When we are young, we hope to grow up as soon as possible. We see our siblings going to college and we watch shows featuring college as a backdrop on TV and we long for our school life to end as quickly as possible. The regular homework submissions, the assignments, the restrictions, rules, strict teachers and above all the unflattering uniform get to us! Dreaming of one’s college life seems to be the perfect getaway. We imagine how cool our lives will be, how we can hang out with our friends in the seriously over-rated college canteen, bunk classes, wear uber cool outfits and above all have no teacher breathing down our necks to submit the regular work. Half the time that we spend complaining about our morbid lives and gossiping about the not-so-cool kid in our class, we don’t realize that this is the most amazing phase of one’s life. No matter how cool your college life is, how well paid your job is and how many countries you have been to for your vacations, the carefree school days will be the most remembered moments. A time when finishing another’s Tiffin was the best way to annoy someone. When a stupid fight over a free-kick during a football match could lead to serious issues between friends, when not being able to complete one’s homework before the class spelled literal doom and the lamest of jokes could have the entire class in splits for the whole day! As school children we like to believe that we are all grown-up but this is a time when we are very naïve and innocent.
A simple glance at old pictures and scrap books make us nostalgic. These photos are one of our ugliest yet happiest photos. Little did we know that as soon as we would cross the threshold of our alma mater, the frequencies of those care free laughs would reduce exponentially? Every entry in the scrap book is full of love. It is full of goodbyes and promises of keeping in touch and basically a re- run of all the good times that we have shared together. Seriously, No one in our whole life will know us better than our school mates. We have grown up together, seen each other evolve as different people. We know each other’s likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses and no matter how many issues we have as kids, we always manage to make up to each other during our farewell, forgiving one another for our flaws and promising to keep in touch. Those were the days when forgiving one for their follies was very easy.
Sitting outside in my car, overlooking my school, I realized how I had not kept in touch with so many of my school friends. Some were in the same city and others were studying in a distant place like me. We had exchanged our numbers and kept contact initially but as time flew by, we all got busy and the number of phone calls reduced until there were no phone calls anymore. I felt remorseful when I realized how self-centered we had become. We had shared so many beautiful moments together, been thick friends through our formative years, had each other’s back during the worst of times and now we had gotten so busy that we had stopped communicating altogether? That’s when I took out my cell phone and scrolling through my contact list, I called one of my close friends from school. We spoke for a while and as we both were in town, we decided to meet up the following day. During the course of our conversation, the rain subsided and I decided to resume driving.
While driving home a beautiful thought struck me that indeed, our school is most definitely our second home. You may leave your city, change your address, start afresh but your heart will lie exactly where you have spent most of your growing up years. Your schoolmates and teachers, no matter how strict or fun loving they were, will always be your second family who under every circumstance encouraged your growth. All your life you will meet many people who will befriend you but your most honest friend will always be one with whom you have grown up. They will never hesitate in criticizing or encouraging you. They will stand up for you if they think you deserve it and give you a piece of their mind if they deem it to be essential. These are people with whom you have shared your childhood. They know your beginning, your end and have an idea about what transpired in between.
So if you have a school friend with whom you are not in touch anymore, do not hesitate to contact them. Pick up your phone, make a call, ask them about their whereabouts and keep in touch. It will surprise you how therapeutic it is to speak to an old friend, relive your old memories and laugh to your heart’s content over stupid incidents. A 10 min conversation could wipe away all your miseries and tensions as indeed, one’s childhood memories does have the potential to wipe away any discomfort and unease thus strengthening our belief in the old adage that school life is the golden period of anyone’s life.