Being stupid once again
published on our reunion day 21-11-14 HT Alld
Memory acts a juggler as it tosses up images, catches them for a fleeting moment to toss up as another replaces it. Teary eyed 4-5 years olds not letting go of our parents’ fingers, chaperoned to our seats gently, the first friendships and exchanges of rubbers and pencils, teachers whose memories are so vivid for a variety of reasons, kneel downs, canes of varying thicknesses, the goose bumps on the calls from the principal’s office, catching tadpoles in the tiffin boxes from the flooded field after the monsoon rains, throwing up paranthas and watching with glee the kites diving to catch them in their beaks… they just go on and on and render the intervening years redundant. There have, of course, been those Wordsworthian moments in which we could say- ‘But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din/ Of towns and cities, I have owed to them/ In hours of weariness, sensations sweet …’, but, the feeling that 25 years have passed since then makes it the more poignant.
Did we realize that day- the last day of our ISC examination when we wrote ISC BATCH 1989 and IIS (an acronym only the batch knows) on the street in front of the iconic Bhargava Book Shop and lit- it up to watch the flames jump up- that this crowd would be future civil servants, armed forces officers, doctors, engineers, management specialists…giving their best in serving our country and society? Were we aware that days of being stupid without giving a fig to the world were over?
We - the St. Joseph’s College ISC 1989 batch – meet again, on the 25th year of our passing out of the hallowed edifice. With twinkles in the eyes we shall espy those steps and recollect the languorous winter lunch time spent sitting there while others played a game exclusive to this institution-- ‘steps’, look for the tree whose fruits were called ‘the monkey fruit’, talk about the taste of Roshan’s canteen, show to our spouses our classrooms whose desks bore the name of the then flames accompanied by the mandatory symbol of a heart pierced by an arrow, brag to the kids how disciplined we were and thus try to recreate those 12 years which seemed so long then but now so short that we all would love to lengthen them to eternity. For where else one can afford to be stupid than among old friends?