Lifestyle, Society, Technology

Shimmering memories, and a leap back in time

friends lost and found

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.

Author bio:
Shalini Puthiyedam is an engineer, NGO volunteer, teacher, French linguist, amateur singer, home maker and a world citizen who has aspirations for a just and equal world. You may wanna follow her @shalinipv

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  1. Nice post. Nostalgia+reunion+friends = fulfillment. What good is everything we achieve in life if we don’t have anyone to share it with? And who better to share with than our oldest and dearest?

  2. Shalini Puthiyedam

    Woooh… didn’t expect a comment so soon… thnx Ashok and I a glad you enjoyed the piece.

  3. Rachana

    My God Shalini, beautifully written. You’ve expressed it with just the right tinge of flavour about our reunion.

  4. Shalini Puthiyedam

    ShashiTharoor @shalinipv congratulations. nice blog! That’s a precious comment

  5. Shravanisunder

    Nicely written article. I can relate this to mine when I registered with orkut and facebook, and tagged with long lost friends. It’s a refreshing view of life when you get to see them with kids and an extended family – all merry! It’s deja vu!!

    • Shalini Puthiyedam


      Glad that you like my piece and yes… I am sure it will evoke a sense of déjà vu with a lot of people who are catching up with lost time. And yes… its really heartening to know that all of the friends are doing good. One feels a sense of satisfaction and content. Thanks for writing in.

  6. Very well written and nostalgic. A person with some human values and fond of bondings and relationships – I really liked it. Thanks to Dr Shashi Tharoor for introducing this to me through Twitter. Kindly visit my blogsite and review as it dawned on me, that am nowhere in blogging!!

    Good Luck and best wishes to your family too.

    Best Regards,
    Renjith P Sarada
    Kingdom of Bahrain

  7. Shalini Puthiyedam

    Hi Renjith,

    I think you have been too generous with your praise. 🙂 Thank you however for taking time off to read. You know you not alone out there to think that you are nowhere in terms of blogging or writing or whatever. I feel the same always. There are many many people out there in the blogosphere who write like a dream. Am just an honest trier. :-). Dr. Tharoor is btw an absolute inspiration for people like me. Thank you for your comment and I ahve visited your blog and left you a comment too!!!

  8. Dear Shalini,

    Saw your comments on my blog and am not sure how excited am I to read a comment form from an “unknown-transformed-to-known person” !

    Dr. Tharoor is a real inspiration for me and I got the opportunity to meet him early this month during his visit to Bahrain. God willing, I plan blogging every Saturday, hence please have a tab sometime on Saturday/Sunday on the new topic.

    I will follow your blogs and tweets, with your permission!

    Best Regards,
    Renjith Sarada

  9. Shalini Puthiyedam

    Dear Renjith,

    I very much liked the phrase “unknown-transformed-to known”. I have to warn you though that my blogging efforts are very very new and few and far between. 🙂 Am not a prolific writer and i admire you that You have set aside a time for blogging. Will follow your blog with pleasure too. All the very best for i know that you are new in blogosphere too.

  10. Dear Shalini,

    Great to read your message again. To be honest, I learnt a lot of new words from your above blog. Ah! yes, I forgot to tell you earlier that the experience you narrated is similar to what we all experience while trying to search for old friends. I started this search in or (I dont remember exactly), but was not as popular or successful as today’s facebook or orkut.

    Have decided to follow you in Twitter!

    Best Regards,
    Renjith Sarada

  11. Sulakshana

    I really like this post, coz even I felt the same way when i found my first school friend on facebook. It is beautifully written.

  12. Shalini Puthiyedam


    Thank you Sulakshana. It sure will bring back lots of memories for people reocnnecting after a long time.

  13. I would love to experience this nostalgia some 20 years down the line..when I get old enough to hunt for my long lost friends and colleagues. Dunno, how the world would look like in 20 years; Facebook might have live video-enabled profiles, may be.

  14. Sulakshana

    Hi Shalini,

    Can i share this article link with my friends?


  15. Mithila

    Yes, it’s interesting to resurface in somebody’s life using internet-fuelled aqualungs. Exhilarating, though you often find yourself bobbing up and down beside people you barely knew earlier. Sometimes I wonder about those friends of mine whom I was closer to in the past, but haven’t managed to find in the present. Ah, the net has changed my world more than I can control.

    • Shalini

      ”Internet-fuelled aqualungs”!!! What a beautiful phrase. I am too caught up with that phrase. And now enlightenment dawns… could I not guess that it would be you Myths. Its so very you. The whole comment. Its very exhilirating…yes and like all things I write with the first flush of emotion that comes to me. Probably if I let it be and came back to it later it might be more…somehow rational. But then…. on the other hand I just might not write at all you know! :-). As for the pull of the net…. I think or rather presume we are all fighting the same fight. Its draw and the limits we have to draw. Especially true of the social media.

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