One of my friends has now departed for the foreignland. All this reminds me of is this extremely iconic poem called Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S., which I think is a literary/cultural masterpiece. I could read this poem for days.
When we were at school, we had this choice between doing an international education board, and doing the Indian Certificate for Secondary Education, and then moving on to the Indian School Certificate. Several of us took the decision to study the international board assuming that it would prepare us better for an education outside of India, which is what a lot of us targeted in the build-up to senior secondary.
That didn’t really end up happening, and for a multiplicity of reasons, I think only 5 of my classmates (of 20) ended up going abroad immediately. For a long time this led to a large amount of chiding from several individuals and school authorities – who couldn’t understand why we spent so long studying a foreign board before deciding to stay back in India. For a lot of them, it felt like we were “settling”, and not reaching or fulfilling our full potential. It was an argument that got personal at the time, but devoid of all emotion now, I’m pretty free to say that (1) I will never regret the education I was exposed to, and I think all education systems have their own sets of merits and demerits in terms of the kind of quality of education they impart, (2) a large amount of your education is not dependent on your syllabus, but takes place through faculty and peers, and (3) I don’t think any of us “settled” for India. We all took different reasoning and made active choices that led to us selecting India as where we would complete one phase of our education.
In any case, I think most of us looked for opportunities to get us out of the country’s education system as fast as possible, and this means, that following a phase of undergraduate education, several of my friends have actually gone abroad, which is where this post began.
Considering I’ve still got two years of University left, that brings a smile to my face. It’s always great to see people you studied with everyday doing well for themselves.
It’s also got me thinking about the changing nature of friendships and how grateful I am for technology. I know I will still call Bangalore home, but the way I experience the city now, in terms of having fewer friends there than before, and not having my immediate family (my mother & father, there’s no offense to the rest of my family), there, is a little distant and definitely distinct from the way I experienced the city as a schoolkid.
There are several things I used to do that I haven’t done in forever now. I haven’t visited this complex my friend stayed at in 4 years, because he no longer stays there. I haven’t eaten at this dhaba my friend and I really like in 4 years, because he’s no longer in the city for me to share that experience with.
That makes me a little nostalgic. However, I think it’s important that I’m just grateful for those memories, which I definitely am.
Also, I might be the biggest brute for saying this, but wow I’m thinking about that dhaba a lot now, and I’m really looking forward to getting to Bangalore at some point and eating there.
The lassi is mindblowing.
Anyway, I wanted this post to encapsulate the several things that change when your friend moves timezones.
But I’ll be honest, not much changes.
I still get ugly photos of my friends. And we still game with each other from time to time. We get on call and insult each other, because that’s the only way we know to show affection.
Not much has changed. I’m looking forward to see where my friendships go next, because weird as it may be, while I’m still in University, the age group that I’m in, my generation’s effectively hitting “adulthood”. That’s one of those changes that you can’t ignore in terms of its impact on your lifestyle.