The weekend has unwittingly provided me food for though. I'm sure Saturday & Sunday don't mean to. Left to themselves, they'd have carried on being the days for which plans are eagerly made on hellish Tuesday afternoons at work, but resigned to lie-ins, late lunches and dinners in restaurants. Come to think of it, that's actually not a bad way for 2 days to breeze past.
On this S & S, a whole load of people took planes & buses at godforsaken early and late hours to come to Pune and celebrate the birthday of a mutual friend. The birthday boy (or man) in question, in passing, should, if he doesn't yet, know that he's lucky to be so genuinely liked by so many people. Or maybe it has more to do with his affable nature. Point is, a plan that would scare the bejeezus out of these people on most days of the year, came together very successfully because of the coordinator. In large parts, the chips fell together thanks to the opportunity for liberal amounts of booze abuse but one can't take credit away from people.
Barring me and one other bloke, the get-together was an informal college reunion. As fate would have it, we (bloke & I) get along in very jolly fashion with this lot, so the reunion bit didn't make any difference here. Anyway, I've only attended one formally arranged reunion in my life before and am in no hurry to repeat that experience. I come from an all-boys convent with a particularly vicious bent of what passes for humour in those kind of places. So, pardon me if my idea of a good time isn't the revisiting of tired and now embarrassingly inane gags or remembering the finer aspects of gang-behaviour. But I haven't been to any college get-together (or maybe, with good reason, wasn't invited). And if there's any place I've seen a lot of, its college.
I have ambiguous feelings about college reunions. College gave most of us the overwhelming reassurance of freedom. No matter how bad the fuck-ups, how low the acads or how depressingly stifling life was at home, friends and copious amounts of alcohol (a lot of times, it was hard to distinguish between the two) made the past hazy, the present timeless and the future, immaterial. In the unkind light of dawn, between the redolence of innumerable beers & the exhaustion of bonhomie, you saw the quirky side, the wild side, the lovable side & the plaintive side of your friends. In turn, they saw you. And it was okay.
And years down the line, does the regathering let one revisit that freedom ?
Do you see each other as you once were, with the choice and willingness to try anything and go anywhere ? Or as you are now, with increasing professional & personal commitments, expanding waistlines, contracting booze capacities and numerous other trappings of age.
Maybe I'm over-analysing it & smothering a good thing. Perhaps I should let sleeping dogs lie and tell myself that the whiff of wistfulness in the wind is just a figment of my imagination. That I'm just a jaded cynic.
A leopard doesn't change it's spots, but age and experience lets it camouflage them better. The question is, does it want to or does it have to ?
Cheers to everyone who was there - 29th May 2010
Song for the moment: Afterglow - INXS