The THIEF – An unknown friendship messenger
It was almost 12.30 PM on 12th December 2005, when I started feeling dizzy after a long hour of studying Financial Management. It was the first semester exam time of our MBA and all four of us – Alok, Arindum, myself & Argha were almost drained out trying to understand Time value of Money chapter for past 2 hours. Alok & Arindum were sharing a room and Argha & myself were sharing the second room. The ground floor house in Kolkata was decent with 1 drawing room, 2 bed room, a kitchen & a bathroom. Since we were still students, we could not afford to buy a bed during initial months. We had to manage by sleeping over some thick bedding laid on the floor.
It was only 3 months since all four of us had started staying as roommates. Interestingly all four of us were from different parts of India – Argha from Tripura, Arindum from Jamsedhpur, Alok Tiwari from Chattisgarh and myself from Odisha. Since we were different in our culture and living style, myself and Arindum had started having fights more frequently. Arindum and myself had started complaining about each other to Argha & Alok and even I thought that one cannot live with this person anymore. The hatred for each other had reached its limits and somewhere in our mind we had decided to part off our own ways.
During the same night, Argha, being a jovial guy, thought of taking a break and suggested me to listen to songs but we both did not had any radio. Argha borrowed the only radio of our room which Arindum possessed. Soon we both started listening to 93.5 Red FM and felt relaxed. We even started singing along and making fun of each other. But the wall between our room and Arindum’s room was very thin and any sound would cross and echo. We both did not realize that our relaxation was an irritation for Arindam. 10 minutes later, Arindum shouted “Stop shouting as someone is trying to read here”. Argha looked at me with his eyebrow’s raised. I realized and said let us try to keep the volume low. Again, 10 minutes later, Arindum unable to concentrate came shouted with more anger this time “Will you shut up? You might be complete with your chapters but I am not”. He came to our room, took out the batteries of the radio and threw them away.
I was bursting in anger and I told Argha “Man! can’t he say anything patiently? Why does he behave this way? If he has any issues then why does he not go away?” (though I was sacred too!). I went rushing to his room and started scolding for his behaviour and shameless act of arrogance. Arindum was fuming with anger but he did not respond. Argha and Alok controlled the situation and few minutes later we got back to our studies. I had decided to talk to Arindum sooner or later about his split personality and was considering to tell him to vacate room at the earliest.
3 hours later, I saw Argha was sleeping and I was tired too, so decided to take 1 hour rest and then continue. I slept off in a minute without knowing what was in store for that night. Around 4.45 AM, someone was pulling my hand and saying “Biren, Biren get up. Thief, Thief – Someone stole all our things”. To my surprise, it was Arindum with very scary eyes and trembling hands was calling me as if I was his only friend. I immediately got up and made Argha & Alok wake up. To our surprise, everything was lying scattered all over the house. All four of us lost our mobile, watches and wallets but not the radio 🙂 . After some introspection, we understood that the thief had opened the window and used something to open the latch from inside while all were sleeping and had used some spray to make us unconscious. None of had heard a single noise and were feeling as if our heads were little heavy. Our bags were lying all over and our clothes were scattered. When we searched outside we saw Argha’s bag and books were lying everywhere.
In all this jeopardy, Arindum and myself were talking, discussing and scolding the thief as if we never fought. Arindum & I had forgotten all our fights till that date with no anguish for each other. All four of us had found one common topic “Bloody Thief”. Suddenly the thief took away all haste, all envy and all angst away from us. We roamed around the nearby area for quiet a long time in a hope to find the thief but to no avail. Finally we went to our favorite hangout place – a small tea vendor, where you can normally get tea from 5 AM till 12 midnight. We had tea, biscuit and slowly walked back to our room little to realize that one small incident had changed our friendship forever.
Later, we moved to the top floor of the same building to avoid any such incidents in future which had its own advantages and disadvantages. Arindum & I never fought after that incident, rather become very good friends for life and would continue to be so. Arindum is still trying to console me though that he wasn’t shouting at me that night but rather he was shouting at Argha 🙂 ( Hope Argha won’t mind now!)
I realized at a very later stage that though we lost our belongings due to the thief but certainly he gave the greatest gift of realization and importance of friendship and how one moment of your life is enough to change the way you think and perceive things. Today, I thank the thief for his unknown act of friendship messenger. If he would have not done something like that then perhaps we would have never stayed together and I would have a lost a true friend.
This story is dedicated to all my four friends who have become an integral part of my life till date. We still talk about many things that had happened over those beautiful two years of our “so called MBA“.