‘The Nuts’ was what we called ourselves, the ‘we’ here referring not to some teen under graduates or school students, which erroneous conclusion you might have been tempted to jump to, but post graduates, studying in the prestigious Kariavattom University, which lay about 16 kilometers outside the capital city of Trivandrum. The ‘we’ consisted of Nalanda, Darsana, Susan, Padmaja and last but not the least, yours truly.
Getting into Kariavattom University was considered an achievement in itself. The college offered post graduate course in many subjects. There were also those working for their M.Phil degree or for their Doctorates. Predictably, the whole bunch of them, teaching staff to the students (even the non-teaching staff), were the most intellectual, serious and studious looking swarm. Well you don’t have to stop yourself from asking that question that is begging to be asked. ‘What the heck were you doing there?? Who had let you in??’ To tell you the truth, I have wondered a lot about that myself. Anyways…
Out of our batch of ten girls and fifteen boys working for their post graduation in Economics, that particular year, five of us girls were day-scholars and commuted to college via the college buses that plied from Palayam University Office to Kariavattom. It was a journey of about 45 minutes. We filled in the time jabbering as girls are wont to do. We laughed and joked quite unlike the rest of the ‘intellectual’ crowd in the bus. It would surprise none if I say that I was the one who laughed and smiled the most and also the one who looked least as if she were a student of that esteemed institution.
My friends at least knew how to hide their smiles in the nick of time or to even tell a joke with a straight face. Sadly, I was not so good at this and was left with a grinning face for all to see. Many times have I caught disbelieving and censorious looks directed at us (or to be more precise, moi), on the faces of some of the professors or senior students. They must have felt we did not care for the sanctity of the revered institution. But seriously, is the resemblance to a stuffed frog such an indispensable part of the ‘intellectual’ look?? How and when has a little laughter and smile hurt anyone in the world?? Not that I know of, not so far anyway.
One fine day, though belatedly, the ridiculousness of our behavior hit us. That is when we decided we were totally nuts. We laughed a good deal over this, when a brainwave hit us to name ourselves after the different nuts. Thus were born The Nuts; Nalanda, the coconut, Susan the areca nut, Padmaja the walnut or had it been Darsana?? Hmm… You must forgive me people; I am getting old you know. Sometimes the memory slips. Ahh.. now I remember, Padmaja was the walnut and Darsana the cashew nut. I became, errr… ummm… the peanut. Sigh, did I have a choice?? Being the smallest has its drawbacks.
The Nuts spent a lot of time together. We shared our lunch. Nalanda’s lunch box was raided for the fried fish piece and Darsana’s for the prawn/fish pickle. Susan’s mom made us lovely cutlets. Padmaja entertained us with news from the radio station where she sometimes lent voice to the plays. We went to the library together. We shared our notes. We visited each other, had lunch at each others places.
One fine day, we discovered Linda Goodman and her book ‘The Sun Signs’. The book became a sort of gospel for us. We went around asking each of our classmates what their Zodiac sign was and then dived into the book to check if what we knew of the person and what Linda Goodman said tallied. Darsana went one step ahead and asked the HOD directly what his zodiac sign was while submitting her assignment. When she related this to us the next day, our eyes were fit to pop out.
Once while we, The Nuts, were returning home from college, and as usual chattering nineteen to the dozen, some turn of the conversation made us hit upon a new idea. We wanted to name ourselves after toothpastes. The discussion was in full swing, in slightly raised voices due to the roar of the moving bus, as to who would be which toothpaste. I was eager to stake my claim for the desired brand of toothpaste before someone else did and so without unnecessary procrastination stated my preference in my crystal clear voice.
“I am Close Up!! I am Close up!!” I said, leaving no room for doubt.
As luck would have it, the engine of the bus died just then and instead of the bell like clarity I had intended, my voice came out like a holler.
“I AM CLOSE UP!! I AM CLOSE-UP!!”
All eyes turned as one in my direction as curiosity got the better of even the most pompous among the intellectuals to know who this mysterious Close-up was. I have never been so embarrassed in my life. The Nuts spent the rest of the journey trying not to look at each other as we were bursting to laugh out, which we did as soon as our stop arrived and we alighted.
After our final exams we went to the photo studio to have a picture taken of the five of us. We had also planned on a movie and the only one we were able to manage tickets for was a Tamil one, a family drama. The rest of the womenfolk in the movie hall were seen soaking up their kerchiefs wiping away tears of sympathy for the suffering heroine, while we soaked our kerchiefs too, but with tears of helpless mirth. The absurd theatrical dialogues were enough to start us off on our laughing spree. Though we cursed our misfortune at ending up watching a stupid movie, we were quick to admit that we had never had so much fun as we had that day.
Nalanda now works in a bank. Susan is HOD of the Economics Department of a college in the city. Padmaja is HOD of her department in a college in Calicut. Darsana, who had been the first rank holder of our batch and the first to take up employment after studies as lecturer in the S.N. College at Kollam, does not teach now and is a stay-at-home mom. Who is left?? Oh yeah, moi. But, you know about me. I work too… at boring people to death writing blogs. I am proud to say my success rate is very high. I take my work seriously you know!!
Well, you may have been a Close Up Peanut but your blogs show that you are not only witty, intelligent and hilarious but you are NO PEANUT brain 🙂 Lurvely read…could almost picture the laughing Nuts 🙂
Hehehe… glad you think I am no peanut brain Shalini! 😉 Yeah, we were a bunch of crazy nuts alright, always finding something or other to laugh about.
“I work too… at boring people to death writing blogs. I am proud to say my success rate is very high.”
Don’t agree with the first sentence. Agree with the second one … would you believe it, just yesterday I was thinking about the ‘Spider’ Blog … I discovered one in living room !!! The success rate is so high that readers (at least one of them) remember your posts for days, months … now years ! 😀
Keep Blogging, plz.
Lol, you are the Spider blog fan Aditi!! Now you will remember me when you eat peanuts! 😉
Oh wow! Awesome. You reminded me of my giggly girlhood that I will never see again ~ Sniff!!! But my cackling older womanhood is ripe and kicking LOL. Loved the I AM CLOSE UP shout!
Cackling Older Womanhood is equally good I say! 😀
That was so wonderful to read! It brought back college memories. It must have been something screaming ‘I AM CLOSEUP’ into the silent bus 😉
Your blog is anything but boring 🙂
You bet! And to have the roaring engine of the bus die on you just then! 😆
Thanks for the vote of confidence about my blog Smitha! 🙂
That was some lovely reminiscing!!!
Thanks Ganga! 🙂
Nice trip down memory lane, Shail! Very entertaining!
And your blog is definitely not boring- far from it!
Thank you Manju. Lol, but I do write looooooong posts! 😉 Glad for the vote of confidence though.
Your posts are always interesting…I like the way you express yourself here. I too has got this habit of writing long posts and maybe because of my age, I get carried away when I start writing about my yesteryears!
Yours is never boring…you are a badaam nut which rejuvenates our health like your blogs rejuvenate our minds….hahaha! All of us here, love to read your posts, Shail and you know it!
Thank you Sandhya. Don’t worry age has nothing to do with long posts. Quite a few young ‘uns, Indyeah being one of them, write even longer posts!! 😉 Oops I hope she doesn’t throw a brick at me for saying that!
A badaam?? Oh wow! Thanks again Sandhya!! 😀
Bob Hoff said:
Your recollection of and writing about “The Nuts” was so interesting and well done; it was just how you always treat us to your gems of writing. I can’t say enough about you other than this: in my experience no bloggers display their talents, writing skills, and subjects/topics choices and development better than you.
Keep em’ coming, Shail.
Thanks again for sharing,
(BINMBA) (Bob in New Mexico Blogging Also)
That is a SUPER compliment Bob. *takes a bow* Thank you dear friend. BTW I love the acronyms you come up with! 😆
Bob Hoff said:
my shoutmix message wouldn’t post. must I register somewhere I wondered.
Of course not Bob, no registering anywhere, you simply have to ‘shout’ Hmm.. I wonder what’s wrong
Pins N Ashes said:
I’m holding my sides and my cheeks are aching… U remind me so much me, unable to hide my laughter in public, on the roads and the looks I got for all that and the loudspeaker talk.. had a friend u passed out of the English Dept from Kariavattom…
Wow! u really know how to bore people Shail:)
Nice to have you laughing PNA. Actually, even the L & M is a bit wary of me in the present, in or out of home which is apparent if you read this. He is the lets-pretend-we-don’t-exist sort and I don’t care one way or other if anyone knows I exist or not! 😉
Kariavattom now hosts University College and I hear our own institution is now located elsewhere.
Pins N Ashes said:
Woman u have company:P is all I can say!! Heee heee..
LOL Shailji, I like Nuts, specially the Two legged kind like you :).. and btw Peanuts are my favorite snack especially if they are boiled in brine.
Lol @two-legged nuts. Yeah, I am one!! 😛
Shail, you certainly don’t bore(Isn’t this what you want everyone to say?)
and now you are more famous than the other four
with all your great posts that we all adore
leaving us rolling & laughing on the floor.
I know I can’t comment for ‘nuts’. 🙂
Athu munkoor jamyam. Before you say I bore you all writing long posts, I admit to it myself!
“”It would surprise none if I say that I was the one who laughed and smiled the most””
That continues even today……..So if you are a “soap” what would be your brand?
Hmmm… soap?? I think I will be Pears! 🙂
Lovely recollection Shail…I love your style of narration 🙂
It almost reminded me of my time in college…though I confess, I didn’t have as much fun as you did !!
About the movie…..well, I saw one such movie which had me and friends in splits (ever heard of a hindi movie called JEET, starring Karishma kapoor and Sunny Deol??).
It was supposed to be a love-drama , but we couldn’t help laughing over EVERY scene 😀
It really is fun to watch movies with friends…the stupider the movie, better the fun 😀
I didn’t have as much fun anywhere else as I did for post-graduation! 😉 I have seen ‘Jeet’ and it is the right kind of stupid movie to watch in the company of friends and have some fun! 😉
aww!!! college friends, I say.. they totally rock!
We had our hostel group named as BADHAKUPS. coined from the 1st alphabets of all our names. We totally liked the BAD in that, you know, n were mighty proud of it. considering the fact that we were assumed to be some of the meekest beings around at college then! 😛
well that was a good 10 years back, n it beats me to think how we all turned out to be after a decade! 😀
I loved the post! n Im all senti.. we had gone for a movie like that too.. which the whole college hated.. n we had the most fun ever laughing like crazy at the cinema hall. The movie was ‘Niram’.
ah, I am nostalgic now.. very much!
I think I’ll call up some of them today, or start one of our group e-mail threads. I miss themmm!!! 😦
BADHAKUPS sounds swell. Errrr… ummmm…. you all laughed at Niram?? Hmmm…. ours was a Tamil movie with a husband, devoted always-in-tears wife and a husband-snatcher of a woman who ends up with leprosy (talk about poetic justice or whatever!) and a beggar at a temple and then repentant, dies a heroic death saving someone or other…. It was ages and ages back. Almost 30 years (like your ‘almost 30’ in that b’day post of yours!) now. You can imagine the melodrama and the over-acting and the loud songs and dialogues. ‘Twas funnnnn! 😉
lolz!! it had too much going for it for a killer comedy movie, I must say! bet it must’ve been a hell of a laugh riot! 😀
niram was the most comic one we bumped into then.. more for the “njan idapedano, da?” kind of lines.. rmmbr, the “da” thingie was fast catching up then.. we used to do an overkill of that line throughtout the rest of our college days!
Im soo nostalgic of the good old gang, I guess I would finaly write a post on badhakups, someday soon! we were all such goddamned specimens, I say!
Was that movie the precursor of the ‘da’ usage??
BTW, I for one am waiting to read about the BADHAKUPS 🙂
Indian Homemaker said:
I have to disagree with the last bit 🙂 I find your blog very interesting 🙂
Lol 😉 IHM, I am glad you disagree! 😛
I just have been my college while reading this post.
I suck on writing compliments….. but I really want to write some thing.
Hey Makk! Glad I could take you back to college for a few moments! 🙂 As for the compliments, I am taking it as written! 😉
Ahhh you made me nostalgic about my friends
Abha Midha said:
Your blog was a trip down memory lane….. just this saturday i met some old pals from Chandigarh. Your blogs are always alive and appealing. Luv reading them 🙂
Good to see you Abha. Thanks 🙂 I am sure you had a lovely time with your pals. 🙂
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