Most of the people I grew up with - seem to have done well for themselves. Some of them without my even knowing about it.
For instance, yeaterday, at a dinner, a rather portly and serious gentleman in a dark suit came up to me and said: "I am Justice Dahanukar of the Bombay High Court. We were in Law College together," I do not remember him, either as a young man sitting on the Government Law College benches, or now as a distinguished elder judge of the coutry's most respected high court. However, I am impressed.
Some others, I have followed their career from the start. Soli Sorabjee of the same college and probably of the same bench. In his case, we all knew he was destined for big things; he had style, ability and money. So also Russi Sethna, everybody knew he was on his way up and there was nothing that was going to stop him. He was in college with me throghout, first in arts, then in laws, and, whatever the faculty, he always stood first class first. Like all brilliant people, he never had to toil over his studies. Today he heads a legal firm whose name itself wins half the cases for its clients.
Alyque Padamsee was a leading light in ST. Xavier's, when I was practically a non-fight there. In those days he was not god, but getting on to becoming one. Surprisingly, Farokh Mehta in college was a better actor than Padamsee and we all expected a lot from him. Unfortunately, he got himself into a comfortable groove working pharmaceutical firm, which is as much a disaster for talented young people as working in an advertising agency. "Though this does seem a contradiction, since Mr. Padamsee had done well for himself working in, and more particularly - through, an advertising agency). Still, Farokh Mehta has nothing to regret, he is married to the greatest theatre personality in the coutry.
A number of my old friends, for some inexplicable reason, have gone into the police force. Surprisingly, they have all done well and risen to top positions. R.S. Kulkarni, who ended as inspector-general and was the crime branch's ace sleuth, hardly looked like police material when he was studying, so gentle and soft-spoken was he. In fact, had I been asked who among all my school and college compatriots I would have picked for a police career, I would have picked him last.
Adi Mistry, on the other hand, was meant for the police and nothing meant of the police and nothing else. He knew the name of every police inspector and sub-inspector in town when he was in college and one or twice took me with him on all-night prohibition raids with his police friends.
He recently retired as additional inspector-general of police, and, I must admit, unlike some other police officers, he took his job seriously. He used to treat me, his old college friend, as a criminal.