Sunday, June 12, 2005

Look Homeward, Angel

It has been a tacit agreement with myself throughout the brief tenure of this blog that I would not indulge in any personal, emotional reflection. My thoughts, insights, and spontaneous, off the cuff tirades I offer to the poor schleps who would partake; my feelings I prefer to keep to myself. However, I can't help but give voice to how I feel tonight: sad, yet fully aware of how blessed I have been these past four years. You see, tonight I drove Praveen, one of the true constants of my college experience, to the airport, where he will depart for his ancestral homeland of Kentucky, followed by a summer of biking through Europe and then grad school at Penn.

Now, it's not like I'm saying goodbye to a girlfriend. No, in some ways it's worse. My girlfriends have always served to detract from my sanity, while Praveen singlehandedly preserved it on many occasions. And, indeed, if anyone has ever addressed you as "grundle grinch", you had better hope that person is not your girlfriend. But all that aside, I am left to gape and exclaim, "What a guy." Praveen is more than a friend; he is a conspirator in every sense of the word. From being the meanest members of the 6th Man club, to infecting the rest of Stanford with phrases we learned on BET, to living in a vegetarian co-op and ruining it for everyone else, Praveen has always been there. He'd be first in line for best man at my next wedding, if our tastes weren't so similar that I couldn't safely let him within a hundred yards of my wife. Just kidding, pal.

I will cut it out with the emotional indulgences now, but I would like to leave you with the image of the drive to the airport. We stopped at In N Out Burger, a restaurant sadly underrepresented in Pennsylvania. I had a triple meat; Praveen had grilled cheese, but insisted on paying for mine, beef and all. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Greatest Hits, a perennial selection, was playing, and the Jew from Carmel Valley, California and the Hindu from Lexington, Kentucky sang along vigorously to the more than vaguely Christian "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?" - "There's a better world a-waiting/In the sky, Lord, in the sky." I can't really say much about that. But I will say it's already a better world because of folks like Praveen, who, if he should chance to read this, would probably object to so much unqualified praise. So, for the sake of balance, your jump shot is a disgrace to humanity.

Five years of Praveen, four of them characterized by our unwavering dedication to the principles of brotherhood, cooperation, and Ebonics. And yet, Stanford is still standing.

Only in America.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praveen is a dirty, dirty man. Still, no other Indian would be caught dead running, in the rain, at night. Actually, any of those on its own would be unlikely. Praveen will be missed.

To the free lunches,


3:13 PM  

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