20 years ago. It was that long back that I had last seen most of them. In the space between then and now, much water has flowed under the various bridges here in India and abroad. We had all traced our paths in life and are still continuing the journey. The passing years and the life experiences began leaving their imprints on our psyches and countenances. And today we rediscovered….that underneath it all we were fundamentally still the same. Here, I am talking of the class of ’89, my school mates from times gone by.
It all started this way. My sister had paid me a visit and in talking of things old and new, it was she who planted the thought in my mind. Of course I had made some half hearted attempts at finding those old friends through the internet at some point of time but had given up very quickly. I had even forgotten about it in this whole business of living life everyday. But this time, the seed had taken root.
It was on a Sunday morning, that I opened my account in the social networking site “Facebook” which I visit often but don’t use actively because it’s too complicated for an ancient like me. On this Sunday, I had geared up for a concerted search operation. I was going to find my friends of yore – Those girls who had shared almost 10 years of my life space, those girls with whom I started school, weeping in the Junior class, and those very girls with whom I shared the last farewell party of my school life.
It started with a search by First name on Facebook. As can be imagined it was a frustrating time. Well we all have common first names and any such search drew up pages and pages of accounts. Where would I start to go through all those pages? It felt like an almost impossible task. To add to the woes, with girls, even the surname changes after marriage and I could not remember most of the surnames. Then suddenly out of the blue, a name with a surname rang a bell in my head. Thankfully there were not many accounts with that surname. I found this one friend and then….. There was a deluge. There they were my childhood friends, surfacing one by one through the various connections and interconnections of the virtual world. It was like a rejuvenating experience. A whole week was devoted to renewing the bonds, rediscovering the camaraderie and how…. In the space of a few words all the connections fell into place.
Each of us knew that we were just taking it up again from where we left off. This was a special feeling. All the memories that we share from those times are ours alone. It felt like becoming a child all over again and I was surprised to find that others too were behaving in the same fashion. We remembered those nuances and associated anecdotes that the fading photographs from that period evoked. It was as if time had rolled back to those days. Of course we had our own bonding and special friendships but at this moment it was just pure unadulterated happiness at discovering a batch mate. It didn’t matter whether we didn’t see eye to eye on anything then or whether there was a point of commonality between us. All that mattered was that we were renewing contact with well known faces and voices from the past.
That first week was a heady feeling. I was bombarded with messages saying hello, messages just harking back to a special moment from that time and each time I could sense the same sense of excitement and the collective thrill that was coursing through all of us. I do believe that since we were from the pre-internet generation, our joy at rediscovering each other filled each of us with a sense of wondrous joy. We constantly marveled at technology and its ability to make time lags and distances become insignificant. There we were, popping up at all times of day and night just to take a peek to see if we had missed some action.
Now two weeks down the line, there is a lull. Slowly, I suppose the relationships will fall into place. I can only liken this phenomenon to that of a swollen, stormy river. The river was churning and flowing with a huge force a week back but the rain subsided and slowly the river began to return to its normal course. So also with our class of ’89. The waters have been churned and many heaving emotions expended. Now slowly, the relationships will take root. We will all return to our daily lives but the glow of reuniting will remain. Some new and stronger bonds will develop. Some will remain static but no one will be left untouched.
This time round we will all know that reaching out to each other is just a click away even if we don’t share pages and pages of thoughts. We all know that we are in each other’s memories and this time round we will not forget.
What goes round does come round and like one of my long lost friends asked… well isn’t the world kinda round?
So here’s to more class reunions and renewals. One should do it just for the replenishment of energies and reaffirmation of the social being in all of us.