The alma mater’s once a year clarion call to all, to indulge in wistful nostalgia, had been sounded.
“Calling all ex students to relive their high school memories in the school campus where they were created.
Catch up on who’s who and here is where.
Music, food , treats!
Blah, blah, blah .”
Ok ! I have to attend the school reunion this time come hell, high water, bitter cold or rain.
Alright then, what do I wear?
Dress code: FORMAL!
“Don’t be so strait-laced . Be funky Sheetal! It’s suppose to be a fun event and isn’t it your first time?”
How in the world do I look formal yet cool and FUN and HAPPENING?
Oh! Why am I, ‘a little teapot , short and stout’.
Fine! It’s black and red (slimming,colour of passion, can’t go wrong with that and will channelise my spirit animal, the GIRAFFE )
Yay! I’m off to my first ever high school reunion.
The school looked…amazing; its sweeping driveway catching the eye as it continued to hug the huge football fields ( this is where we spent hours gossiping and stalking Gorgeous Grey Eyes). Skirting past the dome shaped auditorium (the scene of many intense inter house battles that bitterly divided best friends) exhorting all to ‘Remember , Rejoice and Renew’, the legend engraved not only in our minds but above the entrance too, we made our way to the venue- the hockey field.
Orange and white tents lined its periphery, food stalls , makeshift stage , a photo booth complete with cutouts of school uniform minus the heads, gigantic banners, tables and chairs in frilly covers, all added to the charm of a memorable warm afternoon lunch.
Of course before that, the reception desk at the entrance manned by, lets say, many people stood between me and the gala time promised.
I don’t recognise any one . Oh ! This is an utter disaster .
“So good to see you Didi .”
“You came Didi .”
Didi! Alright, I know you and you look familiar and you … I must have known you earlier . Mercifully the code Didi helps ;only baby brother’s mates call me that . Whew! It’s feels fabulous to be recognised .
The ground slowly filled with people- spry grey hair gentlemen, some proudly sporting school ties , eager to chat, young ones with spiked, gelled hair that moved in similar packs; the ladies turned out in perfection,sarees rubbing shoulders with eye catching western wear. One could feel the energy hum.
I’m going on a diet from … soon! Maybe, I’ll train for the marathon next year and along the way lose my tea pot figure. Seriously,I need to indulge in lots of retail therapy.
All around one could spy restless eyes seeking familiar face , a connection.
“Hi ma’am ! Remember me?”
Ma’am? Perks or should I say pitfalls of working in your old school. This has to be either a student or a parent/ relative.
Please memory come back .
I’d hate to disappoint considering right now I’m at the receiving end of a hopeful smile and twinkling eyes.
Excited cries echoed all around.
School reunions-where the past collides with the present. A time for group selfies and of course fill up on the promised snacks and drinks.
“OMG! Is this really you ? You came!”
“Yup and these are from our batch … ”
Gulp! Oh! Why is my memory like a sieve. Visualise in the school uniform… a foggy picture … hell!Why couldn’t I have a photographic memory like Ross from Suits.
“It’s ok Sheetal! We really never spoke while in school. We were in different classes.”
It’s time for our gleeful group selfies accompanied by flailing hands (mine actually) trying to keep up with the outpouring of emotions, of races won and lost, innovative methods of cheating and those who got caught, of crushes and spats and studying in the sun. Yup! Those were good times, we focussed on the fun.
A cool fact:-
The present Principal was a part of the school when we were around but he didn’t really teach our batch.
Another person to touch base with by virtue of being present in the same time zone.
Question– What do you do when you discover that the Principal is blessed with a phenomenal memory who remembers more episodes concerning your classmates and you than you with the sieve like memory?
I need a Siri for my mind palace!
And just like that an ordinary afternoon transformed into a day of discovery, of meeting old mates and making new friends. The years fell away, revelling the teen spirit.
I definitely need to do a refresher course before I attend the reunion next year!