We all have a few crazy people as friends. Don't we? And whether we like to admit it or not, the fact is we tend to enjoy their company the most, most often. Reasons for which are not difficult to fathom - craziness brings out the child in us and it feels good to get in touch with the innocence in us every once in a while.
I have a few such crazy friends and I am quite proud of them being that way! But I realised this weekend that I have now the privilege of making that list a bit bigger, and all thanks to the new Flesh-n-Blood at Ilford. These men live their vibrant lives in 144 CityView Centreway apartments, and indulge majorly in two activities: Cooking awesome Indian food, and Ironing their washed semi-dried clothes. And that is precisely the reason they are crazy; and you will gradually know as you reach the end of this post why I call them my crazy friends.
144 is the hub of all activities and enthusiasm for me, although the inmates often like to enjoy deep slumbers even on a sunny weekend afternoon. So what if they are living in London where sunshine is a luxury, as Indians they like to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon sleeping cozily tucked inside their quilts! That is all. No more arguments taken.
However, they leave no stone unturned the moment I arrive - in pulling my leg and making me eat. I sometimes wonder if I end up a few inches taller and fatter with the amount of leg-pulling I undergo and with the amount of food I consume in the few hours that I spend here. And, that is one more indication of how all these people have slowly walked up the ladder of friendship. Every subsequent visit to 144 has turned out to be longer than the previous one in the last three months. A few hours turned into half a day, an evening turned into a full blown overnight-stay; and now almost all my weekend was spent at 144! There is more laughter, more fun, more pampering, more indulgence, more music, (will be) more wine, and a lottt more food! Being an all-guys household I do not understand how all those mouth-watering yumm-looking dishes are doled out every single night! Well, as long as they keep 'em coming, I don't mind to be very honest.
Carefully avoiding all of the personal details of my new friends at Ilford, I'd only say:
AN is a disciplinarian who loves to pamper and pull my leg both with the characteristic straight face that he leaves you confounded often and quite effortlessly so; HRS is an obsessive neat-freak who likes to iron out creases not only on his bed-time clothes but also in everyone's mind who steps into his home - creases of shyness, and hesitation! Poo is the ever-green Mr. Speed of the entire lot - always running about the house with a thousand things on his mind and a few of those thoughts that pour out from the sides only leave behind pearls of laughter! RK is a dad, probably the oldest among the group but when you see him trying to fiddle around a dirty bag to help choose which shoe-polish to use - the liquid one which is quicker but not good for the shoes or the cream polish which is time-taking but better for the shoes - he reminds you of a cute paranoid school going kid who's busily readying himself for another Monday morning. And the funniest and warmest of 'em all is JD. He is a bundle of jokes and funny remarks of which all of us are equal targets and you wouldn't realise when the target has been moved and who's eventually laughing at who!
And all of this happens at 144 amidst cooking and ironing. Irrespective of what movies are playing on TV, which songs we are listening to, and who's coming in and going out - the fun revolves around preparing evening tea, making chappatis, readying the curries and daals; and ironing every single piece of clothig that you can possibly lay your hands on!
So not only do we all end up having a lot of fun, we also end up coming across so utterly crazy and happy, in our own unique ways! And that is all friendships are about.