Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A man for all seasons


You meet some people in life and then depart to meet again. One such person is Mathew T Ninan who was my school mate. The last time we met was in May 1969. That was the time when he came down to Bombay (now Mumbai) to meet me and we painted the town red (including watching our first adult movie - Dustin Hoffman’s “The Graduate”)
After that he went back to his home town and I lost contact with him and had no idea where he was or what he was doing.

Last year I accidentally met his uncle who gave me Mathew’s mobile number and told me that he was in Bangalore.

So finally last month we met in Bangalore.

43 years is a long time and we had a lot to catch up. So we talked and talked for almost four hours. Or rather I let him do most of the talking and I listened as he had a real checkered life. He worked for Schlumberger oil rig that took him to practically all over the world and his escapades and experiences were worth listening to.

I liked some of the principles that he followed during the course of his life. In his own words “If he can do that job, then why can’t I? OK, he may be doing it in a week’s time, and it may take me a month today, but I can improve on it and do it in a week. Maybe I will end up doing better than him”  This attitude of his made him take up all the challenging jobs that came his way. He ventured into the deserts of Libya where his counterparts refused to go, helped some companies set up base in Vietnam, described how the desert looked when the small crustaceans came up in the night to lay their eggs.. . . . . . .  the list is endless. 

During the course of our conversations his wife joined in and listened quietly. At the end she confessed that she too was not aware of some of the minute details that her husband had gone through in his life.

As he was showing me around the house I saw this one room stacked with practically everything. When I asked him he said that this was his workshop in the house. He never called a plumber/mason/carpenter/electrician to work in his house. He did everything himself.
 I was really impressed by this and his small tool room, which was packed with all the handy tools that is required for maintenance of a house.
His fish tank was worth a click.


At the end of the day he was kind enough to come all the way from Koramangalam to Hormavu to drop me back at my brother in law’s place.
We will probably meet again in December when I fly down for a function in Bangalore. Maybe there will be more updates on this at that time.

40 comments:

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

How wonderful to renew ties after so many years and to hear about your friend's life story. Life's adventures will take us where we want to be , if we dare.

Shilpa Garg said...

Wow! Meeting a friend after 43 years is so so cool!! And your friend is really an interesting person, I liked his philosophy in life! So positive and a go-getter! His workshop is impressive too! :)

Asha said...

wow! an adventurous person he must be to venture into the desert of libya. And a keen observer too. it would be interesting to read his blog if he maintains one.

Asha said...

wow! an adventurous person he must be to venture into the desert of libya. And a keen observer too. it would be interesting to read his blog if he maintains one.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

That's great to finally meet again. Hope the friendship continues forever for the both of you.

Prathima Rao said...

wow...must have been nostalgic to meet a friend after so many years! And thank u for introducing such a charismatic personality and an all rounder and adventurous person to all of us..He is sure an inspiration to many..Hope you both do meet again in Dec and do share with us more experiences..
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

rama said...

It is so exciting to meet an old friend, and you have described it perfectly. He is indeed a man of all seasons.
Even I was unaware of many dangerous adventures my husband had gone through during his travels to Yemen, Egypt and elsewhere, only after reading his blog( after many years) I came to know about it. Perhaps just like my husband, your friend too wanted to save his wife from worries, and letting it out to you after so many years. Interesting!
When you visit Bangalore do email me.

Haddock said...

I think we are not going to be lucky there as that is one of the things that he could not bridle. He has an aversion for computers !!

Beth said...

So much fun to renew old friendships. I am glad the visit was so rewarding.

About Last Weekend said...

Always fascinated by people who can put their hand to everything. We just met up with some old friends from England (who live near the real Pooh Bear Corner) and we talked for hours about everything, There is some people you just click with.

TexWisGirl said...

that is really great that you got to meet up again. an accomplished man who has done much, it seems.

Harman said...

Its fascinating to meet friends and hang out.. good old memories to be cherished ,,
reviving the old links.

Daisy said...

How great to meet up again with your old friend and hear all his stories. Time well spent!

Karen Lange said...

It is nice to reconnect with friends. Glad you had a good time. Thanks for sharing a bit with us.

Thanks also for stopping by my blog and commenting. It's nice to meet you!

Talli Roland said...

Wow, he sounds like he's had a fascinating life! How great to reconnect.

Pearl said...

How wonderful, to catch up after all that time!

Some friendships are not bound by distance...

Pearl

shooting star said...

I was so excited when i met my school friend after a gap of 15 years or so....so i can definitely understand what this must have meant to you both!!!

http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

Kappu said...

Thats a pretty neat account of the meet!! ;)

Do stop by my blog! I'd love your comments & visits!!

Haddock said...

Will do that Rama :-)

Journey of Life said...

I am not sure if others agree, but I believe we meet a person for a reason and if we meet again that would mean there is another reason.

Emily R. King said...

That fish tank is pretty cool.

I'm glad you got to sit and talk with him! What great memories.

Renu said...

Meeting old friends is such a joy..I loved his room full of tools..he is a unique person..

Anvilcloud said...

You documented your visit well, both in words and photos.

Shalet Jimmy said...

I can understand for I met my friends after 19 long years. But never felt that it has been years. I left them when I was in my sixth grade. I could feel that emotional bond which I never felt with anybody whom I met recently.

IT WAS WONDERFUL READ.....THANK YOU

Camille said...

It's always neat to reconnect with friends and see what they have been up to, and what you can learn from them!

jaish_vats said...

In some parts of the world its part of the culture for people to do all the repairwork by themselves unless its very complicated....In India thats definitely not the case and your friend's way of doing things is very inspirational!

Bikramjit said...

43 years wow.. I wasn't born then :)

repair work well I have to do all that myself too at home, and I love doing it ..

I cant get over the 43 years time WOWOWOWWOWOWO.. awesome , good you guys met up sir , its always great meeting old pals..


Bikram's

Joseph Pulikotil said...

It is always a thrilling experience to meet our old long lost friends. Both of you must have had plenty of things to share with each other.Lovely photos.

Best wishes,
Joseph

deeps said...

Happy Diwali to you n family

Sangu Mandanna said...

It's lovely to meet old friends again!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

His tool room puts my husband's tool box to major shame.

That's great that you guys met up again after all these years.

R. Ramesh said...

super post sir..nice to read...best wishes...

Anita said...

I often wonder about people from my past, too. Maybe in the future I will be more interested in re-connecting with them. Right now, my life is so busy taking care of children and husband, hobbies, sports, etc. I'm also blessed to have many friends. And of course, I have to have time for blogging! :) I am afraid that I will like them, but not be able to give time to developing a relationship. But then again, they probably won't have time for it either. lol

I think a lot can be learned from old friends as you have obviously done by hearing Matthew's life experiences and spending time with him. I wonder what her thought of you. Did he tell you? :)

Haddock said...

Yes Anita, he did mention to my brother-in-law "Hats off to this guy who came searching for me after 43 years and reconnected with me"
Agree with you on that being busy, but things can be done parallel mode if we have the will.

Anita said...

Ahhh, yes, the will... :)

By the way, The Graduate is quite a film for two young guys to bond. That's probably why you've always remembered each other. :)

Cloudia said...

Glad for the happy reunion!


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walk2write said...

It sounds like your friend has led a very interesting life. It's funny that his wife didn't even know some of the details. Maybe your friend should write things down in a memoir so that the memories will be preserved forever.

Lakshmi Nair said...

Dear Haddock,

Its been long time.The maternity blues on this side of the world has forced the creativeants to take a backseat with a promise to leap when the time is right.Nevertheless I have been able to take some good time to go thru the new posts you have gifted us.Loved it...regards to Mr.Ninan and the cot...I did have one for my first angel too.Poor she used to look lke a innocent culprit behind bars.Funny though...keep writing until I get back to the right pace...and keep motivating us!...tiny amateur writers!

Harman said...

very interesting ..sounds good old friends catching up after long .. love the pictures!
:)

CAntony said...

Though it's late, I'm compelled to write on this post.

Your classmate has barely aged at all! Did he share the secret to his fountain of youth?

As always, great story/picture board.