This is Punchy:

That's with an aspirated ⟨pʰ⟩ and no, it has nothing to do with the Sonu Nigam song. Although, she hates the Sonu Nigam song so I'm going to play it here just for the heck of it:

We met in college. At first, she used to sit with a girl who ran against me in some election that I can't remember for the life of me. She even voted for my opponent. Then one fine day I found her sitting with me. I don't remember how that happened. I don't remember how we started talking. I just know that for my five years in college, she and Pissy (vadayum meen-curryum) were constantly by my side.

Here are a few things about me and Punchy:

  • Punchy was an only child for about 8 years of her life. Then she became the older sister to twin brothers but continued to be the pampered first child/only daughter for the rest of her life. I was an only child for the first 8 years of my life, and the rest of my life. I'm SO failing at this but I hope to make sense soon.

  • Punchy likes her personal space and doesn't enjoy sharing her stuff with people. I call that the "single child syndrome" where everything that is mine is MINE. The Husband is not allowed to use my shower gel. If he does, I will know and things will get very ugly in the Shankita household. Which is why Punchy and I would make very good room-mates. We can go for hours in each other's company without feeling obliged to even talk to one another.

  • Punchy was good in Science. Biology especially. Everyone thought she was going to become a doctor. She did too. Then one fine day, she woke up and announced to everyone (and to herself) that she was going to do Literature because she wanted to sit around reading books. Now where have you heard a similar story before?

  • Towards the end of our degree, the two of us applied for The Commonwealth Scholarship to do our Masters in the UK. We got into that list of 18 students from the whole of India who had to appear for an interview in Delhi. While everybody arrived at the centre wearing suits and ties, we sat in the corridor wearing jeans and oversized jumpers. While everyone on that corridor was so tensed that they looked like they were going to cry, we sat there being lame and laughing at how lame we were. Punchy's dad even remarked that the other applicants looked like they were kids waiting for their vaccinations while we looked like we were waiting to buy tickets to a movie. Neither of us got through. The Gods above laughed and laughed and laughed. And so did we.

  • We both have no aim in life. No aim, no direction, nothing. We're big, fat thin losers. But that always worked for us. Because somehow, that led to her ending up at UCL for her masters and I ended up writing a blog. My point is, I'm still a loser.

  • Sometimes, Facebook reminds us that we were very, very lame once upon a time and we choke on our own puke each time a notification pops up. But then, we realized that those notifications were also reminders of how happy we were in our own little worlds.

Being friends with Punchy was a very important part of growing up for me. Because it was like being friends with a (better) version of myself and seeing myself grow from another pair of eyes. I learned that there was beauty in chaos and that it was okay to be clueless sometimes most of the time. Being direction-less is not such a bad thing, as long as you follow your heart and remember that the most important thing is to be happy.

When Punchy reached London, I was there to receive her:

Because now we weren't going to be 5000 miles away from each other any more. Just a train ride away. She spent her second night in London holding my hair back while I puked red puke into some dude's cupboard. Apparently, that was on her bucket list - "Hold drunk friend's hair back while she pukes.". Check. Funny thing to have on a bucket list, I would say.

Last Thursday, Punchy texted me and said, "Monki, I need to tell you something but can you first promise not to get too hyper?"

"You're coming to Edinburgh."


"When? And for how long?"

Tomorrow, Punchy is coming to my city with another one of my friends from college. They're going to be spending this weekend with me. We are all going to be clueless, direction-less and impulsive together. Oh, and did I mention impulsive? Because two days ago, Punchy said, "It might be a good idea to visit Glasgow while we're there.". And now we're all going to Glasgow for a day. And none of us have any idea when and how we're going to go about it.

I guess we'll do it the Punch-Monki way and it'll be just fine.