The first thing I noticed about the classroom was it's size. High ceiling and large spacious walking and playing area at the back and sides gave it the feel of a small hall rather than a huge classroom. The benches were arranged in 3 columns. Two wide-bench columns to the right and small-bench column at the left. My friend Gokul guided me to one of the small-benches and he sat in the row behind me. My benchmates were Krishnakumar 'KK' Ajithkumar (ya that's one name) and Umesh Malayath. KK was busy taking notes the whole period and Umesh wasn't far behind. "OMG", thought I, but as I turned around realisation came over that the rest of the class was a different picture. The students were having fun - talking, playing etc and if noise level went above limits, the blame went to the adjacent S8 Comsci class. Thus began my life among the applied kidillams.
I migrated between the small benches and the last rows of middle benches in those days. Other than my schoolmates Gokul and Sureannan (then known as Vishnu), I sat alongside and became good friends with Gautham (now Gemo), Mahesh, Baachi (formerly Suraj), Jayasankar 'Jayan', Maadan a.k.a Akhil, KK and Mosqui (what was his name again?). Emmaus boys, Rep Rahul and some others sat in front of us in middle. Most of the right benchers remained unknown to me, though AS (Vishnu AS) was a familiar face from some tuition centre. AS, Varun, Hari super-knae, Ajeesh, Jaleel etc sat in the first two right benches with 'sweet talkin' Ajesh most often occupying leftmost position (for obvious reasons). Sadly, many of those old right benchers still remain unknown to me as friends and I know nothing of their stories.The gals occupied the first row of middle and left benches and still reserves the first row to date.
Our group was in it's formative state then. Spending more time together made us know each other pretty well. In other news, Lakshmi N, Jisha, Ajesh and Jaleel were friends then. Lakshmi Thulasidas (LnT) was one of the few gals who talked with us. Vimina was already crowned the online beauty (better of the lot) of the class, but she gathered only few fans 'coz of her reserved and apparently conservative demeanor. Noone knew how Remya or Simi sounded like (few still know). About academics, KK held the reins over assignments, and thankfully still does. Other than being a constant entertainment in Krishnakutty's class I didn't have much academic achievements then. This fun loving class was completely unaware of the interesting times awaiting them in near future.
Coming up next week: Ch2 - 'Dare' Remo Jayan