Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ode to Friendship

"When old friends get together, everything else fades to insignificance."
The beauty of this old saying was seen in its rainbow colours at our first official get together of KV Malappuram students of 93-95 batch on 26th Dec.2010. This was our first get together after school - after 15 years.
This time on my annual vacation to India, thanks to social networking sites like Facebook & Orkut, I had got some contact details of my old friends from school. The first person I called was Kuriakose Menon, as I lovingly call :) - Vinod, and got a warm welcome from him and wasn’t I surprised when he called me up 2 days later and said that he is in my hometown and wanted to meet me…He came over home and we caught up on old times..underneath the old bubbly, nonsensical friend I was expecting , saw a warm, mature but of course fun loving pal with whom I could connect to without any barriers. He updated me on the details of a lot of our friends since he was in touch with them and gave me all their contact details. He mentioned that a few of them (only the guys gang) meet up quite often over a cuppa coffee (coffee like coloured drink) and keep themselves updated. He left with a suggestion that why don’t we organize some get together with all our friends and since I was jobless and practically doing nothing at home, why don’t I call up a few to check with our old pals ?
Next process of ringing up old friends was an enjoyable task. Initially I was a bit apprehensive as to how many would be interested to actually make time for this but to my surprise, I got a brilliant response – Jasmine & Sreeja topped the list with their enthusiasm, they were ready for anything anytime, from the guys gang Vijesh, Praveen MC & Vinod had already started off with the calls and invitations from their side since they had been planning the same for a long time. Everybody started calling and inviting each other- Kavitha, Sajitha MP,Sumayya,Hani,Babu, Saleel , Deepu, Jolly,Waheeda,Dinesh, Satish, Niju,Santosh,Sachin, Jayaram, Praveen Prakash, Vasanth, Pappiya, Hanas, Devaraj,Bhoopesh, Roopesh,Dinesh, Sajith Kumar , infact everyone we contacted gave us an overwhelming and delightful response. Everybody sincerely wanted it to happen and tried their best to be there….

We did not call this a reunion meet since this was our first get together and further treated this more like a curtain raiser to the many more annual organized reunions we would have in future. Hence for the same reason spouses, kids, family, teachers were not invited, which of course brought about a lot of murmur from our better halves whose egos were shattered at this exclusion.

The small conference room was just perfect for our little crowd. On the D-Day, we had a get together with 19 of our classmates – Vijesh, Vinod, MC,Devarajan,Santosh,Sajith,Hanas, Babu,Niju, SajithaMP,Sreeja, Jasmine, Kavitha, Hani, Sumayya,Roopesh MK,Dinesh, Sanal & yours truly.
The school prayer song and the welcome speech brought out the old warmth and belongingness in us. We didn’t need any ice breakers for this get together-- there was absolutely no formalities or inhibitions. The welcome speech by Vinod was quite enjoyable and brought many a laugh in all of us followed by the intro speech by all just to catch up with all as to what had happened in our lives in these 15 years.
Yes, a long 15 years had passed since many of us had last seen each other.... we had all moved ahead in life from those school days, we had changed in our looks and outlook to life, but one binding factor that still ran through us was the friendship that we still shared …. Yes, the connection was instant….we got along like a house on fire – old jokes, new stories, teacher tales etc… We make friendships in school , college, at work place etc etc, but many a time most uncorrupted or innocent friendships are made during school days because these are built based on the true essence of friendships unlike the latter friendships we make considering selfish interests, status symbols, career demands etc. School friendships and friends have always been simple and lighten the heart …
After a sumptuous lunch buffet, we settled down for some games like Passing the parcel and Bingo and it was just like in old school days… for some time, I am sure all of us were transported years back to our carefree school days without worries or work pressure or family demands etc..

How true when they say “Old friends are like fine wine, they only improve with age…” – we had all matured gracefully over the years, become responsible individuals but had maintained our spirit of friendship and fun in life.

It was unanimously decided that we would make it a point to meet every year henceforth – with/without families /teachers was left for later discussion since many of us couldn’t come to a consensus on that ;) And as responsible human beings we decided that our meeting would support a meaningful cause each year – be it donations to charitable institutions, providing health care to the needy –etc etc, we will soon set up a small account on the same and do our bit for the society that we are a part of – that made us what we are today!!

We parted with rekindled spirit of friendship and joy, lightened hearts and beautiful memories to cherish till the next time. Thanks to each one of you who made an effort to be there and to those who couldn’t make it but made their presence felt through calls, mails, and facebook updates etc.

It brings me great joy to see the facebook group so active and my mail box flooded with comments and counter comments. Hope to see us all active in this friendship now and forever!!

I take leave with this note “"Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life. The better part of one's life consists of his friendships. "


No comments: