I remember the day when we were told, that there will be a photo shoot the next day. For the first time, all sections of class X were together (more than 80 of us). We talked, chatted (I was very shy, so only with the boys). We were told “look straight.” When we looked at the camera the photographer went under the black cloth and captured the image. I noticed one thing in that image, nobody smiled except a few. I reflected that is how we were, studious, but we didn’t forget to flaunt our assets. I remembered I showed my new watch, thick moustache and curly hair.
24 of those students who were photographed (“Kodak moment”) met after 29 years. It was an amazing experience (FB Live moment). From 11.15AM to 4.15 PM I noticed one thing, it took 29 years to connect with my first friends.
I had to apologize to some for not being active on WhatsApp. I committed to a couple of them that I will show up when we plan a get-together.
I met two guys whom I could not recognize. I even asked them “boss, are you sure we were in the same class?” One of them pulled out that “Kodak moment” picture and to my utter dismay he was the same guy who was standing next to me!
All these moments were captured on FB live as were streaming for the rest of the crowd who couldn’t make it. It seems I was a strange student in school. One lady told me “You were a very decent guy” and I completed her sentence “So I look indecent now?”
After seeing the menu for the first time, I thought “Why did I leave non-veg?” but my friends made up for that loss.
The things that stood out for me were the Photo Ops with different groups: Captains, House wives, Lawyers, Engineering mates etc. The camaraderie was in full flow as we had an entertaining speech (from a criminal lawyer!), singing and plenty of food. I discovered that some of my class mates walked the ramp and some were even learning martial arts!
Friendship achieved a different level of meaning as we cracked jokes, took pot-shots at each other’s waist sizes and put each other in the spotlight. Fortunately, that morning I had decided to get into a T Shirt 2 sizes small and it paid off, as I got a lot of praise and compliments for my “indecent looks.” Somebody even wildly compared me with Dwayne Johnson (the same person who had once loved my moustache). A couple of my girl class mates told me that “you were very decent, now you look in-decent and we are not sure about your behaviour!”
School reunions have that element of openness. We were still naïve. We fired all sorts of verbal volleys with just one sentiment, that we will never get a second chance to relive these precious moments. I was fully alive. There are events that need to be calendared and this was one such event. They say, “what gets calendared gets done.” I was happy that I showed up.
Why do we go for a re-union? In my view, it tests your vulnerability and prepares you to answer one question, “How is life?”
You can flaunt your professional achievements or you can paint a picture of your life with brush strokes of memories from the past and your dreams for the future.
I felt vulnerable because we had no – holds barred conversations which were so truthful that my heart was filled with the after effects. I was also very vulnerable when I had to look at a Margarita and non-veg food!
Kodak moment to FB live tells us how the world has changed in 29 years. One thing had not changed, we embraced each other’s worlds. The answers we were seeking were not the standard “What you do?” but “How is life?”
This time when we took the Photograph there was no black cloth, no serious looks, no flaunting and displaying priced possessions. After 29 years there was no watch, no moustache and no hair!
This time the only shout was “Breathe in!” (some of us had grown horizontally!) and that to me was a breath-taking moment to cherish till we meet the next time.