Four siblings decided to take a holiday together without their spouses or children to reconnect and see if they could revive and reconnect with the sense of the family of their parents and those times . This exercise led them to rediscover many interesting things about themselves and how they remember, feel about their childhood and adolescent years.
It also made them reorient and relook at some aspects of their current identity and families.
So when Raghu, my friend from High School years ( Army Public School- Dhaula Kuan- Delhi -1985 batch) told me he will be coming to Toronto area I made it a point to meet him , and meet him alone , and reconnect with those times and days.
EVERY SECRET THING
We spent some magical hours recalling those high school years, our teachers, class mates , classes, and the atmosphere of the school.
We spoke intimately and had a good laugh at some of our ways then. My apprehension that sometimes friends who were close in a different period of life, when they meet after many years are not able to connect or find common themes to talk about was laid to rest as we spoke freely about ‘ Every secret thing’ … those I cannot put on a public blog.
Then I spent some time reviewing my jottings of yesteryears ( decades) . It was in the early 1980 s – around the year of the 9 th Asiad that I started keeping diaries, logs of how much we ran, who we talked to,which movie we saw.
THE LIZARD IN THE CHEMISTRY CLASS
We remembered our projects. I had done a study of the plants of the Delhi ridge area. He remembered how his soldering did not work in the first try.
Then there was the day when one of us kept a lizard( toy) on the teacher ‘ s seat. The Chemistry teacher said he will report it to higher ups if the person who did the prank would not come up. ( that is how I remember the incident) . Our classmate owned up. He was a person of character. He later joined the Defence forces( NDA) . Then he passed away.
These and many other sweet sour memories came alive as we talked for hours in downtown Toronto.
There had been a freezing rain alert , but I drove from Stoney Creek Hamilton to meet my good friend Raghu.
TO SIR WITH LOVE
We used to go to see movies at Chanakya cinema from APS. When many students missed class to see the movie To Sir With love, the school decided to make it official. The many nuances of literature and life taught by our English teachers kindled a love of trying to see between the lines. We had nicknamed our English teacher Mrs Majumdar – Mata.
Raghu went into Engineering , I went into medicine, but the love of the written word remains.
It should probably read – To Madam With Love.. the English teacher who kindled this life long habit which has enriched life on so many ways.
How the movies like the Cult classic- Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron – formed part of our identity
How the movies like Heat and Dust made us relook at the influences of British Colonialism
We talked about our parents, the life in India in the 70s, 80s and then about our children who now grow in North American society. Being from services background, when we came to civil life, we did find that things work in a different way .
Over the decades, we now , sitting in a cold freezing rain day in Toronto, went the memories of events which shaped our identities and those of the previous and next generations.
Thirty four years is a good enough time to meet and have a wide angle view of life, societies and identities
Thanks Raghu , for everything