growing separately without growing apart..

“the most beautiful discovery that true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” A great saying by Elizabeth Foley makes a lot of sense to me now. Last Saturday, 4th February was the day when my good old friend Danny got married. That’s not his real name. that’s what we called him. All of us who stayed in Sri Venkateshwara Boys’ Home, Park Road, Chennai in 2000/2001. In higher secondary school register his name was Alpheus Danson Sigamony.

Danny and I met in SBOA school hostel during the academic year 2000. I was away from home for the first time and hated everything around me. The bizarre world of non- malayalees around, scared me!! I was intimidated to even go and talk to anyone. The hostel dormitory was a nightmare and the bathrooms had no locks. Nepali and bihari students dirtied the toilets and most often I had to bathe in public along with many other boys. Shame and self respect were trying hard to find its space and that’s when I met Danny.

Danny is basically from Orissa who speaks Oriya, telugu, tamil, hindi, English & understands Malayalam coz his grand parents are from kerala. We met in the hostel study room through a common mallu friend and a couple of days later, he showed me a paper ad. It was about a private hostel outside SBOA school – only limited no: of students, no out pass system, no strict rules – it was perfect!!! I was looking for an option to jump coz even my under garments were stolen from the school hostel!!

Danny, myself and Aluru Rajesh [another good old Sboa friend] accommodated ourselves into the boys’ home which literally changed my life. I believe every guy or girl should experience hostel life atleast once. It’s where u grow into the person u r. The friendships, quarrels, humiliations, secrecies, revelations, ambitions.. this is the place for everything. Danny and Rajesh are actually the people because of whom I learnt to dream. They were so damn good creatively that I also aspired to be something. I still remember the nights before internal exams when all of us would sit and chat where danny would also be there. He ll have his text book in hand but ll be actively involved in all the gossips and discussions while occasionally grazing through the text book. Around 10 30 pm, we would end the gossip sessions and start preparing for the internals. Danny instead would go to sleep. He would have learnt everything amidst all the heated conversations. And he would come first in class. I used to hate that!!

12 years later, last Saturday on 4th feb, I was going for Danny’s wedding. From the hustle and bustle of Kochi, I drove into the less crowded Pala, from there to a quieter Kuttikkaanam, again up the hills into Peerumedu and finally reached my destination. Paambanaar!! That’s where danny’s grand parents are from. That’s where he was getting married.
Paambanaar looked like a fictitious place with awesome climate, small small shops back dropped by a tea estate; more beautiful than any hilly area I ve ever been to in Kerala. I was 20 mins late, so as soon as I reached, I ran into the St. James CSI church. It was the most beautiful wedding I ever saw. The hall was packed so I had to stand outside. Ceremony had already started and thankfully nobody recognized me there. I wouldn’t know if anyone did because I was just looking at danny and his bride, Sylvia. In two minutes I saw the ring exchange and then the rest of the marriage formalities. There was a light piano playing in the hall and the choir group sang all the “sangeerthanams” so beautifully. I stood there for almost forty minutes and I traveled time and space with so many memories flashing one after the other right in front of me. I never thought I ll be this happy for anyone. I prayed to god that they both should have a great marriage.

Danny & I are not the kind of friends who meet every now and then, call up and enquire the whereabouts but deep inside we have always preserved a lot of love and respect for each other. may be that’s y I am this happy for him. A few months back when I met him in chennai, he told me that he has not watched any of my films and that he wishes to watch one with me someday. In july 2012, when my next directorial film releases, if the Friday reports are good, I would watch the movie on Saturday with danny as he wished. I ve got to be more careful this time… danny is going to watch it!!

sri venkateshwara boys’ home, park road, chennai. 🙂


61 Responses to “growing separately without growing apart..”

  1. 1 fazal
    February 9, 2012 at 5:29 am

    well-cooked mannnnnn….. highly emotional.

    (i wish somone shud see dis as a thread for their short film!!!!!).

    wishes to danny n sylvia 🙂

  2. 2 Jidhin
    February 9, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Very beautiful writing together with a extra ordinary feeling…..thanks.

  3. February 9, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Wow! This was a very nicely written and emotional post… Danny sounds like such an amazing fellow. Well, I wish him a happy married life!

    From California, USA

  4. 4 Nimi
    February 9, 2012 at 6:54 am

    You could amazingly picturised this small event in our mind .Keep it up Vineeth.
    All the best for you next movie and happy married life to Danny…

  5. 5 sheril
    February 9, 2012 at 7:35 am

    nice post… I just remembered my hostel days… The same things wat u said, and some thing u missed i think, birthday parties… No one will beat again like that on our birthdays… Feelings feelings feelings… Thnks a lot vineethetta… Happy married life to Danny and Sylvia… I think u r going to deddicate the new film for Danny:)

  6. February 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Nice post Vineeth’ettaa…. Touching n emotional… 😉

  7. 7 VIBIN
    February 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Gud way of narrating….read it early morning ..was visualizing dis facts… amazing..i could see how would it have been… hmm…at times i feel besides technical side i have got thoughts and talents with a director should possess….lol…

    by de way ur songs and ur acting both are really appreciable.. gud going bro…will meet up one day..i would like to give a treat to u and shaan rahman,,,ini oru chalanam chalanam……!!!

  8. February 9, 2012 at 10:13 am

    That is the magic of friendship. When I read this, I was thinking about my dear friend who called me after a long gap of 18 years. I sent one letter to her ‘tharavadu’ address, that also was not correct, in which I wrote my email ID, phone number and address. Her uncle got it, passed it to her mother. She phoned her daughter who stays in Mumbai and read the letter. When she heard it, she was really crying with happiness and called me. That too on my birthday and we spoke a lot. It was one of my best birthdays I ever had… Go on loving your friends………

  9. February 9, 2012 at 10:16 am

    invoked my nostalagies too… but studyin after 10.30 is so bad u knw… hw u all could do dat…???

  10. 10 Mini
    February 9, 2012 at 10:42 am


    Yes the hills are amazing, although I haven’t been to Pambanar, Neriamangalam to Munnar, then Peerumedu, Thekkady, the route, the tea gardens, water falls, and the ambiance bring back the sanity and calmness of mind, quite true…..

    I am glad you enjoyed the wedding, thanks for sharing! Enjoyed reading your post, keep writing

    Mini Maam

  11. 11 Riaz khalid
    February 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

    no words for this ……!!!!

  12. 12 Muji Mujthaba
    February 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    nice post vineeth etta.. 🙂

    wt abt ur new film…? Thattathin Marayathu 😀

  13. 13 Saju S
    February 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    “I believe every guy or girl should experience hostel life atleast once.” This is absolutely true. I have lot of friends but hostel mates are something special.

  14. 14 Abeesh
    February 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Nice post… keep writing…

    waiting for July 2012 🙂

  15. 15 azi
    February 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    hi vineethetta.. hw r u? 🙂

  16. February 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Well vineethetta i also have a best friend named Danny…. ha ha 🙂 quite amazing…
    u r absolutely right,everyone should experience hostel life.. Ur opinion is correct n i am truly impressed in it.. and i am experiencing hostel life now..it is really enjoyable by fighting’s,gossips,playing etc etc…
    then i am also waiting for your new film release in July…cant wait any more…….
    all the best…. U r superb dear…go ahead…….!!

  17. 17 Chandichayen
    February 9, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    friends r 4 ever………………………..

  18. 18 Syed
    February 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    wow i wanna meet danny…..well written bro….i was reading so interestingly as if i was ur 4th room-mate!!lol

  19. 19 Arjun
    February 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I feel danny is like Rancho in 3 idiots 🙂

    What you have written had love , jealous , heroism with out any kind of gimmicks.

  20. February 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    hmm… i m bit emotional.. dunno why?? missing my frnd.. its a great feeling when ur best frnd is getting married.. happy for her.. still it hurts… now onward she gonna be someone else.. her life will change… priorities will also change… i shud accept it

  21. 22 jinesh p bhaskaran
    February 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    helo vineeth etta…u should spent more time on writing, seriously.. 🙂 and hostel life ofcose precious, fingers crossed for your next film….hope you had seen the movie second show,a bit different isn’t. :),

  22. February 9, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Vineet,

    I am so happy to read your short notes Vineet. I can read your character from your words. That is the reason I used to watch your interviews. You are very special to me Vineet. Your parents are great and that is why they got a child like you. Money, fame, position, etc will come and go but the real character will shine for ever. Keep going Vineet.

    Love you dear. Happy to hear that there are real friendships like the way you described. There is no need to chat every day. True friendship will live for ever. Be blessed by the Divine.

  23. 24 Fr. Filix Yohannan.
    February 10, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Hai vin sre , rd this….great. i cudnt rd ……….. bcs it was visual for me. the narration is a gud thread… in the sense a different way of freindship…. everyone has this type of friedship.. as u mentioned “Danny & I are not the kind of friends who meet every now and then, call up and enquire the whereabouts but deep inside we have always preserved a lot of love and respect for each other.”
    wishes for ur nxt prjct. May God Bless you.
    flx yhn

  24. 25 fatima8292
    February 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Very tRue..! Distance and time doesn’t matter…the fact that you haven’t spoken to your best buddy in ages doesn’t matter..no matter what, we will always have the love and care we had for them…deep within ! And we realize this at such points 🙂

    Great one! 🙂

  25. 26 Disha
    February 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    That was a great read Vineeth. absolutely loved the feel coz of ur narration style.

  26. 27 Arjun
    February 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Great one vineeth.
    good friends dont need facebook status updates or google chat.
    they might argue each other and seperate for long time.
    but after years when they meet each other they just ease out everything with a smile.

    All the the best for your new film.

  27. 28 Balu
    February 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Now a days its just a craze to add maximum number of friends in facebook.
    People who dont have account in facebook are teased by others.
    Daily 4 hours in facebook , posting all craps , simply messaging. This really kills the emotion of good friendship.
    Even if we dont use facebook to meet our friends , after a long gap a small sms or phone call will have lot of love and emotion.

    Your article was simply touching vineeth. Even i miss danny now 😦 even though i dont know him 🙂

  28. 29 Visakh
    February 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    A good friend is the one who quarrel with us and go away …….but comes back may be after years
    Some people are acting as good friends.
    Just loved your article.

  29. February 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Vineeth,

    Lovely writing! And congrats to your friend too. I happened to accidentally find your blog page. It is an interesting read.

    First of all, I want to write here just because I am a great fan of your dad and just love his movies. So thought will just drop by to pass on my regards.

    And wishing you best of luck in all your endeavors too.

    Take care


  30. 32 Deepu USA
    February 11, 2012 at 9:03 am

    A waste article simply to draw croud sentimence.
    better luck next time.

  31. 33 Rajin
    February 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    hi vineeth , lovely blog just keep up the good work.

  32. 34 daly joseph
    February 12, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    wow….. superb narration

  33. February 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    warm lovely memories……..!nice to feel that innocent affection……!

  34. February 12, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    memories with the smell of love…..,nice to hear it

  35. 37 Revathy
    February 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    gr8 narration………..reflected ua frndshp clearly here……….:)

  36. 38 davis
    February 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    wel said man… as u said i hav njoyd 1year in hostel nd now takn a room outside… Stil my lips goes wide wen i thnk abot ma hostel life… Thanks a lot 4 givn me sme hostl momnts nd get back to my hostl days…

  37. 39 Jimmy M
    February 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I got surprised that no one in the functioned recognized you….seems that our stars are getting more socially related now !!!

  38. 40 baiju balakrishnan
    February 15, 2012 at 1:51 am

    hai vineeth how r u ? my name is baiju balakrishnan.i am near your house .kottayam poil.now iam leaving in kuwait
    you remember me .saradhi kuwait

  39. 41 RRR
    February 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Good Narration, Saw Danny and u in my mind………….

  40. 42 ammu
    February 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    hi brother,

    i like this,…..bcs nw i am njoying my hstl days,with my loving frnds.anyway i am sure tat ur nw prjct wl be a grt success

  41. 44 Saneesh
    March 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Nice , enjoyed your post . “coz even my under garments were stolen from the school hostel!!” that was funny add this scene in the next movie 🙂

  42. April 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Simple. . Quite nice:) I love reading yours:)

  43. 46 Rahul
    May 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Hai boss,..nic one.ths my fst blog am readng.thnks to u ,for postng ths blog.realy am also havng sme gd hstl fnds.nw realy missng thm.litraly u touchd my hertbeat…

  44. 47 nimli
    May 31, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Always good to hear that someone’s got friends lik that!!! 🙂 Elizabeth foley IS RIGHT!!! “TRUE FRIENDS CAN GROW SEPERATELY WITHOUT GROWING APART!!!! :)) never hav actly read thru blogs….but urs i find it very interesting indeed!! 🙂 and you are er8!! Every boy/girl needs to stay at hostel to experience the wonderful expernce one can get there!! Cheers!! :))

  45. 48 seethu
    June 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    well thanks for writing this.i too had a friend at my hostel.her name was sherin.like you said she was the reason i learned to dream and thought how beutiful life was.we too are not that kind of friends who call every day.but her memories still make me feel so positive and happy.thanks vineeth.u r amazing!

  46. June 14, 2012 at 8:59 am

    There are not many people like you who understand the integrity love and friendship holds….Good Luck with everything you do…

  47. 50 vidya
    June 17, 2012 at 12:19 am

    ur narration about sboa brought back memories of how my classmates used to crib about the sboa hostels 🙂 way back in 90s ….

  48. 52 cherish
    July 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    true friendships are always like that.. like my friend says.. ‘it feels like you just met yesterday’.. however long ago tat ‘yesterday’ was.. 🙂

  49. 53 Blue Rose
    July 20, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Friendship is a special gift. Seldom do we stop to savor its beauty at that moment. That is why memories are precious. It takes us back to those beautiful times. I too stayed in a hostel, in Chennai, during those very same years… And today I look back to those days, holding on to those precious memories with great delight. See, years have gone by but people live on , in those special memories. Thank you Vineeth, for taking me down memory lane 🙂

  50. 54 sibu arouje
    July 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    hi vineeth

  51. August 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Vineeth…. climax of you story could have been more better may be you should have written Danny’s comments about your film and what Danny feels about your transformation from an old friend to a successful film maker….(i’m sure he will have lot to say about that ) Otherwise I feel Its very good thread for a film which talks about deep friendship and how can friends influence in different stages of our life to be the person you are now…. Good luck bro ! keep going

  52. June 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this web site daily, this site is genuinely nice and the visitors are really sharing good thoughts.

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  54. July 25, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Awesome memories of hostel life n dear friends.

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  56. 61 zinju george
    April 22, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Hi vineeth, I was also a student of SBOA chennai and went through the same travails at the hostel. I moved out after 1 year though in 1998. your account brings back a lot of memories. I`m an assistant director who has assisted 2 malayalam movies till date. i`d like to meet and work under you in the future. Please, get in touch with me. George

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