective : that's what I heard, but I have never seen him fight. Besides, he as our friend was helpful. Even people who would act cocky would come to us and apologize to us. 

Perhaps, he was always the Alpha male of the group or maybe he was made to be one by our friends. Because any problem that we had, he would go and beat the crap out of people. Like one time, I heard that some kid acted funny and all it took was Banka's one punch on the face, with which the kid fell off and got into drain. 

Banka and I became friends as bench partner and since he too was very much into food, we would secretly eat chocolates together during our classes. He would bring ara bottle also, but then I never got amused by it then. It was however, after school days, that we became drinking buddies. 

What I like about him is that he has always been a man of principles. He would pay his own bill and clear off friends'. He is street smart and is very much rational and practical. Probably, he is the only guy who gets aggressive time and again and scolds the rest of the herd - the alpha male trend. But then again, he has never beaten us, his friends, and I have never seen him fight but heard, so he is just Banka. 

I don't know how he got that name, but it surely suits him well. 

For some reason, Lalit has more to express. 

Banka and Tsheku 

Banka (right) and Pretty Boy Tempa. 

Well, that was the swag during those days. To hold your jacket. 

When we did our 12th examination, Banka, Lalit and Passang were very sad. Too sad that they combined their heads on a round table, like a tripod and started crying because they thought they had flunked. But that's the thing about people who are smart, because they think they are dumb and dumb tend to think they are smart. However, when the results were out, all of my friends qualified for scholarship. Today, even after some 12 or 14 years, we are all best friends. We are there for each other and we gather and meet up all the time. Just that our wives aren't too happy about our bromance. 

One good thing about Banka is that if he hears that his friend is in shit, and even if that friend doesn't ask his help, he will be there to help. He is too lavish with his life and at times buys unnecessary stuff. I hope that changes with time. With time, his face has changed and thank got it is not a war zone of pimples anymore. Ha ha. 

He does take care of his family and his friends. Like the time, when I was in Samtse doing a temporary job, he gave me a call. Asked me what I was doing with my life when I could join PHPA. He would tell in his hoarse voice, why are you wasting your life with too little salary when you can earn better. After that, I would come to Thimphu and it would take me some 7 months to get into PHPA. I think we all need one friend that centralizes decorum when we all go astray. And hoarse voice is all he has, perhaps, if he weren't an Engineer cum Army Officer, I would have recommended him to be a Lama on Microphone.

The irony of life is that Banka called everybody "dhong bomb ko ni zum bay", but in real life, he became one officially. But then again, Banka is the second youngest guy in our group. The youngest being Don, who is more arrogant than Gordan Ramsey. 

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