Let’s get familiar with the characters before we jump onto the opening scene.
Piyush: Piyush Bose, PB in short, is finance pro. In just five years of his post-MBA career, he rose to the rank of VP of a renowned Hedge Fund. Life of Piyush has had his four versions till now – Piyush in school, in university, at office and online Piyush. A modest upbringing in a small town, spectacular performance at school which later translated to admission into the best university, pursuing non academic pursuits more than studies during university years, two years at a top B-school and a consequent eventful career in finance– that pretty much sums up his trajectory in life. Oh yes, among other things, he loves photography and anything related to it. He is very active in online photography forums. He runs a photography blog and dreams of creating a business out of his hobby some day. His blog is fairly popular among photography enthusiasts due to its genuine content and effective tips. Piyush loves the company of girls, and they reciprocate the gesture. But he isn’t seeing anyone at present. All these, coupled with his personal charm makes him a very eligible bachelor. Despite parental pressure to tie the matrimonial knot, he hasn’t yielded yet.
Bobby – Back in school, there always was a close competition between Bobby and Piyush. Sometimes, Piyush led the class and Bobby stood close second. Some other times, the opposite happened. Despite this, both were the best of friends. And this surprised everyone around, including their parents. Both parted ways after High School and by then, the score stood in favor of Piyush at 12-9, at the rate of three exams per year since sixth grade. After school, Bobby, heeding an Uncle’s advice, went to a non-decrepit automobile engineering school somewhere in Tamil Nadu. He came back after 4 months, tormented and on the verge of breaking down. It was learnt later that he happened to face one of the worst forms of ragging that was practiced in those areas, and thus lost his balance. A few months later, Bobby recovered and his mother took him to their village – somewhere in West Bengal. He studied Physics there, only to remain jobless even after a year of his graduation. Bobby took some computer courses in an institute for two years which landed him an entry-level job in an IT firm in Bangalore. He came to Bangalore around a year back. Piyush and Bobby have stayed in touch ever since. And yes, PB calls him Booby, owing to his assets.
Raman – Piyush met Raman while looking for his berth on the train that runs from his hometown to his university campus. Raman was already on his seat when Piyush matched his seat number ‘43’. Raman’s was 46. <Include the senior story later>. Both got together well after that – same hostel, similar hobbies meant they spent a lot of time together. Well, the departments were different – but neither cared too much about attending the classes. The friendship that germinated at the sleeper compartment of the train continues unabated till date. After he graduated, Raman became an architect in Hyderabad. After a brief stint there, he shifted to Bangalore. Raman, with his girlfriend Kavya, drops by Piyush’s place for an occasional drink. Non-stop bakar usually follows such sessions, where both friends relive their college days. Kavya loves such sessions – she gets to know her boyfriend’s history without much hassle. And yes, like hundreds of millions of other Indians, both Raman and Kavya are cricket aficionados.
Satya – Piyush met Satya in one of the Photo-Bloggers meet. Though very young, Satya was all of 19 and a sophomore at college then, he exuded maturity beyond his age during the meet. Satya’s comfort level in giving a 15 minute talk on ‘From Amateur to Lens Pro in 30 days’ floored Piyush. More so, since Piyush learnt how easy handling lenses can be more in those 15 minutes than in earlier two such meets, collectively. Piyush’s child-like curiosity about photography, despite a very successful career appealed to Satya. Later, both ventured out in several photography trips of varied theme – daily life, wildlife, on the move, in the air, black and white, to name a few. In the process, both became good friends from mere acquaintances. Three months back, Satya launched his ‘Weekend Photography Tours’ concept and Piyush mentored it. Both have worked very closely since. And yes, his full name is Sathyendra Balakrishna Muthukettu, a native of Bangalore.
Oindreela – Pretty odd name for a Chandigarh girl, and that too a Sardarni, Oindreela Kaur was named so because of her half Punjabi – half Bengali descent. She worked in the same company as Piyush did, but both didn’t know each other till last year. Jeev, Piyush’s college mate, once enquired Piyush whether a girl with a funny name Oindreela worked with him. Jeev hinted at her being hot – Oindreela was purportedly popular at school for her charms, and yes, Jeev was at the same school. Piyush enquired the pay-rolls and couldn’t control his excitement when the answer was in affirmative. A little online chat materialized into the first meeting – ‘an arranged date’, as Oindreela calls it. More than her sex appeal, it was her vehement rebuttal of Ayn Rand School of philosophy that drew Piyush towards her. Being an ardent believer in Objectivism, Piyush fought tooth and nail for its principles. Such debates often moved from office café, to post-lunch strolls, to cafés and sometimes, to Piyush’s living room. And in the process, they became very good friends. Piyush call her OK these days. And yes, the fight still continues.