Last week we had a school reunion. We had planned this meeting on facebook ever since I got my air tickets booked to India i.e. more than a month ago. Finally, after a period of excited responses, dead silences, postponing and rescheduling our meet did happen with the 5 of us….but 5 very excited and enthusiastic ladies who I guess were hoping to feel like young girls again, even if it was for just one night!
A had very kindly offered to host us so the rest of us planned to meet up at a common place (my in-laws’ house) and go to A’s house together. J offered to drive us to the venue, while P and B organised some cake and chocolates to be taken to our friend’s house. The only one who did nothing to contribute, who had shouted out loud about having this re-union, then cancelling it that morning and then reviving it again at the last minute was myself. I also happened to delay our scheduled appointment cooking last minute pasta for my boys while my friends waited patiently with me…in the kitchen! When we finally got going we got horrifying traffic on the way and a 10-minute journey turned into a 40 minute adventure specially since none of us knew the way. I also suggested that we could start eating a bit of the cake since it was way past my dinner time but the saner ones of the gang talked me out of it. We did manage to reach the place (1 1/2 hours post the scheduled time) and while we were parking the car the security man came running up to us inform us that visitors cars were not allowed to park inside. Any dutiful ‘phirang’ (foreigner) would have immediately taken a U-turn and done just that, but this is India where all rules can be bend, twisted and broken so the car stayed just where it was! In fact after we moved abroad this was one of the things that we had to start getting used to as Indians – it is pretty difficult to accept but then we do learn that rules are really rules.
One thing I have realised is that once you have a school re-union it doesn’t matter whether you are five or fifty or whether you were best friends or just acquaintances, as the conversation flows just as easily as there is always something or someone to talk about. I think most of us from this group have spent 13 years of our lives in the same school and same class, so finding common topics was definitely not an issue. Suddenly we had transformed into this group of young girls chatting away at such rapid speed which I guess comes from experience as we always had to finish our banter quickly in class before the teacher stepped in. I loved the way the teacher would bang the duster on their table to make us quiet if her voice or her presence wasn’t enough, or take the assistance of the ‘class leader’ to bring the volume down, the poor girl trying her best to help out. I had been the class leader for Standard I, II and IV (I think) but I never enjoyed that role much. I think the only reason I used to get appointed by the teacher was because I such a good girl, never talking much, always doing her work on time, always getting good marks….but I don’t think those are the qualities of a good leader! I think one of the other reasons why we all share a good camaraderie is because of the school itself. When we joined it was a two-building (two stories in each building) school, located in the heart of a quiet Parsi colony, surrounded by trees and gardens, lending a quiet, calm feel to tho whole place….more like a home away from home. It is also an only-girls school which in my opinion leads to this no-inhibitions kind of talk and behavior which helps lessen embarassments and also helps forging friendships. Most of us lived just around the school or a little away so meeting after school was quite common too. The teachers were mostly old Parsi and Catholic ladies who had their own children in the same school and who took a real interest in teaching their subjects (there were exceptions of course!).
Anyway, the dinner went off pretty well – the chicken starter that A had cooked was delicious, but the main thing that kept us going was the wine, conversation and of course posing for photographs! The evening flowed smoothly and from a conversation that we had on sleep-overs for our kids we suddenly decided that we are entitled for a sleep-over too! I offered my place as the resting zone for the night but since I don’t technically ‘live’ there, the amenities are far and few, in fact drinking water was all I could offer them, limited to one glass per person! So J offered hers since her husband was travelling and out of five, three of us were ready for this unplanned adventure! Quick calls were made and messages sent back home about the change of plans, as we headed to our night-out destination.
My dear friend J was a perfect hostess as not only did she arrange for an extra bedding, blankets and fresh bed linen for us but she also made us a glass of delicious cold coffee – the best that I have ever had! After we had washed, changed and made ourselves comfortable, our initial excitement was replaced by an easy going conversation….it was amazing that no one felt the need to watch T.V. or read a book or even go to sleep. Everytime we would look at the clock we would be surprised that one more hour had passed and then remind each other that we should go to sleep, only to spend the next hour chatting about a different topic. It was such a wonderful feeling …and when I think about it – we all came from different backgrounds, different cultures, had different family values and experiences and yet this one common thread that tied us together made us feel as if we were completely in sync with one another. Slept at 5:30.