The phone rang and I looked on the display to find a number which appeared to be an unknown number from the overseas. A little reluctantly, I took the call.
‘I am Madhavan, calling from Detroit, USA, do you remember’? He enquired from the other end in the voice which was distinctly familiar even after so many decades.
‘Yes, Yes, am delighted to hear your voice after all the years’, I replied and for the next few minutes we discussed about how we progressed in our lives on professional and personal fronts and then he enquired about some common friends . It looked that suddenly, everything had frozen in time, as I was transported in the era when we played pranks in college and all the vivid memories came to life.
In next three days we had managed to get at least a dozen friends scattered across the globe in a mail chain with some exchanging the old jokes, abuses hurled, some old forgotten pictures, some funny incidents during times at college and chastising words from our lecturers and professors. The reunion was path breaking in bringing us together after so many years.
I was bent on my laptop and reading a report while I sat in the lounge of the airport, waiting for my flight. Suddenly, there was a tap on the shoulder and in front of me stood a familiar face the contours of which were familiar but the skin and the jaw had drooped a bit. ‘You are Bhatia, right, he asked, with a gleam in his eyes. I looked at him and replied that ‘your face is familiar, but am unable to recollect your name; I said sheepishly cursing my memory for not having been able to recollect his name.
‘Take your time and tell, it is up to you, he said with a grin on his face, by the way I am Ramesh, if it can help, he continued’
‘Oh Doc Ramesh, the whole thing flashed like a lightning as I got up and hugged him’.
Ramesh and I had met at the Naval College of Electrical Engineering’ more than three decades ago at Jamnagar and we met a few times in the course of service in later years but then it was more than a decade since we had quit the Navy and remained incommunicado over all the years! This was great to catch up and exchange our business cards and recollect about the time for the next few minutes.
Such long forgotten friends bring tremendous happiness even if for fleecing moments. Some other occasions of lovely reunions was a ‘get together’ at a School Reunion where we felicitated our teachers who had the same smile as they tried hard to recognize the students who were teenage kids now having their own grown up children who were married or grandparents in some cases! The sparkle in their eyes was priceless and the moments to cherish forever.
The college reunion brought together the host of friends who now sported receding hairlines and many of them had reached the pinnacle of their professional careers as CEOs, senior civil servants or running own successful business! Addressing each other with nicknames and remembering places where some had their romantic flings or binge sessions added color to the event.
|At a Reunion at INS Valsura, Jamnagar|
I distinctly enjoyed a two day stay at Jamnagar a few years back on the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Naval College of Electrical Engineering and stayed in the campus. The place had grown big and some of the young trainees whom we had groomed now held the command of the institution and hugged us without any inhibitions. An exhibition of the latest technology and transformation that the Navy has undergone over the years was on display. Many of the retired veterans were still very graceful despite having added years and laughed and discussed the funny incidents that happened during their times at the institute. The gala dance, dinner and fire work spectacle was the grand finale bringing the curtain down!
The reunions are an event that most of us look forward to cherish the bygone times and rejig the memories of some of the most treasured moments which have retained the glow despite passage of times. It once again brings back the happy moments in which we relive our golden past..