They say we never really get out of High School. All our lives. Everywhere we go, there is the same competition, the cliques, the coercion, the politicking, the authoritarian tyranny, just in modified forms. I sort of believe that to be true.
And that is why, I wanna go to my High School Reunion this year around and see how things have shaped up for the people who manage to turn up. I do realize that a lot of my professional colleagues, that is doctors, shall not be present because this is what we call the “fucken examination season”. The ones who have been lucky (and hard working enough) to crack the dreaded Post Graduation entrances this year, they are embroiled in their year end festive misery because all the seniors have taken off, leaving them to handle the arduous tasks of working the hours. A lot of my batchmates from the engineering and other allied fields have promised to turn up, but I am not too hopeful of seeing too many of them either. Mainly because many of them are abroad, holding onto their jobs or college post docs.
In my high school days, I was a bit of a nerd, but was not really socially awkward. I had tons of friends and generally, was considered to be a popular bloke (or I would like to think so, at least). It would be a fun thing to see how the friends with whom I had fallen out of touch have fared in life. Apparently, a lot of the people who were not billed amongst the brightest in our batch are doing exceedingly well in life.
Since my high school also happened to be a hostel, there is always that special urge to see how that old roommate turned out. Unfortunately, the rigors of medical school prevented me from attending any of the previous high school reunions (I shouldn’t have been attending this one either, but I am mainly because I have given up any glimmer of hope in the upcoming examinations, in which I am pretty sure to get screwed over badly!) and so, I am really looking forward to this one.
And of course, there is the special attraction that we have each year: the Doctors/Biology guys vs the Engineers/Statistics guys cricket match. As much as I hate saying this, a lot of the doctors/bio guys don’t turn up each year and we end up getting beaten black and blue. It does not help that the unhealthy lifestyle fostered by years of slumming it in medical school take away all our agility and make us fat slobs. Anyways, each game in this series that I have played (they started long back, even before we started attending the official reunions), I have managed to put up a good show, almost always in a losing cause. And it seems this time, the chances are even worse. For the last few days, I have been carrying a niggle in my right elbow, near the medial epicondyle. Every time I extend the forearm, my elbow screams with pain. I don’t really know whether I will be able to pull off yet another sterling show this time around.
However, there is a dark lining to this silver cloud. Many of the old teachers whom we admired have passed away. The hordes of Government appointed teachers are no longer attuned to the fine sense of fraternity that binds the members of our school. It is a sad day when all the people who can recognize us have slowly moved on, either to greener pastures, or to the next world. I sometimes feel a little saddened to realize that in a few years’ time, there may not be anyone left who can recognize me without asking me who I was and pat my back and say how my studies are going, and whether I am still working the debating circuits. And that will be a sad day.
It is true. We never really get out of high school. Even the most unpleasant memories, when marinated in the spice of time, stands out like morsels of delicacies. It is true. You can take the student out of High School, but you cannot take the High School out of him. Especially if it is Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur. Hail Alma Mater… It’s time to run into your welcoming arms again.