Echoes of Friendship: From Hostel Days to the Dawn of Maturity

Serving at Dhammathali, Jaipur, I’ve often heard my teacher speak of ‘Admirable Friendship‘. Each time, Other than the message he wants to communicate this term reminds me of a few friends I share a strong bond with, one of them is Shyam Sunder. He hails from a village near Srigangananagar and is currently stationed in Jammu.

In 2008, I enrolled at DAV School in Sriganganagar, where I met this amazing human. We ended up in Swami Shraddhanand Hostel, room no. 14, sharing the same room. Our campus housed two hostels – one with a lenient warden named Gurjant Singh, and the other with a strict figure named Ramlal Saharan. Swami Shraddhanand Hostel was designated for academically inclined and easy-to-discipline boys, while Maharishi Dayanand Hostel was for those active in sports with average academic records and did not know the word discipline.

Ramlal ji instilled fear with his “Pahle hath fir baat” approach. Once, when Gurjant Singh was absent, I too received a slap from him when requesting leave on an odd day, as he was the interim in charge of both hostels. Being a Physical Education teacher in the school, it was hard to avoid his temperament, even if you were not of his hostel. He was the epitome of fear during our time there.

Transitioning from village to city life for school was a significant change. While village life was carefree, here we adhered to strict schedules for everything, from study hours to morning routines and meal times. However, we cherished Rajma-Pulav on Tuesdays and were always over-excited for Saturday movie nights. Hostel life taught us resource-sharing and discipline, somehow making it enjoyable at the end of our time.

Despite being an introvert, I made a few good friends, one was our boy Shyam Sunder, affectionately known among us as “Shyamlo/Shyamli”. Our bond grew stronger over time and we found each other again in Kota as we prepared for IIT – he at ALLEN, and I at Resonance. Later, life led us on different paths; he’s now an accountant in defense through SSC, while I’m serving at a Meditation Centre in Jaipur through a separate journey.

During his competitive exam preparations in Jaipur, I often visited him, and he always enjoyed making amazing food for me, we had our Chai-Sutta(s) at Imli Phatak, though I no longer smoke. He showed me how to roll a joint (choosing my words diplomatically here). I recall our last meeting, watching the Game of Thrones finale together. Though not in daily touch, it never feels distant. His presence in my life is one of those things that makes me feel that I always have more than I deserve.

When I think of him, I’m reminded of a biblical verse: “The fragrance of perfume and incense has a way of delighting the senses, just as the heartfelt guidance of a friend brings happiness to the heart.” I wish everyone had such privileges.

I plan to see him at the end of this month and will update you then.

Apaan fer milaange!

2 responses

  1. Loveliness ❤❤❤

  2. Sandeep Jakhar avatar
    Sandeep Jakhar

    Lovely 🌹

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