I completed my graduate degree from a city in Gujarat. After graduation, I took up a job in a city in Maharashtra. I lost touch with most of my graduation batchmates after that. Many of them left to pursue further studies in the US. Others took an indirect route - they got married to NRIs. And a third bunch of folks went to make hay while the sun shone in the dotcom boom in the US. I too joined the last bandwagon post my marriage, alongwith my hubby.
It was while commuting by bus in the initial days of my stay in bay area, California, that I met a classmate. "Hi, Nilambari", thus greeting me as if we were still in our class in college, he breezed into the seat next to mine. What were the chances of that?! Surely higher than that of bumping into the same classmate some months later in Disneyland of LA on a crowded weekend while waiting in the queue of a ride!!
I met yet another classmate, this time on the commuter train to my office in San Francisco. She was sitting right across from me. I didn't recognize her at first in her new hairstyle and new -er- personality. She used to be this demure girl in college, with a single oily braid and dressed always in punjabi suits. But she had metamorphosed into this confident, professional lady in a trouser suit and a chic hairstyle. She however had no problems recognizing me; am not sure if that is flattering or not :)
There was another incident where yet another classmate called my name across a crowded aisle in a department store. The meetings were not always co-incidental, they were planned too sometimes. We were a close-knit group of 6 girls in college - all serious and scholarly and boringly sincere. 3 of us moved to US after marriage, 2 to UK and one stayed on in India, but moved in different cities in India. We made it a point to meet each other whenever possible. Infact, I've met one of them in 3 countries so far - US, UK and India!
In the past six months, I've had the good fortune to meet three of my very close friends from college in my current city in India. My hubby has been born and brought up in this city and keeps bumping into someone or the other in cinema halls, department stores, cousin's weddings etc. I have always envied him the facility to be able to call his batchmates and meet them at will. Infact, many of my colleagues go out for reunion lunches, or dinners, with their batchmates. But I've realised that being spread out over the globe is no reason to lose touch or feel isolated. Not only has science made transport, or communication, amazingly easy and affordable, but people too have become more global. No more is it a chore or a financial burden to visit a friend in another town or even in another country. I felt so happy when I took my parents to a college friend's house-warming ceremony recently and my mom commented on how I've kept the candle of friendship burning with my friends from college! Thank you, dear mom, you made my day.
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