Sunday, April 10, 2011

Memory lane

We were in high school together, the five of us. Some of us knew each other from Class 7 or 8, some came in when sections were reshuffled in Class 9. We became friends then, at any rate.

The group splintered again in Class 11, with some taking up Science, some Commerce. Some members of the "group" left the school and the city altogether, while some found new friends and moved away. The six of us remained friends however; new friends came, but didn't impinge on the six of us.

Plenty of high school drama happened in those last two years, some of which made me aloof enough to drop almost all ties once school ended. The one person who mattered the most disappeared, too shattered at not getting the course of her choice to want to continue old friendships. The others went down their own paths in life, as did I.

I made new friends in college, friends who got me a little better than they had, who tolerated me a bit more, who loved me, and who I loved a bit more than I had loved them.

We kept in touch, at least five of us did - one had never been too important to me, and disappeared from my life altogether once school ended. We kept in touch, the five of us, but not on a regular basis. We were in the same city, most of us, but would speak maybe twice or thrice a year. Meet even less frequently.

Life went on.

Two of them got married last year. On the same day. Not to each other though. I couldn't attend either wedding, because I couldn't travel to either city. Attended the reception in Delhi though.

We met today, the five of us. Plus his wife. Her husband wasn't there; he hadn't accompanied her to Delhi this trip.

For a while, for four hours on a Sunday afternoon, it was like nothing had changed. The guys teased me endlessly like they always did; I reacted like I always would. One girl was teased about the crush she used to have on him; another about the guy who used to like her. Countless anecdotes were recounted; several laughed over. The two married ones compared notes on adjusting to married life - she, about the compromises she had had to make; he, about the compromises he expected his wife to make. His wife listened, protested a bit, but mainly listened. The soon-to-be-married girl listened, wondering what adjustments she would have to make once she gets married later this year. I chose not to speak, no matter how much the feminist in me was outraged.

Not all battles need to be fought.

We don't really stay in touch, the five of us. Individual pairs, sure. But as a group? Not so much. We've all come a long way in the last eight years. We've all gone down very different paths. If I never met them again, my life would not be so very different.

But for a while, today, I met my 17-year-old self again. And I felt glad my life's taken the path it has.


R said...

very poetic and all but your pronouns are confusing

Ankit Soni said...

This made me smile - and first thing on a Monday morning at that :)

Kala said...

I could relate:) Met old friends from college after 25 years and it was like nothing had changed, yet we had all changed and gone down different paths. Lovely post:)