“Don’t take life too seriously. You are not going to get out of it alive anyway.”
It is not everyday that you get a long vacation and you get to relive everything from your childhood till you enter college. The best of our lives, well, are college days, but good times were had even before that. Most of us got out of college recently and are waiting to get into the jobs we have landed or to fly down to the universities we got into. Well, I belong to the former class, waiting and spending days, lazily, at home in front of a TV or a laptop or wandering in a dreamland.
It all started a month ago when I came back home, marking the end of my college life. Much to my surprise were my schoolmates who already returned way before I even gave my final exams. Not everyone has friends who studied with them right from kindergarten to 10th standard, some till 12th standard and I am the one of the lucky few to have such friends. I still remember the days when I used to cycle down around 2 miles to get to school. Those images still run fresh in my mind. We used to sit on those wooden benches in school, cracking jokes, teasing friends and having lunch together. It used to be a feast every afternoon, that is where I learned that sharing only makes it better. Those silly fan fights over movie stars, cricketers etc., but still gang up when in need against someone taught me the true demonstration of friendship. Those people, who sat next to you in your school were probably among the best friends you could have ever made. Of course, we made best friends for life during our life after school, especially in college, but that was because we found many similarities and compatibilities and struck chords easily with each other, results of conscious decisions. But, friends from school, they didn’t know what you’re going to be, what your favourites are or anything more than your name when you meet them. They are, probably, the purest examples of friendship, who never expected anything and were with you through sorrows, happiness and everything else. Remember those days, when you liked someone in your class? Somehow, your friends automatically know it and start pushing you to go talk to him/her and teasing when they are around. Those little slips you used to pass on to your friends during a strict class to convey messages, those whispers in the exam halls to tell an unknown answer and get backed up by someone else when caught in the act. Those little deals to favour you in the sports hours with the strongest players. Those stops in front of the shops after school for a little drink. Those class photo shoots at the end of the year. The filling of scrapbooks and adding things to your friend’s profile in his crush’s scrapbook without his knowledge. Those school picnics to a new location and movies once in a while. Not to forget the packets of Uncle Chips and Cheetos for the Pokemon Tazos and Zenga cards, the epic Beyblade battles. There is one thing that was very common in our school, the good ol’ barter system, where we used to trade toys for something others used to possess.
SIX years later, all of us have the time to get together to spend some time again. A long time ago, I had a dream, a beautiful dream.
“A 30-year old self was shifting homes and then come across this crate for packing, where I find all my belongings from school and college and sat down in the chair next to the crate, looking through the cards, photos, gifts etc., and wiping tears from my eyes.”
But when trying to sort my belongings (read memories) from college, it so happens that I came across this bag with all my belongings from school, the traded toys and my scrapbook. My dream with only a difference in my age and location had come true, well, most of it. Today, we still crack similar jokes, tease each other with new people, talk even deeper and personal issues that happened in these six years. We changed a lot in our lifestyles, thinking and personalities, only for good. We still remember the time when we used to ride bicycles to go anywhere, then a great revolutionary shift to motor bikes, yes, you have a bike and you were considered cool and awesome. Today, we talk about that shift even further to nothing less than cars. Our vehicles only got bigger, expensive and powerful, that is everything that changed. It is so astonishing that we changed so much yet we still share the same likes and hatred for things from school till date. Now, all of us are getting ready to take up our jobs or pursue higher studies in the next few weeks.
The best things are yet to be told. I, totally, am reliving my childhood and schooldays roaming on those same roads, eating at those same hotels and drinking the same milkshakes at the same juice shops, that I once used to eat and drink at. Loafing around lazily at home, reading books and random facts, sitting with grandparents and talking to them about my life and other irrelevant matters and getting pampered, yes, even at 21-years of age. Discussions with friends how stupid we were when in school and laughing at each other to binge watching movies through the nights. This long vacation is probably my best vacation till date, letting me do everything I ever wanted to do and catch up with people, including writing such pieces. Doing those same sane things gives me more pleasure than a thousand episodes of famous sit-coms. I would gladly spend my days listening to peoples’ memories and watch you all lean back in your chair, with tears of happiness. Now, go back to your room, pull out your contacts and scrapbooks of all the best buddies from school and start catching them up and relive everything again. This digging out of stuff has so much more fun than digging out someone’s old Facebook posts. Gotta catch’em all. In the end, all that matters is just memories and everything else is secondary.
Dedicated to all those amazing friends who have been with us in everything crazy
to all those rustproof memories.