A reunion with Loreto girls… wow I thought.. it had been over 20 years since I met up with everyone. It was to have been a rendezvous with three pals, then there were five, another one joined in and then another one. Finally on a hot May afternoon eight of us gathered for lunch.
Time works in strange ways… it changes some things beyond recognition even while leaving others untouched.
It had turned jet black hair silver, while leaving quicksilver tongues untouched.
It had turned skinny girls into pleasantly plump women while leaving the smiles intact. It had, quite magnanimously, allowed the plump ones to keep their curves while taking away their self-consciousness replacing it with comfort that comes only with..yes…time.
It had transformed gawky teenagers into lively women, with their ability to giggle hysterically intact.
One thing was for sure the teens were far far behind us. Oh well not quite.. the excitement of the reunion melted the years away and turned us back into rowdy teens. Someone upturned a glass full of water while someone else knocked over the tissue box. The rest chatted animatedly, as comments flew around and camera’s clicked in a bid to savour and capture the moment.
The young couple at the secluded table next to us beat a hasty retreat followed by barely concealed hoots from the rowdier ones.. while the others tried unsuccessfully to shush them. Waiters hovered around trying in vain to get us to place an order. Who had time for food when each had a quarter century of tales to tell?
Looks came under the scanner first…..
‘You so look the same..’
‘When did you get cholesterol deposits on your eyes?’
‘Why on earth don’t you colour your hair? I hate to be seen with an aunty.’
‘You were so thin in school… what happened?’
…. then the catching up….
‘You’re a principal? Gosh.. unbelievable.’
‘Your son’s 17, how lucky is that! I’m still struggling with my four-year-old twins.’
‘…92 pc in her boards…. Great.’
‘Do you still sing?’
‘An Hod? Can you actually tell off students?’
‘…in dad’s real estate business? That’s something!’‘… settled in Jaipur? Wow great place.’
…. And the unending memories… 25-year-old school gossip that still seemed so interesting.. the scandals that seemed so huge back then…. the shared punishments.... the dreaded subjects…
Of course there were the teachers -- the quirky and scary.. the elegant and the frumpy…all of those who struggled to make ‘young ladies’ out of us. There was the tough librarian thanks to whom we never could still turn corners down in books, the oh-so-propah English teacher who taught us to appreciate Shakespeare and get the pronunciation just right, the nun who walked around with a pillow to sit on, the music teacher who exhorted us non-singers not ‘slide over’ the notes… the memories were endless.
As we relived them our school days seemed to come alive.
Finally the order was placed.. rather, over placed.. each thought the others were big eaters. Between bites of paranthas and kebabs the talk continued till responsibilities beckoned.. there were businesses calling, kids to be put to sleep, husbands to be taken care of.
With promises to keep in touch and meet again we dispersed, each becoming a grown up again leaving behind our teens in the restaurant.
Labels: Reclaiming life