bad, sad and mad days in life as you will readily see. But there are also days
which begin with a pleasant surprise, and they add fun and cheer to one’s life.
No, it’s not
the one when your wife serves a masala tea with a smile, it’s not the day when
newspapers carry a happy story as a headline, and it’s not the day when your
driver smiles and wishes good morning. You sit there reading newspapers sipping
your cup of tea, dipping a biscuit in it and eating it, and the telephone
rings. You are sure that the neighbour has called up to check if the milkman
has delivered the milk pouches. But this is that special day when the unusual
and the unexpected happen.
C called up.
Let me refer to him by the code letter ‘C.’ It gives anonymity. It also brings
suspense in the story. And it may remind readers of this piece of the James
Bond’s boss who was referred as ‘M.’ The similarity ends there, he is not the chief
of surveillance and espionage. He is an architect.
“I just read
your mail,” C mentions with a tone of excitement. Now I am completely foxed.
You see a sixty-two year old is always aware that his memory is failing him,
but not remembering a mail sent in the recent past is too much to swallow. I
have always wondered whether I was developing Alzheimer’s, and here was the
evidence staring in my face.
C was my schoolmate,
and a quick calculation told me that he was calling after forty six years after
we left the school. Forty-six! “Up to tricks, number forty-six” as they would
call out in the game of Tambola. It did bring smile on my face. I decided to
a long pause, a la Atalji, C continued, “You sent it eighteen months ago and it
went to my spam mail box. I discovered it today.” Why would anyone read spam
mails after eighteen months? But be that as it may, Architects are known to
rummage through old material and pick up a gem.
yes, yes, yes!” I said. “I have a faint recollection of writing to you.” When
you receive a call from a friend after forty-six years, the excitement in life
comes back. You feel as if you have discovered a chest of old wine. Whisky, if
meet. Golf Club is a good place for meeting old friends.” This was the
irresistible invitation. “Right ho!” I said, “I will be there.”
It did not
take too long for me and C to put together a plan of reunion of the class of
‘66. C corrected me, “not forty-six, it is forty-seven years later we are
meeting our schoolmates,” he said reminding me that maths was my enemy #1. My
wife and C’s wife glanced at each other and smiled to confirm their unsaid
agreement on “these plans will not materialise, nothing will happen!”
arrived. Heavy downpours did not dampen our spirits. C and his wife and I with
my wife came in early to supervise arrangements. Then the Poet walked in with
his wife N. A, the accountant, arrived from Pune with his wife Dr Ms S, both
our schoolmates. They had also come with M, the techie. Ms L had also just
reached. Soon Dr Ms M and her husband, Dr V walked in.
“Who else is
coming?” everybody asked. ‘Ms K and her husband,’ I answered. I received a call
from K. There was heavy water logging near her home.
Somebody snatched the
phone from my hands. “Oh come on, hold your saree knee high and walk your way to
“The last I
saw you was when I attended your marriage reception.” “You have not changed
much, you look the same.”
“I would not
have recognised you.” “I saw your photographs on internet.”
“What do you do
now?” “You must sing a song today, you used to do it so well."
“When they name
their children after raga or some musical terms, rest assured that they have
stopped following music as a hobby.”
interesting conversations, this takes the cake - “Where is Ms X? Any news?”
“Ask my husband, he has up to date information on girls!”
you last visit Canada?” “She called up to tell me that if I visit Niagara, she
will come over to meet me there.”
everybody to move to the Bar. A bottle of Black Dog is bought. C is a
meticulous planner. Everybody notices it but everybody is excited and in conversation
“I was in
Madhya Pradesh. It was a tough job. Gave it up. Finally I decided to launch my
own enterprise.” “Just returned from Bhutan.”
is where my nephew and his wife met! I told them ‘Your boss was my classmate!’”
“They say my office is a marriage bureau!”
happened to him? Oh, he is no more? Really?”
“He told the
man standing near the door in the local train not to hold the bar with both the
hands. So the man asked what if I fall down. He said “You won’t, if you did I
will give you one hundred rupees!””
this, the CM walked in with his wife. “CM was sitting next to me and he asked
me if I was Dr M when we were getting down from the airplane! I could not have
recognised him. Why didn’t CM speak earlier?” Dr M complained. The Poet was
quick to give advice to the CM. “You should have asked her when you identified
her. In case it was a mistaken identity, you could have still continued
We leave the
Bar. I give a tight hug to CM. A man sitting on the high stool, sipping his
whisky looks on with great curiosity. I tell him “Meeting after forty-seven
years.” He grins, mumbles something.
dinner, the Poet is asked to recite some of his poems. He recites three or
four. One on the suggestion of his wife.
The time comes
to part ways. ‘Let us meet again in November.’ In Pune. All agree.
raining incessantly as we stepped in our car.
And there was flood of memories and
Here is the Accountant's rejoinder which I received after he read this blog-post:
“Next day it was flood of water and heavy down pour for The Accountant, his better half Dr. S and M, the Techie who departed for Pune. To the great relief of the Accountant, M the Techie insisted that he would sit in the front where he is supposed to be most comfortable and Dr. S missed the routine side seat driving. Though the conversation lingered with the yesteryears’ s nostalgic memories, all the six eyes were fixed on the road in front where the visibility was hardly few feet. The road was chockablock with heavy traffic and deep potholes till Panvel. There was visible relief on everybody’s face when the car hit the expressway. Dr S tried to cheer the Tech by telling him (a great shock and surprise to the Accountant) her Hubby’s excellent driving exploits. She did not realize that her Hubby, the accountant, was already having attack of cervical spondylitis due to constantly craning his neck to locate the road in front of him.
The trio reached Pune after 4 hours safely though slightly uncomfortable due to pressure on old faithful bladders.
A great get-together to remember!”
PS: Edited Photograph.
Labels: Class of 66, D S High School, Nostalgia, reunion, Sion