A class mate posted this photograph, taken on the last day of school and tagged us all on face book. The expected jubilant comments about how sweet it was of her to have posted the class photograph, after 10 years, soon surfaced one after the other below the picture and like everyone, I too hit on the 'like' button next to the picture and added a comment as well, as expected in the accepted social etiquette related with posting in social networking sites.
The memories of school is filled with loads of sweat and white shirts turned dusty brown, after the game. The memoirs have sweet innocent looking girls in their teens with the double pleated pig tails and a lot more. Lying content after a hearty meal on a Sunday Sabbath, these thoughts makes a vivid platform to drift to sleep. The sweetness and the innocence of age in the thoughts of school, would make one forget the hard lines of toil on his hands and the aging wrinkles on forehead.
I was friends with them once, but I cant't say that all are still my friends. I spend 12 years sitting with them in the same classroom and shared many a meal, sweat, gossip and event together, but despite the 12 years, apart from a very few, I don't think none are my friends today. Acquaintances, that is the best I can label them. But, ask me truly and I would suggest even that is a generous label, a Gucci spread on a street urchin.
A handful from the picture still remains my closest friends, and the others the distant familiar faces, whom I have no longing to know any more. Meeting a school mate, couple of years back, surprisingly on train, I had my pulses rising, an excitement which I couldn't name. But after 5 minutes, where we tried know what the other been up to, I was in search of ideas to change my seats to a different compartment. The expression my companion had, flashed his heart, which beat to the same rhythm that mine beat, of being 'STUCK'.
I talked about this excitement and the stuck feeling to my closest friends and everyone had a similar story of being excited to meet an old friend from school and in a matter of moments, feel stuck, and with the toes, searched for a way into the heart of the earth to escape. Conversation dries up, much faster than the traffic that rushes out when the signal turns green, leaving the constable the lonely one standing. Some tales of accomplishments becomes so painful to hear, that you end up drinking a pint of vodka bottoms up, as if searching for the sticker on the bottle bottom that announces you as the winner of this years vodka sweepstakes.
School and its people stays the best as memories, for the corrupt heart, knows the sweet ones to cherish and the bad ones to fade. If I hadn't ever met that guy on train, he would have been always remembered as the guy who bowled fast while playing cricket. His dreams must have been the same, way back in school and conversations with him, must have appealed dull to me back then as well, but the great healer time made sure those tiny cracks of dislike never appeared on my thoughts about him, if I had ever remembered him before bumping into him by accident. The bump ensured, I would try hide in the train's loo the nest time I meet him and if my guess is not false he might dive beneath the seat, the moment he sees my face get into the same compartment as him.
Maybe growing more old, I might like the prospect of meeting friends from school, but for now, I can't fathom to stand a day with all of them around and having to be nice to all, though I spend 12 years of mine just doing that and it has been 10 years since they all stopped being a part of my life. Maybe, it is just me and the anti social in me, who hates these social unions or maybe there are many like me, who wouldn't want to meet anybody, just because they studied in the same school or attended the same college or had some history, which designated them as friends. Maybe there are people who would rather be with just 2 or 3 friends instead of the fifty and the history, and stand up and speak honest and say, "your celebrations and griefs are not going to make me smile nor shed a tear, just like mine is not going to make you feel" !!