Well, it has been my turn this month to experience the same emotional highs of seeing many of my teachers and classmates and other schoolmates after a period of 35 years. I was a mere child of 14 when I graduated high school and had completely lost touch with many of my school friends, so when the idea of the SDA School Alumni Meet was floated around as a possibility about six months ago, I jumped on to the bandwagon with all the eagerness and enthusiasm I could muster, and decided that I would make it this time for sure, and fly across the continents and oceans just to see all those dear faces again. Call me a sentimental fool if you must, but this trip to India has been monumental to me in that it has been truly nostalgic, and to put it plainly as Shakespeare did, a pleasant "remembrance of all things past."
I'm back home after a short, but worthwhile trip that was packed with people, events, and memories. I'm not sure if I will see all these wonderful people again, but I'm eternally grateful to Sampath Kumar who mooted out the whole idea of the reunion, and also to Nizam and all the boys (?!?) who made this happen. It was fascinating to see how everyone had aged and matured, and it was particularly engaging for me to associate those baby faces I'd had in my head to the adult faces I was seeing now. I was overjoyed to see my friends' families, and their children coming up to me and addressing me as "Aunty!" Seeing all my beloved teachers under one roof and paying tribute to them was a privilege I had never before thought was possible, and for my family to have witnessed it all on live stream from Vancouver (thanks to Ashok!) just made my day.
I had been in touch with my classmate Padmakumar all along down the years, but it was very special indeed to see my other classmates Priya, Sankar, Rajkumar, and Ezhil after 35 long years. We met for dinner after the reunion, and those fun moments of laughter and camaraderie and shared memories made me regress into my childhood and relive my school days again. My friends' families looked on with the same bemusement that I'd had watching my mother see her long lost friend, and it was with mixed feelings of happiness and pain that I bid goodbye to my friends that night. Nostalgia is a very powerful and curious emotion that serves us all well amidst the sweeping rush that characterizes our lives. Back home in Vancouver, I savor and treasure each moment and memory, and couldn't agree more with the words of Jack London, " Darn the wheel of the world! Why must it continually turn over? Where is the reverse gear?" SIGH!!!