Like a breath of fresh air

I logged into GMail this morning to find an email from a classmate from almost 20 years back. I was pleasantly surprised. As she brought me up to date on her life, I was wondering where I should start in my response to her. All through my harried cooking, rushing to work and sitting through meetings, the question burned at the back of the brain.

I was reminded of the hushed whispers in the staircase next to our classroom a few of us sat and gossiped or exchanged scandalous tales about our classmates. I remembered her glasses and the sharp features. I remembered something vague about her moving to France. Over the years I remembered her name and that was it. In my exchanges with other class mates I have been in touch with, she never came up much. So, today hearing from her brought back a rush of memories. All pleasant.

As I hit reply, I was stumped. I had no idea how to condense 20 years of my life in two paragraphs leave alone on the small time margin I was operating on. I started and backspaced a couple of times and decided to skim over everything that really mattered. In my eyes. I told her I was married, had no kids, was working for so and so and sent a link to a few pictures and asked to see some of hers.

Long after pressing send, I still wonder if the little girls in us wonder about the days after the board exam. If we wonder about summer crushes or our starry dreams from back then. If we remember the way we proudly wore our identity in an initial. In a class populated with plenty of goody two shoes, she represented a breath of fresh air. I remember her being left handed and having a handwriting that was the the envy of our group.

Little nuggets of information popping up at random intervals. That’s what her email did to me this morning. I valiantly stare at a chunk of code while the back of my mind remembers insignificant details. So, whether or not, we go on to retain contact and become friends all over again, I thank you S for the pleasurable memories you brought back to me.

6 comments

  1. I wish someone got in touch with me from those days. It is always lovely to connect back with old friends. Lucky you!

  2. True Laksh. The issue with catching up after a long break is the itsy-bitsy details that defined your friendship get lost. But in some cases, where the sense of nostalgia is mutual, and personalities haven’t changed all that much, you do pick up from where you left.

  3. After all those days of commenting on how much I like your blog, this particular entry has made me leave a comment! I recently have gotten back in touch with 4 friends from 4th-5th std (ie when I was 9), some more from when I was in a different country in 8th std and met one of them in person in DC. It blows my mind to think this is possible but even beyond that, to think they remember me, my last name, details about me and tell me I haven’t changed in the way I look. I personally think I am ancient now. It’s very inspiring to hear someone from your 4th grade class ask you – do you still sing? I don’t but you know what – I am going to start again. And that last line captures it all – whether we ever become as thick as we were back then, I am still so thankful for that link to my past.

  4. yes Laksh..S did bring back all the memories from school..wanted to condense 20yrs in 2 paragraphs but ended up sending a page long mail to her..Hope she has the patience to sit through the mail..Waiting to meet her when she comes to Chennai in September..Hope she does’nt disappoint like M and S πŸ™‚

  5. @Dinesh: Ahh! Now why did I not think of it??? πŸ˜€
    @anamika: I echo that. It sure is fun.
    @Suman: Time will tell. It is true of most of my childhood friends but very few of them have really drifted away so this whole concept of not being in touch and suddenly getting back doesn’t happen.
    @Radhika: Yayy! I forced you to comment πŸ™‚ Just kidding. Glad you left your mark girl. It is true though, school classmates seem to remember so much of the people we were than our parents themselves. Perhaps because we were unconstrained at school.
    @Sindu: Should be fun when you two gals meet. Remember to take pics and send them. Would love to read the email you sent S. πŸ™‚

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