Sunday, February 20, 2005

Five Musketeers

When you are a poor grad student you tend to remember all the different transactions that takes place on the home front. The electricity bill, phone bill, rent, cable...groceries the list is endless. Ever since I landed here I have become an expert qith the 45, 44 and 43 tables...(tables: math remember 2*1=2,2*2=4). I have become very careful with money.....and my dad was overjoyed to hear this (yeah after 24,000 dollars down the drain, he ought to). But there is this one particular transaction that I can never forget. It was last summer, the Indian student Association oraganized a picnic to a lake nearby. One guy...lets call him X didnt have any money on him. We learnt that boating would cost 5 dollars per person. So X borrowed 5 dollars from me. As X was a respectable PhD student(a Dr. in front of your name you automatically command respect from slimy earthlings like me) and a very good friend of mine. I didn't mind giving him the money because you can't get nicer guys than him.
I wasn't in the mood for 5 dollars and you do your own rowing gimme a break. So I went home. The next morning I met X at the bus stop....we were discussing about the picnic and about the desi chicks coming for the fall sem. He even let me in on the ingenious idea of how committee memebers encouraged girls to send a snap of themselves in the pretext of making identification easier in the pickup process(to all prospective women graduate students and boyfriendsof prospective women graduate students...beware....ISA is not all honey and sugar, there are some smart devils too). We boarded the bus and thats when I realized that I didnt bring my wallet. Shit...I had to work till 5pm what am I gonna do for lunch. Thats when I looked at X with a relief. X will bail me out...who in the world told that lending money spoils a friendship. I have to be a little careful here X is a good friend of mine so I can't just point blank ask him " Hey man give me my 5 bucks". So I tried to drop subtle hints. You gotta do certain things with class. So we sat next to each other on the bus and I started off my hinting mission.
Me: "So X, that was lovely picnic you guys organized"
X:"50 ppl turned up...last year it was just 20"
Me thinking....hmm so many jobless people in town
Me:"Wow, thats great!"
X nodding his head in acknowledgement
Me:"So, X how was the boating"
X:"It was really cool! reminded me of my final year trip to Kodai"
Me thinking....X dude 'boating' 'picinic' doesnt it make any sense....maybe it was a little too subtle...poor guys is a researcher we need to make things more obvious....patience!!
Me:"Oh so you went boating in Kodai"
X:"No, I didn't, my girlfriend was a little afraid so I had to stay know moral support...but all the other guys had real kinduv made up for all the lost fun yesterday"

Me:"But charging 5 dollars was outrageous...dont you think wasn't even a motor boat"
Me thinking....this was very obvious...... one five dollar bill will do...even five one dollar bills will do...I will take them in quarters dimes or nickels....just give it to me....
X:" No...not Lake xyz they charge 7 this is a little cheaper...any ways there is no fun in a motor boat....rowing, the physical excercise thats what is needed man"
Me thinking.....thats it man...I shamelessly went to the next level I mentioned '5' 'ticket' 'boating' you still dont remember
I was quiet for sometime and pretended to read the paperback that I had in hand.
X: "Hey what book is that?"
Me: "The three musketeers..."
X:" I saw the movie, it sucked...charlie sheen was in it, total crap"
Me thinking...hey wait a minute I have an idea
Me:"X you know, researchers found out that the original draft of the book have FIVE..F I V E musketeers and not three as originally seems the book was very long and the editor chopped 2 characters to make it shorter"
Me thinking...Dude come on Alexander Dumas will walk out of his grave and kill me if I continue any more....gimme my money!!!
X: "Strange man...these guys do all kinds of research.....Ok man gottago this is my stop I gotta get down and do some serious research...or else my prof will whoop my ass"
I had a very disappointed look on my face
Me:"I will get off work at FIVE pm...cya then" Yeah I didnt have lunch that day...... I have stopped trying the 'classy' bit....and decided to be as ruthless as my community(chettiars.......baniya in Hindi).
gee FIVE minutes to 10


Blogger optical dillusion said...

dude! that's hillarious man :). wowie! but if he is a good friend i am sure he would understand if u told him ur in a tight spot. right?

6:22 PM  
Blogger Sriramkrishnan said...

If there's one good advice my dad gave me, it was this. " Lend money , but do so with the understanding that its a bonus if you get it back " Close friends in VIT will attest to my adherence to this advice and my learning from experience that my Father was correct.


11:20 AM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

In Vellore it was a different story. It was my dads money and I didnt really mind if I got it or I didnt get it. Mostly, I took loans from Ashwini and I tried to return most of them ;). And Karthik was the kinduv person who took money from me to loan it out to other people.But here once I have started earning hurts :D.
It becomes "MY MONEY".

11:38 AM  
Blogger Sriramkrishnan said...

I guess the advice still stands. "Lend YOUR money but do so with the understanding that its a bonus if you get it back"


7:21 AM  

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