Monday, November 30, 2015

Blast from the past

I have some strong view points on usage of WhatsApp today, which I will share in another blog shortly, but not all are against it. The one good thing that has happened is, it has helped bring back long lost friends back in contact (sounds almost like bhule bisare geet from Chitrahar). We recently created a group of our school time friends (kudos to the Admin of the group) and a realization hit me that I am getting in touch with many of them after about 27 years. There were mainly only two of them, which whom I had been in pretty regular touch, but others… time had forgotten, or rather mind had forgotten.
When I got an invite to join the group, I gladly accepted and soon the group was flooded with school time photos. Our memory is an interesting database. Items that are long archived and put away, are so easily and quickly fetched. Looking at those photos, memories flooded back of that time gone by, a time of daily studies, assignments, projects, exams and side by side total masti. I cannot claim that everything was refreshed. No, many things are still hazy and I don’t recall many names, but who cares. It is still wonderful to be back in touch.  

Needless to say that when someone gets back in touch with other someone, both someone soon feel the need to catch up and meet in person. While technology has connected us day and night, but still there is no parallel to meeting in person. So these, many someones, narrowed on a date and a place to meet up. The place was a dhaba someone in the group owned. 

That day happened to be this last weekend, when 12 of us (10 from Pune and 2 from Mumbai) finally managed to find time and get together at Sidhu’s Panjabi Dhaba on Mumbai Pune Highway, near Lonvala. Initial plan was to rent a bus and get there as a group, but we soon realized that it would be tough to coordinate across so many of us, given that we were spread out far and wide in the city.

Eventually people reached the dhaba (thoda bahut delay toh chalta hai) and soon we were laughing and cracking jokes the same way, we used to do 27 years back. There was absolutely no hesitation of having met after almost three decades. From school premise, to facilities, to play ground, to teachers, to who helped who for what homework, to pranks, to whereabouts of others in the group, we discussed it all. 

As Shekhar, later right said, the best part of the meeting was, we were just like kids. No judgments, no egos, no analysis of each other. Today when we meet someone, there is an immediate internal assessment that starts up that analyzes the person’s dressing, the way of talking, the looks, the knowledge, the job and even the salary. As a total contradiction, as kids, we little cared of who had their white shirts, washed in Ariel with some extra stain remover capability in a hot wash in washing machine vs who had it washed from some average soap bar by hand, maybe near a community well. Eventually all of us would look the same. Guess that’s why schools have uniform, so that all look uniform and you cannot judge anyone’s status from it. We did discuss about each other’s jobs and where they stayed, but purely out of curiosity of having met after so many years.  

Time flew. Sidhu had some wonderful platters from his dhaba constantly being refreshed and we cared less. From about 1.00 pm today 3.30 pm, we were just hogging on platters and cold drinks. Finally, we had some chapattis and tastiest yellow daal and some hot, not to miss, jalebies.

In about four hours we lived a life time again. We relived couple of years of our school time and also fast forward of everyone’s journey till date. It was a wonderful break from our daily chorus and we all laughed so much remembering various incidents, like this one where one day our teacher, in order to punish us, since we all used to make too much noise in the class, had made one boy and one girl sit together. The entire day, we hardly spoke. We laughed so much on this, realizing that what we felt as punishment that time, kids will probably enjoy in today’s world.

Finally we parted, with a promise to keep in regular touch (WhatsApp zindabad) and to have a much larger get together next year around June, where many more can join it. Am already eagerly looking forward to it. 


1 comment:

  1. Atul- you have great writing skill, salute to you �� . i went through ur blog..very nicely and effectively u hv captured each n every moment of reunion time that we have spent so far... and yes this is the strength of technology...thank you so much..������


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