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Archive for December, 2016

school

A social media provoked syndrome i have been noticing is the sudden surge of interest in everyone to reconnect with school friends after 30-40 years! Why social media, is because it is my analysis that these days we all tend to catch up with the Raos and Murthys through whatsapp. What the rest of the world is doing becomes an imperative in our lives.

Everyone i know, almost, is meeting up with school friends and planning reunions and then re-reunions and more. It set me thinking — what is the attraction? Is it nostalgia? Is it an attempt to feel young? Or is it about gathering more and more ‘friends’?

Many in the school groups we meet were almost unknown to us back then, besides being a familiar face. But now everyone is a good friend. Even those we kept away from or had unpleasant perceptions about. Even those who scorned us or kept us out of their elite groups.

So, why this sudden newfound love to embrace all? Is it a part of growing up, facing life’s serves adroitly, surviving the turbulent seas and looking kindly on foes and friends alike? Or is it some fear of the approaching end that draws us to cling on to childhood days and surround ourselves with folks who take us back into the past? Kindred souls aged like us, with similar pains in joints and back, who give us a feeling of safety in the herd?

I for one am not sure. I did miss one or two good friends from school, having totally cut off links when our family shifted. There were times I wondered where he/she was and doing what, turned into what kind of person, wished I could catch up… But beyond that, there was no longing to reach back. Yes, I keep having dreams of being seated at the bench in classroom listening to a teacher. Of favourite places in the campus, and some events, mostly fictitious. I have often yearned to go back and sit in those benches again.

Now that I too have reconnected with my school group (National English High School, now the infamous NPS), I find myself among unknown friends. I know their names and can connect their faces. I can remember some who were mischief mongers, some who were kind, some who were studious. I remember one girl with whom I used to have such silly fights, over what I do not remember.

But nothing more. Perhaps I was a boring student or a quiet one which is why I did not share thoughts much with many.

So why am I going to a wedding of a classmate’s daughter tomorrow?

For one, I was invited and I am not rude. And then, there is a curiosity to check out what they have turned out into. Beyond that, I am not very sure. What do reunions hold? Hearing more stories – happy ones and sad too. More experiences. Maybe meet a few soul mates I had missed out back then in dismissing as snooty or uncaring? Maybe a few who will not want to check the state of my bank balance or relationships, or give measuring head to toe looks, but simply welcome one more individual.

Perhaps there are lessons to learn from these new old friends. There always are. As Richard Bach says in Illusions, everyone in our lives are there because we have drawn them to us for some reason, something to teach or learn.

So why not smile at the guy behind the counter at the bank reading your favourite author and start a friendship? Or the grocery shop owner with similar music taste? Or that kindly woman at the park where you go walking?

Why hark back to 30 or 40 years and seek folks ¬†you have no clue about? Simply because you shared classrooms and listened to the same teachers? Does it make sense to ‘add’ friends in a life so rushed already? Another name and number in the phone. Am I being a cynical introvert?

I still am clueless but believe that social media is the culprit. It seems the in-thing to meet up with school friends. I too am going and for now it is nostalgia time for me. Let me check out if I can turn back the clock and become a wide-eyed, joyous 13-something again. There is something so luring about childhood when one had no cares and the world seemed to be perfect. Let me try relive that…

 

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Winged abandon

What joy it is when a little sunbird hops into your room by mistake? The little bundle of energy perks up all my sleeping cells as I look on with bated breath. Will he or she venture further? Ah, no the moment is over soon and the brown green peck of life discovers her mistake and flies out again.

There is something about birds that cheers me from my worst moods. A chirp or hoot turns a drab day into a heavenly one.

I do not know to identify the birds or their name, except a few handful. But that does not really matter if one is to appreciate these winged wonders. Watch two simple mynahs building a nest inside an urban chimney outlet. Spell binding to see the coordination. Of course the laborious work of a weaver’s go at home making has been brought home on whatsapp! Going more common, watch a crow splash itself in a pool of water. Or the way a drongo swerves and executes a few quick turns to evade a bullying crow. It is nothing short of magic.

Walking through a wooded path, being lucky to hear the whistling thrush or even a bulbul’s sweet notes give me a high like nothing else can. Seeing them is next best. The splendid colours, elaborate feathers, the graceful flight and perfect landings are sights to be seen many times over.

How often have i longed to hold and caress a tiny bird in my palms, to thank it a million times for the unlimited joy its kind have given me by their sheer presence.

Today, as trees and forests get destroyed and replaced by buildings, these sweet denizens of the planet are learning fast to adapt to urban surroundings. They are settling for windows and parapet walls to build their homes. But I wonder how long they can find food for their family? How long before they turn garbage pickers? Or worse, scavengers of the dead?

Perhaps in the struggle for survival, they will lose out. The colours will fade. The lilting songs die. Joy disappear..

Wait, why bother with tomorrow when today is all we have. Why not wait for the return of the sunbird and its family? Why not hope?

 

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