Paneri is a wonderful story teller. His art is not in writing stories... but in narrating them. Here I will try and note down one of his oft repeated stories. His fav one obviously.
First a lil bit of background. Paneri was my class mate in UG. We hit it off almost immediately and through 3 years we were thick as thieves. I was more frequent in his room than in class. But his room still didn't beat Anna Kadai. Every good college boy has an "Anna Kadai" in his life... where he 'smokes', has 'rasna' and 'verai kadalai' and most importantly... where he can keep 'account'.
Now 'Anna Kadai' is a special place and maybe that deserves a blog post on it's own. So I won't get in to that now. But basically we used to sit there for hours and hours and hours and hours(k... u get the picture don't u???) and chat about anything in the bloody world. And that's also usually where Paneri would come up with his gems.
Now Paneri studied in the Rastriya Indian Military College-RIMC, in Dehra Dun, which is supposed to be India's best military school. You study in the school from class 8th on till your 12th. And, as in all army schools, discipline was a real pain in the ass( not just literally... they would get thrashings with hockey sticks for breaking rules!). But boys being boys being boys had to naturally get around them.
Now cutting bounds was forbidden- but naturally all the guys knew a way. But it was a very risky proposition. Caught out of school bounds and you could be demoted or even thrown out of school. So you'd do it only on very very rare occasions... only for something special.
Now it happened that 3 of Paneri's classmates had gone out one weekend. They came back.. all fabulously excited and called everyone around to tell them what they'd experienced.
"Boys... we just watched a XXX movie in the theater!"
"OMG!"... everyone was excited. "How? Where? What?"
Turns out that a movie- "Machalti Jawani" was playing. And it had everything. Everything, everything, everything required to satisfy an adolescent. :).
Now everyone was keen to catch this movie... and the boys couldn't wait till the weekend. Now it was a risk cutting bounds on weekends... but to do so on a weekday was almost tantamount to suicide coz of the strict vigil.
But never mind... anything for "sex" said the boys and off they went... cut bounds and to the theaters to watch- "Machalti Jawani".
The movie started... and the boys were all 'eager', 'excited' and 'desperate' for some "action". It started... and they were waiting for something to happen... and there was nothing. Interval... and the boys were looking at each other and wondering what the hell happened. They decided to stick around till the end of the movie.
The movie went on and still there was nothing. And finally it ended. The movie was a bloody lousy drab.
Dejected the boys returned to the dorms. The other 3 rascals were on the bed and dancing to... "Machalti Jawani... Machalti Jawani... Machalti Jawani!".
I remember laughing my head out at this point of the story. And Paneri in his trademark way was just nodding his head and smiling at the rest of us. We were laughing at it for so long... it was crazy.
And finally Paneri was like..." you know dude... there was a scene in the movie where the villain was going to rape the heroine... and I thought... ah.. finally something! But guess what? The bloody HERO comes and rescues her!!!!"
Paneri... you are one of a kind!