Sitting at a coffee table for twenty people, I was for the very first time extremely thrilled and intensely nervous in the same breath. Why excited? Well, all those seated at the table were my few college friends and I was meeting them after nearly 18 years. And why nervous? At the risk of sounding repetitive... I was meeting them after 18 LONG YEARS.
I was staring at everyone, looking around the table. I tried to superimpose the faces hidden in my memory onto existing ones. Many things have changed over the years and I kept questioning them throughout the afternoon. Hey, how much weight have you put on? Your hairline is receding, Oh! So, you are married? were just some of the general banter that we asked. And then suddenly one of my friends made a statement and literally in thirty seconds I had aged to another generation. She said that she has a five year old son. Which made me realize that I was officially an ''aunty'' to a kid. The dichotomy of the situation is that they make you feel young and old at the same time.
Time had taken a toll on all of us but one thing that even time couldn't battle was the spirit that we still managed to retain amongst each other. These were my college friends, my second choices within the same species. Together, we grew up. Together we spent five years laughing, playing, bunking lectures, fighting, studying and eventually graduating to wearing sarees. (Getting the sarees from your mum to wear it on the first day of the college was nothing less than receiving the Padmashri at that young age).
Together we shared the pressure, anxiety, strain, stress and the tension of giving our final university examinations. Together we passed the hurdle and crossed the threshold that between college and jobs. And suddenly, we were not together. After spending nearly five years together, we landed in different parts of the globe pursuing our own individual dreams and we kept drifting away from each other. After 18 years, without any reason we were sitting at a coffee table, laughing, remembering and reliving all the moments we shared.
It's fascinating to learn that how everybody seems to remember every little detail, it's almost like being teleported to the past. I had the most amazing time and enjoyed every bit of this congregation.
One question: What the hell was I thinking all these years? I should have done this long ago. At the end of the afternoon I had made one resolution: Reunions are a must. I came to the conclusion: childhood memories are laced with an anti-ageing cream.