The Wonder Years !

So there ! The new year has brought in a reconnection ! Reconnection with long lost classmates from a distant time and a lost memory. Lost in the speed of day to day living and in the name of making a living !

Orkut and Facebook have suddenly occupied centrestage in life and voila, people that i last spoke to when the first dinosaur shed its last milk tooth suddenly came alive.

Well, the chaps from school did sound different ! Of course they would. I am sure they say the same of me, if not worse ! And boy do they look different !! Each with a kid or two. Some going to the same school that we went to. Some looking exactly as they used to. And many others, giving me comfort and company by looking…well, different !

An unintended consequence has been reminiscing the wonder years.

Those years where you played a serious cricket match (during a lunch break of 45 minutes), with a tennis ball and half a branch of a coconut tree. Years when the closest health worry was the quick healing of a twisted ankle, in time for the cricket match !

Those years where you had wind in your hair (and of course, hair in the first place..) and a spirit in your walk, that was tested only by the Maths test ! Years when ‘a house’ did not come with a home loan ! But with a sleeveless florescent vest !

“Houses” ( groups) you used to belong to for the Sports Day ! I think those houses, in our case, went by the name of Kaveri, Ganga, Yamuna, each signified and separated by a colour coded ( Fluorescent Blue, Green, Yellow, Red..) sleeveless vest !

Years when ‘competition’ didn’t mean valuation / contribution etc but simply : drawing, handwriting, essay writing et al !! And of course, those were the years when you got a prize for just showing up ! Yes. I recall winning a prize for two consecutive years years, for attending school without a single day of leave !! I wonder what i was thinking !

Those years of gleam eyed learning in the chemistry labs. In the library. In the Annual day. And the inevitable sinking feeling when the report cards showed up, or when parents were ‘summoned’ !

Years when ‘pedaling’ didn’t mean pedaling a stationary cycle to lose weight. But when you had to pedal all the way to school, and that you did with great fun ! And the jet black BSA SLR that stood gleaming at home, washed clean, many times in a week. My first set of wheels !

Years when you did not understand terrorism. When Soviet Union was ‘friend’, and disdain for anybody who said ‘America was good!’ Years of Span and Readers Digest. Years when you didnt care if your tie matched your shirt. And of course, didn’t care if the tie was in its place !

Years when you used to wear ‘colour dress’ on your birthday, and go from class to class, with a box of chocolates in your hand. Years when amma used to bake those wondrous sponge cakes !

Years when you didn’t understand what sex was ! And when you went up to appa, and asked aloud, (when he was with guests), ‘Appa, what is rape ?’. And tell him that the school has mandated reading of newspapers this question was part of home work !

Years when the only diet that you needed to be concerned of, was what was in the tiffin box, and of course,when calories where non-existent ! Years when holidays meant you play from morning to lunch time, have lunch, and then play from evening to late night and come home to have dinner and catch some sleep.

Years of static TV called Doordarshan. Of no FM radio. And no computers…. But those were years when you grew. Years that shaped you. Years that made you what you are today. Years that stay fresh in the mind. Every memory of it, brings a smile and a yearning for those times.

Today, classmates stay all scattered. Across the globe. Some working for those giant corporations, hospitals and other small companies. Many others, building their own organisations ! Still others married and settled down. And yet others remain untraceable !

But those shared years were the wonder years. Wonder years, when you could question anything and anybody. When the minds limit became clearer only when we graduated from each class to the next ! To me, those still are the defining years !

Defining wonder years !

A special thanks to Bala for the snaps !