The orientation week was in full swing at the School of Management. Engineers were fiddling with balance sheets and the commerce guys with quant. Needless to say, there was mayhem. I wondered whether I could survive 2 years of dissecting balance sheets!! Balance sheets scared the living daylights out of me the very first day I tried shaking hands with them. Assets and Liabilities….though I found it difficult to put the theory into practice where it mattered most, I did manage to find parallels in the outside world. Charming girls of the batch were potential assets which could make your two year stay a lot less stressful. But nothing comes easy! Especially when you have around 100 like minded noble souls salivating at the same thought! Mithun was no different. We had rechristened him “Mithun” on the day he arrived in the hostel because of his striking resemblance to Mithun Da. Mithun had already talked to the maximum number of gals in the batch when me and TJ were wondering where to start from! He was all over the place. Adding salts to our wounds, he would share with us the kind of discussions he had with the gals in college. I would simply exchange glances with TJ and wonder why could we not muster the courage! TJ had his own philosophy of “Wait…Everything has its time”. The hostel authorities had done the worst thing possible by asking us to share rooms for our entire stay here. We got along like a house on fire. Both of us were to be acknowledged as Masters in taking cases 2 years down the line, but like mortals we had no clue of what future had in store for us. What mattered was only the present. It would not be wrong to say that the journey to being that started off with Mithun.
We were the first to figure out that though we all would happily address Sudhaanshu as “Mithun” in hostel, it eerily changed to Sid in college! No one knew the reason. Maybe we had just about joined and hence didn’t want to spoil the image of anyone in the first week itself. Mithun was getting uncontrollable day by day. His stories of his so called new friendships every other day had us fuming! We had to get the better off him. I had no clue how all had started addressing him as Sid in the first place. TJ decided to cling on to him like a parasite the next day to find out his modus operandi. He was beaming when he came back later in the evening. He gave me a smile and said, “Pretty gutsy shutsy this fella is man!! Take my word for that. He throws around his ego like it were running out of fashion! I was wondering from day 1 that how come this bloody eats nothing & is still a weight on mankind! I have concluded after feigning to be friend that 85% of his body mass is EGO! You know what his first lines are when he walks up to a girl balu….you have to hear this out…..Hey, this is Sid here…99%ile….settled for School Of Management instead of calls from other biggies because I wanted to be at the top of the batch rather than be at a place where I would be average. Hey…by the way this is TJ….stays in my opposite room at the hostel. He could only manage 95 in CAT but he is good…take my word for that. But he needs to work a lil on almost all the subjects apart from eco which is his strength coz he is from the arts background!! One clean stroke and me out of the equation. Shit man!! Damn it, and the poor gal sees him as an ideal group mate if he happens to get into the same section as her. What can the gal do man….after all, she has to find someone who is brains for her group!! Lil does she know that this guy has shit in the top compartment!! He introduces himself as Sid Balu….he himself does….no prizes for guessing why everyone is calling him the same. We need to get into action dear. We are not preparing an obituary for him to address him in the manner he would like to be. We would follow the simplest path….if you cant match up to the latter, pull him down!!”
We reached college the next day to find Mithun talking away to glory with another one of the cute species. This time the one facing the brunt of his attack was Vicky, who was a fighter of sorts because he had the lowest %ile in the batch. Poor Vicky didn’t know whether Mithun was praising him or making his own case strong in front of this gal. We were prepared. Mithun saw us coming and in his heavily accented tone greeted us, “Hey TJ….Hey Balu…..How u fellas doing haan? You guys understood the balance sheet analysis I had explained to you in the morning. You better should have…coz Bodhu will burn your rear side in his class…….its him next!!” The girl let out a giggle!! It was then that me and Tj devised that greeting style for Mithun, which everyone followed till the last day of our college lives. Rumour has it that whenever someone meets Mithun even now after passing out, that step comes naturally to them! We both looked into each others eyes and gave an understanding smile. Next moment, we had jumped in unison in typical Mithun style with our legs apart and that swagger. The foot landed one after the other in a typical Mithun dance step and we exclaimed, “Oye Saala Mithun…Tu tension naa le!!” The gal burst out laughing. We followed that for the whole of that day. Any product launch takes its time to get on to people. After 3 days of marketing the greeting step and the greeting dialogue, “Oye Saala Mithun!!”, it was a rage. Sid died a silent death the following week…..Mithun had become “Larger than Life”!! J