Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | August 21, 2010


I am not known to have good friends. Time and again, I had thought I have made a few good friends either in junior school, high school, college or university but for some reasons, I could not retain those friends despite my best efforts. The reasons for such losses were varied. When I look back now, I think, perhaps it was good that I lost such acquaintances because the very few that remained are so precious now. Today, after a gap I spoke to one such precious person – Dipu.

Dipu and I were destined to be friends. During the summer of 1999, a great senior soul fondly called “Thoke” in JNU predicted – “you two will be a dangerous combination”. Both Dipu and I knew that probably he was right. Following Thoke’s prophesy, both of us promised to each other that during the next two years, we would attract the least attention and concentrate only on our studies. We tried but as time would tell we failed miserably.

From day one onwards, I disliked JNU. The bad Delhi summer, the SFI Bengali cadres, the lack of water, the lack of proper hostel and food and a very irritating but helpful Thoke – there were a variety of reasons for my hatred. Time spent with Dipu was the only entertainment for me. This was largely because he probably felt the same way too. Collectively both Dipu and I felt that we did not belong to this place and our misery strengthened our bond.
Further, there were many other attributes that brought us closer. There was a lot of inane humor that we appreciated, there were the ability to laugh on ourselves and many times on others and sometimes discussing things, which are devoid of anything intellectual, was our commonalities. In many ways, Dipu neutralized my unnecessarily strong emotions and burst of extreme seriousness. I am actually thankful to him for that, because everything that we do in life probably does not need a strict purpose and scope. Dipu unintentionally with his wit made me realize that.

There were many incidents in JNU between 1999-2001, where Dipu and I were main protagonists. Still we cannot understand why that was the case? We did not harm anyone, we did not do anything immoral and we did not ruin our careers, we did not even get arrested when half of the Bengali crowd got arrested for rioting- yet we got caught in random stuff and attracted unnecessary attention.

A few of the little things we did were – join the Bengali dadas in SFI for a torchlight procession still go against them during the elections because we felt they were corrupt and took us for granted, we ridiculed the seniors who tried to bully us and organized a second Saraswati Pujo in JNU so that even non-Bengalis can participate. If these things appear self-patronising then let me admit we had lot of fun too doing “not-so-proper things” – we got drunk often inside our room, we watched a lot of films, we were caught inside an auto where people were trying to overturn it, we also irritated a few people by mocking them, we did not play any sports but argued with people with the results, we smoked lot of cigarettes, we won a few quizzes and we enjoyed each other’s minor successes and stood beside each other when we failed.

Dipu and I go back a long way. Post the summer of 2001, when we graduated we kept in touch and I cherish all the memories that we created for ourselves. I wish him well and thank him for all the good moments that he gifts me with. I am not even sure whether he realizes that but my fun experiences in life will be unfulfilled if Dipu and I were not friends.

Someday, I will write more about those episodes. Even if few people read or appreciate them, I feel I must.



  1. I returned to your blog after a long time, Tanmoy. Your story says something about you and your friend and doesn’t say many things. I think it would be interesting to read about the episodes that you have promised.

    Your piece also made me think about what friendship means.

    Thank you and best wishes.

  2. Hey Tan I loved to read this post, this has been one of my most favourite pieces of late. I would love to read more about you and and your friend 🙂

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