Why do some friends stay together through decades? Why do some bonds succeed? Why do we feel attracted towards certain people? Why do we like to meet some few persons more frequently? Questions like these have no simple answers. Great minds dabble into physics or chemistry or even spirituality to explain this. However, to be a segment of such a hallowed affiliation is a blessing unexplainable, undeniably.
We all are from the Jawahar Vidyalaya Chennai batch of 1984. Some sixty odd of us cleared the 12th CBSE board exams in that year and embarked on our personal journeys into this materialistic world. We all went our individual ways to various parts of the globe, either to study further, to work, to marry, to earn, and generally to stand on our own legs. Each person’s journey was unique, bursting with numerous ups and downs, difficulties and successes. After 1984, for a couple of years we maintained contact by exchanging letters, expressing how much we missed each other. This desire of comforting friends was very soon overtaken by the crushing circumstances and barring a few, most of us drifted apart being battered by the flow of events in our own lives. But the memory of warm feelings of time tested friends associated with the trials and tribulations of childhood would not die nor vanish. Later on with the advent of mobile telephones things started improving and internet helped immensely. The warmth of old friends was once again kindled with our own 84 Javaa Roots blog, then the Javaa Facebook group and now Javaa WhatsApp group. More than half of this motley crowd managed to keep in touch through all the thick and thin. We have been meeting each other, in various groups, at various locations, at random intervals. Each such minor meeting sends a surging wave of euphoria throughout the group and a major meeting creates a longingness of catastrophic proportions in the heart of each one to travel long distances just to be able to meet and hug our old school friends.
Some friendships are very special. Friends with such depth of relationships and who have been lucky to retain their connection over the years, move into a more mature sphere where they can plan to share even their future lives, investments, occasions and eventualities together. However those friends who once shared a strong rapport but subsequently lost it, when reunited; their ecstasy is a joy to witness. They become like lunatics talking together, talking about old times, talking loudly, and laughing for no reasons. Without probing into the nature of each individual friend, I would just venture to describe the impression which the group as a whole creates on the individual. Every friend cannot be equal and there are bound to be some favorites. Therefore the interaction of each with every other friend is expected to be different. Knowing and accepting this, still the expectation levels for bonhomie are phenomenal. The fever is also contagious. During any meeting, be it minor or major, looking at the excitement etched on the face of one, every other friend loses their self-control. Then everybody starts behaving like kids that we once were, goofing around, being silly and pulling pranks. Every cultivated mask falls off and everyone is their basic essential self, naked and uninhibited. When this sort of happy occasion is held along with spouse and children, the happiness of sharing multiplies in every heart. This becomes a gratifying period of stress relief, a medicine of immense effectiveness. We all end up wishing that we get more such opportunities to surface and breath.
There are still a few friends who chose to remain concealed in their own environment away from the reunited group. There are a few others whose identity has not yet been revealed and nobody is aware of where they are. For reasons best known to them, they have decided to stay hidden. Sometimes I do wish I can reach out to them, tell them of the happiness which school friends bring to my life, show them how to open the doors to become a part of the whole group, and to multiply the joy of living this tiny lifetime together. I guess each one of us who are already together feels the same and each one is trying to bring the others around to be a part of the old 84 batch once again.