Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Class

First, wishing all a good Ugadi, that is passing by today.

This post is not a recap of the novel of the same name as the title from Erich Segal (which incidentally I liked), but just a remniscence triggered from a mini reunion of six of us from our class last weekend (from a class of 40) over lunch. Two of my colleagues came in from Canada to Chennai, and took time to come down to Bengaluru, meet the motley crowd here (six of us are here, out of which four made it to the meet). I had written sometime back when I started to blog, on the topic of  "The home that wasn't" on my observances on college hostel life.

I saw 4 of them again only now after leaving college an eon back (நாமளும் ஒரு காலத்துல படிச்சோமான்னு ஆயிடுத்து!) Lots of changes in physical appearances, but once we started to talk, the college days were back. There was constant and non-stop prattling, the flashbacks, our teachers, growing up topics and poking fun around generally. I had met three others and talked to a few more when I was in the US a few weeks back. After our meeting, I was trying to recollect all the 40 in my class, but couldn't move beyond 37. :-( I have asked for help from one of my colleagues to fill in the gaps. Each one of them kindles a tagged memory, which is something academic or something funny or some incidents at college or their nick-names :) and it is nostalgic walking through the disjointed and hazy memories of almost 3 years together before we went our paths. And while browsing our class' Yahoo! Groups archives, dug out a scan of three photos uploaded by a colleague back in 2004 of the undated old photos which were taken at the end of our academic lives before we dispersed to do our final year projects. Those were the times!

The class is now spread between the USA where the majority is, Canada, Bengaluru, Chennai, Malaysia/Singapore and Australia. A few of them are randomly in touch with the others, few more regular, a few incognito with almost no trace in the past few years. Some are entrepreneurs running their own companies, some are in regular jobs (like me) and some have chucked their jobs for the most difficult and demanding job of all, parenting.

We are still a long way from our silver jubilee re-union (the premise of "The Class") if it happens, but we have crossed around two-thirds of the way.

Memories, memories and memories! The more you stoke it, the more its embers glow! The four hours that we spent together over memories, priceless!!!


Srivats said...

i so empathise with this feeling of meeting friends after long time, I share the same thoughts. Andha book " The class" padichadhille, let me try. Sire naanum bangalore dhaan :)

R-ambam said...

:) sweet things !

R-ambam said...

Happy Ugadi !

Ramesh said...

Can totally relate to your post - I am a fan of "The Class" too. Have been through the same experiences and to me, nostalgia, is one of the most powerful of all emotions.

A similar feeling is when you "go back" especially after a long gap. We see the institution in a completely different light.

chennaigirl said...

Havent been through the book, bt would definitely try.We friends too had a similar meet up few weeks back,and it was difficult at first to imagine them with kids and family. Ennathaan irunthaalum, same bubbly tone and circastic comments and the memories, complaints about in-laws started to pour once the flow started. It was all the more fun. Hope u had good time. Was it all friends meet alone or with family.

RamMmm said...

@Srivats - That book is pretty good. It was a long long time after which I was meeting them. Hence all the more poignant for me. Thanks for that synergistic thought.

@R-ambam - Thanks, Wish you the same.

@Ramesh - Thanks. Definitely its a very powerful emotion. It was a very good time. Other colleague meetings never had a larger quorum than 4. It has been a very long time since I visited my college back. I have very little bindings to Madurai that compels me to visit there.

@chennaigirl - We never went into diatribes against anyone. :-) There were digs, minor altercations and poking fun at each other. :) It wasn't a meet with family this time, as the place we met was a food court with nothing for kids' amusement. One of my colleagues had her kids and husb visit us as they stayed fairly close by.

zeno said...

நாமளும் ஒரு காலத்துல படிச்சோமான்னு ஆயிடுத்து? why this statement???
BTW would be glad(vry curious) to have a look at that archived pics :):)
The class, is definitely class apart and one of erich's best [at least w.r.t what i have read of his novels] but i am not sure it is apt to compare that and this! :P :D

RamMmm said...

@zeno - That reference was to college life which anyway was long back (almost, once upon a time!).

Those are photos for posterity!!! :-D Not for general consumption. :-)

Oye, read properly. I never compared 'The Class' and this. :) It is a parallel, a simile. That is it.

zeno said...

Ahem Ahem,agreed :)

RS said...

Meeting with friends after years-the fun, the joy it is!! Luckily for me, the few friends I earned during my college days- we have become good family friends-touchwood!! When we meet, there is gala time, introducing each others nickname to their spouses, the pranks we played, the naughty things we did.....It is indeed a nice feel...

PS: //We are still a long way from our silver jubilee re-union (the premise of "The Class") if it happens, but we have crossed around two-thirds of the way.//
Neenga uncle-a,uncle illaya?(Neenga nallavara,kettavara, tonta-tonta-......)

Sandhya Sriram said...

Hi Ram

first time on your post. couldnt stop from going on and one, one after other. you write so well. nice of ramesh to have linked on.

One good thing about men is that they stay in touch. we women folk are restricted to his and byes on facebook

RamMmm said...

@zeno - :-D

@RS - Unless we make time to meet friends, it doesn't really happen. Initiative matters. It is always fun time being with friends of yore.

Yep, I am an uncle and proud of it. :-) [nallavana, kettavanaa is secondary]

@Sandhya Sriram - Welcome. I have noticed you regularly on Ramesh's blog with wide ranging and interesting comments. And thanks for the accolade.

Actually I have seen (or heard) women state what you say. Not sure if that percentage would be greater than 50% of the female populace. The meet I mentioned here had 2 female colleagues out of which one of them co-ordinated and set it all up with the female colleague who landed in from Canada with my other colleague (incidentally the two who came in are married to each other).

gils said...

avvvvvvvv....thala ipothaan erich segal class pathi oru comment potutu varaen :) inga paatha athey pola oru postay potrukel :D :D try chking for mini series post called "happy days" in my blog :) apdiye erich segal class mathiri copy adika try panen..naalu partuku mela mudila..nora thalidichi :(

Pri said...

this reminded me of that 'mastercard' with the group of old friends reconnecting over dinner :)

i second you totally..nostalgia brings a strange kinda happiness which cant be described.
the more u stay in it, the more you want to....

and a lifetime of happy memories!

RamMmm said...

@gils - I saw that comment on CG's blog. :) I have that 'Happy Days' posts located on your blog. Will go through it sometime.

@Pri - Welcome. It is almost like that Mastercard ad. A decade and a half makes a lot of change in everyone. Hopefully the happy memories stick on and Thanks.

Matangi Mawley said...

it s a gr8 feeling to remember all those days.. see those facesagain.. nicely written!

Anonymous said...

We had a similar meeting a few years ago. All girls at a friends house in Madras. We all have teenagers now. The children's comments, "Hey, you all behaved like you were teenagers" :-)

Yes, when we got together we lost track of the 16 years that we had not met. It was a lot of fun and memories linger on forever.


RamMmm said...

@Matangi Mawley - Welcome. Memory trips usually are double edged, they can either land you into a depression, or can give you a goody high. :-)

@My3 - Ha Ha Ha. Why not? Let the teenagers see what their parental class was like and the fun they had as well. :-) Thanks for sharing that.