All my school friends
While going through my old ‘Memory Chest’ today I came across a box labelled ‘Touch only if you want to cry big fat tears’, I opened it and was instantly drawn into a spiralling ride down the memory lane.
The box had all the little trinkets that I had preserved. The bunch of friendship bands that we had shared over the years. Little gifts like keychains and fancy pens (that had stopped working years ago). All the medals and certificates that we had bagged as a team. Scrunched up question papers, graded assignment sheets and souvenirs from the science projects. A stone and a dried-up flower, a keepsake from the best trip ever! Few notes with crazy doodles that we had passed around the class for laughs, and even the games of Tic-Tac-Toe and FLAMS that we played.
I was going through all of this, and then at the very bottom, along with our class photographs was my prestigious Green House PE shirt with all the farewell notes written in different inks. Some messages made me laugh while others made me wonder, but all made me nostalgic. It’s mysterious how I remembered the story and the exact way I came to curate each of the precious trinkets.
Many say that school friendships do not survive, as you lose touch over the years. While that might be true at times, these friendships can also surprise you. As I remember, one night when it was quite late and I wanted to be on call with someone while I tracked the deserted roads back home. I was in a dilemma, whom can I call at this hour? And I very confidently and with zero guilt randomly dialled a contact saved as ‘Chimp’. I had not spoken to him in months, but that night he did not just pick up the call at 2:30 Am but also groggily kept me company till I reached home safe. Next day he called back to check in on me. Isn’t this what friendship is? Being there for each other even if it’s as random as you sprouting dragon wings and flying to mars in your dream.
When we do such random acts for each other it re-establishes our faith in our friendship, doesn’t it? And when it comes to school friends the bond is so much stronger. After all, we’ve spent our most vulnerable 13 years together. Filled with times when we fought and did not speak with each other for days, now most of those fights seem so silly. But mostly full of fun and happiness.
Those couple of hours were definitely well spent. The feeling of love and nostalgia that surged through me was most welcome.
Here’s a short poem for all those precious moments and tender hearts: Those were the days when hearts could not have been more tender,
yet the hearts were never broken.
Those were the days when everyone ate from one lovingly prepared Dabba,
yet no one remained hungry.
Those were the days when everyone fell down,
yet no one was hurt because there were ten hands and hearts to help you back up.
Those were the days when everyone was ridiculed,
yet souls were never scorched.
Because those were the days when love was at its tenderest.
We’ll cherish these precious memories forever.