Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reuniting My Thoughts 1

It was meant to be a wedding, but there were enough people there to call it a high school reunion.

There were four tables of us, equalling almost twenty five of us, with respective partners and better halves. Twenty-five. That's almost a whole class of us.

Eleven years separated the last time we saw of each other, as we said our goodbyes on the last day of school. Who was to know that goodbyes carried the permanence of a decade with them.


High school reunions are a funny thing. They are a great opportunity to catch up and meet people you have not seen in a long time.

These weren't just any ordinary people - these were your friends through many long mornings and tired evenings at school, these were the people who shared a huge portion of your memories, these were the librarians, and sportsmen, and prefects, and school gangsters. Whichever role you were scripted, we each played our roles to perfection.

But a high school reunion removes all that. It is like you're meeting up again after the performance - the after-cast party, if you will. Here, everyone has shed their skins they wore in school, and moved on into the real world. And it is our foray into the real world which exposes how sheltered we were in our school days.

Suddenly we had to fend for ourselves in different ways, and things that we placed such importance on in the past like the length of our hair fringes, the number of permitted colours on our watches, whether or not our school shoes were white - these were all trivialities in the real world.

Things that mattered now were our jobs (or the lack of them), our love lives, our health, our children. These were the questions that you exchange when you meet up at these reunions. We have moved on beyond our roles, and meet up now as men, grappling with day-to-day issues common to all of us.


Reunions are a great time to catch up and reminisce. We sit down and regale stories of a distant past, remembering things both painful (which time has healed) and beautiful (which time has amplified) through rose-tinted glasses.

Sometimes I marvel at the wives and girlfriends of my friends, who patiently sit and listen with interest (sometimes feigned) about their partner's exploits in school.

Stories will slip out that will leave their mouths opened in horror, or breaking out in smiles; helping them see a younger version of their partners and how different they are now to the roles they played then.


Raj Santhana said...

Next reunion, keep your phone in your pocket... And I think it'll be for Nirpal's wedding!

mellowdramatic said...

Hahaha! Singh is King! You're so certain that he will be the next one eh!

And no other guy - high school friend or not, is coming near my camera again! You jokers! With fronds like you, who needs anemones! (How'd you like the 'Finding Nemo' reference?) :)

Manesh Nesaratnam said...

Sedih la I couldn't make it...

Some more your post makes me feel so nostalgic la!

I'm partly glad I didn't make it for the event. That way, looking at the photo fills me with so much wonder. What's happened all these years? Why do they look like that? Do I look like that to them? What a terrible thought!

And for all those questions which out of prudence and discretion I cannot ask in this space...

What will it be like at the next reunion?

Thanks for the post!

mellowdramatic said...

Hi, Un! Yeah, sorry that we didn't see you at the wedding... You can't quite see it in the photos, but Siva is three times the size he was in school! Seriously! Hahaha! (Ironically, his wife's a dietitian!)

I think that apart from the receding hairlines or the occasional chubby hubby amongst us, I don't think too many of us have changed physically!

Personalities have shifted with the realities of the working world, though...:(. Thank you for reading, and I hope that I am faithful to our memories!