I have a tinge of regret regarding my relationship with my peers from school. We were barely a batch of 40, but quite divided based on our sections – mostly because our sections were our boards – the ISC and the A Levels. So, in some ways, it was easier to relate your pains and struggles with your classmates, than with anyone else.
I always thoguht I’d manage, somehow, to be in touch with people I saw on a daily basis and shared a classroom with for 8 hours, 5 days a week. And that, chilling, just like the old times, wouldn’t be any different. A lot about this view started to fade away toward the latter half of the 12th Grade, but my fears were concretized only after my first semester.
I moral police, I’ll admit that. After a certain point, as a friend concerned for your well-being, I will inform you what I believe is the thing you should be doing, and may, perhaps, do, admonish you if you do not follow what I believe is in your best interest. I get that I overstep the line sometimes, and I’m pretty sure I did quite a bit with my friends in high school. I was and am a staunch believer in rules. It’s part of the reason I took up the Law. Therefore, when I was elected School Captain, I think it’s fair to say, I took the role of enforcing rules, and discipline fairly seriously.
At some point, I surmise this might have been the undoing of my relationship with some of my friends. But, I think what became abundantly clear as we moved to college was that we’re very different people.
Of course, hanging out will never be a problem, and yes, we can catch a meal, and chill for a good couple of hours. But our interests are extremely varying, and our environment in school had conditioned us to make us feel we had the same, overlapping spheres of interest. College allows you to follow your true passions, and I feel it’s where you become who you’re destined to be. It helps you find yourself. And it also means, because of a lack of shared space, and shared experiences, you lose layers of connection with people you’ve known before.
This struck me the hardest, and it’s what has sparked off this post, when I wished one of my friends – a pal I spent the entirety of 8th – 12th with ‘Happy Birthday’, yesterday. And I saw he was online, but he didn’t reply. And that’s strange for me, when you’ve spent 5 years together.
I have memories with him from my only road-trip so far in Pondicherry, and I’ve had a whale of a time with him in his house, with my other friends. We’ve watched numerous movies together, gone to school and collapsed in Physics class together. It’s been an all-round amazing journey.
But what sucks, is that, today, out of a batch of 40, I’m in touch with 6 people. 6.
That’s partially my fault. I gave up on preserving a lot of relationships after my first year, and I can see that today. I tried quite hard in first sem to keep in touch, because I missed home, and these guys were all in close proximity to Bangalore. But few responded.
And these few are the ones I’m in touch with today.
If any of my school friends are reading this, I’m always around for you. Know that. We survived an experience together. We overcame similar challenges together. We graduated together. And that’s something even months of radio silence cannot take away.
See you on the flip!