See, this is why I foxtrot to India every three months…
Yes, the primary reason is to check on the parents. But I am not ready to give up on the “extras” either. How else would I have been part of history repeating itself nearly forty three years later?
Most of us in the picture have one thing connecting us – we were in the same first grade together in a small school in Durgapur. Some left the school after one year, some, after a couple of years, and yet some others stayed for the long haul. Regardless, we knew we had made lifelong relationships in that early stage of our lives. How else do you explain Nishi flying in from Delhi just for a few hours to spend the time with her classmates that she had not seen in over four decades?
And when you realize that it was a girl in the group who placed in her first order with the waiter, before anybody else could, enquiring what her options were in scotch, you knew that your interests have naturally progressed almost in synch with each other from those starting days of common interest in red and black Nataraj HB pencils and those white and green scented eraser with a picture on the top. Notwithstanding the fact that we had people from all far flung corners of the world and certainly separated by – as I mentioned, a little over four decades.
What a wonderful afternoon! Mrinal’s quiz questions about the school (an example – what was the name of the guy who would sound the school gong at the end of every class? – apparently, the correct answer was “Shyamlal” ) kept us regaled in between the ribbing I took to be the first one to cross the five decades old age mark and the constant clicking of pictures being taken.
Who realized in 1973 that while life was going to take us down very different paths for forty plus years, we were going to actually come from all walks and corners of the world to be together again for essentially one simple reason – because we were together in 1973? !!!!
What beautiful and gracious people I have had the privilege of meeting at such an early stage of my life!!
I think I am ready to raise the toast with that scotch now!
Here’s to your health and happiness – Malabika, Mausumi, Suparna, Nishi, Anshu, Arindam, Arindam, Mrinal, Subhasis and Subir!