It’s really been an uncanny two weeks…pleasantly so, as we met up with several old mates from our school,college and building in Mumbai
Uncanny because we don’t meet for decades, as all had spread their wings in India and overseas and have moved up in personal and proffessional life….have families…..and then all of a sudden inside two weeks in September 2009,we meet up with them all in seperate ‘do’s’,in Mumbai !
Some have become leading specialist doctors….some are top of their profession in Publications,Broking and Investment Banking….some are in top management in leading Indian and multinational corporate and banking groups in India and overseas…some are in Diamond and Steel and one even owns the Mumbai franchise of a Rajasthan based leading restaurant concept !
…and one of them is crazy for music…has thousands of Retro songs on his laptop…we hooked it up to his ‘Bose’ system and were behaving like crazy teenagers,jumping up to the ‘Pinball Wizard’ by ‘Who’ ! till 2.30 am !
Last night we met up after 31 years ! with a group of school mates and their spouses, from the batch of 1978…and last weekend and after 25 years ! we met up with our college mates and their spouses,from the batches of 1983 and 1984 and with some of our building mates of the 1980s and 1990s,after 20 years !
We’ve bunked together…studied together…partied together…..competed with each other…..dreamt together….planned careers together….played in the same football,cricket,table tennis and badminton teams together…went for student fests and movies and music concerts together…..served on student debate and performing art bodies and committees together……enjoyed trips together…one was even styled as an educational trip in 1982 to avail of 50% Rail discounts for students,when we had actually gone for the Asian Games in New Delhi !…we had taken turns to stand in lines overnight to book tickets for the sporting events !…..trekked together…..we even pranked together…Just to settle an argument that a particular teacher does not even read the answer paper when correcting it, one of us even neatly wrote the whole ‘Pakeezah’ Story on the Answer Sheets in an Internal Advertising Examination and he got the highest marks !……smoked our first cigarette and even first country cigar together !…..gave each other roses and lollipops on these designated days in college…..I had received over 30 lollipops and finished all of them in college itself !….topped up together someone’s dad’s Scotch Whisky Bottle with water after draining it by more than half !……run up canteen bills together,with the ever smiling canteen boy ‘Sunder’ struggling to keep tab……agreed,argued,debated and even fought at times on many ‘worldy’ issues to shape our Impressions and Influences….and I had refused to participate with them in a ‘Qawali’ item for our college day….they were performing “Taiyeb Ali Jaan ka dushman hai ! hai !” and the students were throwing money at them from the audience !….I could go on and on and on……..
Those were the days my friends ! We’d thought they’d never end…….no multiplexes and no mobiles…no computers and no multiple TV Channels….only good old DoorDarshan !
We all have promised that it’s not going to be another 20 to 30 years before we meet up again !
Old Friends will be Old Friends !…Breath of Fresh Air in this hectic pace of life
Cheers Old Mates !…It’s been a nice and warm fortnight !