Thanks to social media, it is indeed easier to stay connected to your friends from school and college. So many of us are connecting to those who we would never have remembered or run into only because of technology and our addiction to social media sites like facebook.
The other day while at Calicut, when we went out with my parents, we as in me and my daughter kept running into gentlemen my father introduced to us as his classmates.
At a jewelry shop the shopkeeper told an onlooker, ‘we are classmates’ and looked at my father with a gargantuan smile, lighting up his whole face and the shop!
My daughter exclaimed, ‘how cute is that mom!’
It indeed is.
Today, after many many days of perhaps not connecting to each other suddenly my college whats app group was very active.
We discussed over a long Sunday, the lives and living of our teachers, pulled each others legs, had some good banter. It looked as if distances had shrunk visibly and we were just around a coffee table sitting down on a Sunday afternoon sharing our thoughts.
This year, I missed attending one of the alumni meet of my classmates at SDA, Ottapalam.
My batch at LSN ottapalam are planning a get together, I hear.
(Ok, so I did study in quite a few schools and more than 2 colleges, thanks to my father’s constant transfer and relocation.)
But what makes these get together-s so special?
Is it our harping back to the past and refusing to accept the change of times?
Is it merely wallowing in meaningless nostalgia?
Is it our yearning for what cannot be?
Or is it the disillusion with the present, a desire to escape what can’t be escaped?
Well, I can’t speak for others.
But to me, getting back or staying connected to one’s school mates and college mates is special.
These are the people who knew us before you and I put on the many masks of adulthood.
These are the people who have watched us at our vulnerable best.
So if some of your classmates reach out to connect to you, do so happily. There might be a reason for that!
Similarly if you want to reach out to your friends of the past and renew those friendships, do so without shame.
True, some of your ‘friends’ may not have time, or some may have their own cob webs weighing them down.
Still there might be someone who cherishes your company.
That said, I really adore my uncle who has managed to stay very closely connected to his school friends till this date.And he is in his 60’s. This particular group is the envy of many and have managed to bring their extend-ing families to get to know each other, and spend some great time together.
One book that celebrated class unions and camaraderie is ‘Born to Fly’ by Nitin Sathe. I believe Nitin’s chronicling the life and times of fighter pilot, Anil Kumar is an ode to the spirit of ‘classmate-ship’- if there be such a thing.
As a teacher I get to emphasize this belief of mine to my students, ‘get together, get to know each other, make friends for life and hang on, like forever, don’t ever give up on each other.’
I am so reminded of Piyush Pandey’s take on the benefits of staying connected to friends and family, the more disparate the better in his book titled’Pandemonium’.
As they say, life is better in good company!
So, which old friend are you going to get in touch with?