Sunday, September 28, 2014

A lot can change in five years...

But it doesn't necessarily have to. At least not the important stuff like friendship, humour and that elusive ability "to pick up where we left off".
When four of my college classmates and I went to visit one of our favourite professors recently, I realised that times don't always change, they just evolve. In a good way. Out of the four classmates, I've been in regular touch with two, but was meeting the other two - and our professor - after five years. Before leaving the house, I remember staring at myself in the mirror as I brushed my hair, wondering about all the ways in which I've changed since graduation. Physically, I guess I'm mostly the same, just with different frames for my glasses, extra earring studs and a nose stud. I still wear the same staple of kurta and jeans as I did back in college and my hair is almost the same length. I don't wear a watch as religiously as I used to but I still love earrings.
Inside, on the other hand, I'm almost a different person. For starters, I'm not into psychology anymore which is what I majored in. I'm happier, calmer, and less of a stupid emotional fool. I'm less conflicted and more satisfied with life. I'm surer of my choices and more confident about my capabilities. Obviously, I've grown up, at least a little bit, thank god. :P
And so has everyone else. I couldn't help feeling a slight sense of pride as I heard each of my classmates talk about the work they are doing - we have all indeed come a far way from the slightly aimless college students we once were. A lot of discussion revolved around jobs and careers and office politics and cranky bosses, but we also joked about how everyone else seems to be getting married and having babies while all we think about is work, only occasionally relenting to consider the looming possibility of arranged marriage.
And of course any reunion is incomplete without the mandatory, almost automatic reminiscing about "those days" and exchange of news about other classmates each of us is in touch with. And the best part was how Ami ma'am - our professor - was also a part of the discussion, connecting with us at more of a friend level than the somewhat distanced level of teacher and student that existed back in college.
One of the highlights of the evening was how one classmate thought we were all meeting up at the Courtyard Marriott - the luxurious hotel outside which we'd agreed to group before heading to our teacher's house nearby. Naturally, she arrived all dressed up for a classy evening at an expensive restaurant while the rest of us were completely casual. The mistake became the butt of several jokes throughout the evening, but as we sat munching the take-away sandwiches and sipping the warm Fanta which two people had thoughtfully brought along, it was clear that sometimes no amount of fancy food at swanky places can compare to the simple pleasure of junk food, shared memories, and private jokes with pleasant company.
I wonder when the next such impromptu get-together will happen...

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