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The Atticus Diaries
Bibliophile - atheist - reader of religious texts - B-School Grad - math-hater - part-time poet - wannabe bodybuilder - couch-potato - animal lover - non-vegetarian - software engineer - technophobe - day-dreamer - basketballer that never was - cruciverbalist - Indian - SriLankan - neither - marketing grad - financial analyst - another confused clueless speck living it up on good ol' earth!!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005
From Small-Town Boy to Small-Town Boy


He comes home from lands I would never know. He lives the seafarer's life that I have only read about. He brings confectionaries from strange lands – preserved for months by the biting cold of Northern winds and the warmth of an ever-loving heart. He never fails to call on his birthday to wish me for mine – we were born on consecutive days. His is a strange life lived in claustrophobic cabins in the wide wide seas. I live in cubicles peeping into the world through the tiny window of my monitor. And yet, when Saravanan pays me an annual visit – welcomed rapturously by Mom and Sis – it is like we've never been apart.

I have known Saravanan for sixteen years now – from the days when we were desk-mates in Class – V. Now he is a chef in an ocean-liner – earning a handsome bundle of Euros every month. I have seen him struggle against the odds to establish himself in the world. I have been with him during the days when he was fighting to shrug off academic failure and find his calling. I know how he used to scrimp during his days in the dark, dank sailor's hostels in Mumbai's Fort Area. Today, it is heart-warming to see a friend you grew up with go out and stake his claim with authority. Every time he comes home, I listen enrapt as he talks of icebergs in the Russian seas, great sea-bridges in Holland and strange Scandinavian ports where the sun shines at night. But there's something about the guy that moves me to tears – the fact that he hasn't changed at all. Behind the few extra pounds and foreign shirts, he is still the simple school-boy I had once known.

When you are a small-town lower middle-class kid who goes to school and college with other small-town middle-class kids, your dreams are clouded with a disconcerting fear of the unknown – an uneasy trepidation of higher places where only one distant uncle or third cousin has ever been. And yet, how we used to dream!! Of working in plush offices, business trips in luxury cars, the United States… Of being respected and recognized as self-made successes… Things that were so far away in those days where we battled to stretched our meager monthly allowances and fit in a few extra movies and dinners in.

Today, what seemed insurmountable odds have been shattered and the then virtually impossible is now a reality! Inian runs restaurants in Australia. Unni and Bharani are globe-trotting technophiles. Rakesh talks of buying a Ford Fusion and owns a lakh's worth of photography equipment. Thiyagu, Ananth, Hari, Ramji – they have all done well for themselves… And I soak in pride to see their successes – I egg them on when I meet them, cheer from the sidelines when I can or just look on in fond fascination as the guys go up their respective ladders.

But what warms my heart more than their impressive triumphs is the ease with which success sits on their shoulders. I meet or call them and they are still the same people. I unconsciously await that one gesture of nonchalance and arrogance so that it won't catch me unawares. But, it never comes… They are still those simple guys with big dreams – guys who hope to arrive and to do it with as little fanfare and hatred as possible.

This one is for the guys I grew up with in those lazy lanes in South-Indian small-towns…For shoulders lent when needed most… For hands clasped together for a united struggle… For study-holidays spent planning the future… For 233 MHz Pentium-II computers shared by seven guys… For the air we punched when MNCs deemed us fit to be part of the IT revolution… For the tears we cried when it was time to go our separate ways… And for the way we have never really fallen apart - the way we have all remained the same old bunch small-town boys finding our way in the wide world and smiling with content as we look back on a considerably long climb now behind us.



NOTE
Will hit the road tonight for a month-long tour to various Tata Group facilities across the country. Will try my best to keep posting, connectivity issues permitting.
~Love and Peace,
Atticus Finch

Atticus
June 21, 2005   02:48 PM PDT
 
@Anumita:

Travelling relatively less... In Bangalore for some time... :)
anumita
June 16, 2005   07:11 PM PDT
 
This is one of the most heart warming posts I have read! You still travelling Atticus?
Atticus
June 13, 2005   01:37 AM PDT
 
@Jyotsna:

Thanx buddy... :)
Atticus
June 13, 2005   01:37 AM PDT
 
@Rhea:

:( :( :(
I did call...
:(( :(( :((
Atticus
June 13, 2005   01:36 AM PDT
 
@Sathya:

Bangalore was real hectic yaar... Sorry... Will call up soon, though
Atticus
June 13, 2005   01:35 AM PDT
 
@Osty:

To brighten my travel, am gonna fly Kingfisher from now on... :D You'll know why the next time you are in the airport :p

Atticus
June 13, 2005   01:34 AM PDT
 
@Adi:

Was in Mumbai for just a day buddy...

Howz the old place? Do mail me your number... Take care...
Atticus
June 13, 2005   01:34 AM PDT
 
@Adi:

Was in Mumbai for just a day buddy...

Howz the old place? Do mail me your number... Take care...
Atticus
June 13, 2005   01:33 AM PDT
 
@Medhz:

Thanx buddy :)
Atticus
June 13, 2005   01:32 AM PDT
 
@Luna:

Thanx Luna.... Dropped by at The Mankeys... Will be back soon for a longer visit... :)
Atticus
June 13, 2005   01:29 AM PDT
 
@Akruti & Wookie:

Thanx folks... This blog is one of the few spaces in my life where I don't have to hold a mask to my face... Enjoy organizing my thoughts and reminiscing as I write here... :)
Jyotsna
May 29, 2005   08:24 PM PDT
 
Hope your tour is goin gr8..Have fun and enjoy.
Rhea
May 29, 2005   12:33 PM PDT
 
yes, yes...have a nice time and don't bother to call ok?X(
sathya
May 27, 2005   09:05 PM PDT
 
hi atticus.. if u happen to be in bangalore..call me at 09886086420
Ostrich
May 27, 2005   12:32 PM PDT
 
A very heart-warming post... :) And big-big applause for all the kids who've now made it big! :) Shine On! :)

Enjoy the jet-setting, Atticus.. :) It'll be fun for a while.. well, at least till the mere smell of airline food makes you want to quit eating altogether! :)
aDiTyA
May 27, 2005   04:28 AM PDT
 
should ur 'bharat darshan' land u in mumbai, do drop a msg on YM - adityabhaskar2001. Would love to meet up.

As for the post.. moving as ever ( how i wish i could say CAM)
Luna
May 26, 2005   01:40 AM PDT
 
A sweet dedicated post Atticus. And happy touring !!! :-)
wookie
May 26, 2005   12:52 AM PDT
 
I couldn't agree more with Name.
Name
May 25, 2005   07:32 PM PDT
 
On and off i keep coming to this place,somehow got attached to the writings:) and when u know that what is written is not only words but real world feelings of a person u can sure admire it more:) and that too about friends:) anyday the best relationship
Goodluck for ur trip
Atticus
May 25, 2005   03:34 PM PDT
 
@L:

I know I have been lucky... These guys are indeed special :)

Thanx. Will write midway if I can..
L~
May 25, 2005   03:22 PM PDT
 
reading this post made me feel jealous of you. i've never had such friends :) and the few that i have now, i'm losing them fast...some to the changing world...some to my illness :|

good luck for ur trip. enjoy urself :)
   

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