As the year progressed to turn its last 365th page for 2017, I decided to welcome the new year alongwith my friends. The same friends, who have seen this earth for the same number of days that mine have.
My journey with them began while I was in my 4th standard back at schooling where I met Krishna, Ravi, Shiva and they went to become the best friends of a lifetime. I still recall the days of meeting them, where we sat on the same bench of the class room, wearing half shirt with knickers, oily clad hair, powdered face, a small black bottu on the forehead, small bag on the back, water bottle invading the space of the stomach, a clean kerchief which went back home in the same state and neatly polished shoes.
Krishna was quite intelligent in Maths and used to be the apple eye of the Maths teacher and this interest of his pulled us both into the game of chess and we enjoy playing it now too. Ravi on the other hand was very naughty and jovial, offcourse introverts do need the company of few extroverts to keep the balance. Shiva being the loyal silent types found harmony in our company.
Back then, we were not that fortunate enough to have digital or mobile cameras and I could hardly locate a school photo of mine, except for one in high school where the konica camera of a relative had captured us in frames. A photo back then costed Rs. 4 to develop and the camera roll used to have 28-32 shots. People used to carefully take the 32 shots and would almost take 3-6 months to complete all those 32 shots as the cameras walked out of their cupboards only on special occasions or festivals as they had to wait until all the 32 shots were done to finally give the roll for developing.
Many other friends did walk in at different paths of life but these souls were the ones who ensured to stay beside me at every step of life. Life wouldn’t have been that interesting if not for their presence. Simple and small things kept us happy back then. There was no concept of eating out and the only other taste that we knew were each other’s tiffin boxes. 10 Rs pocket money meant the world back then as it could buy lot of things. Cycles were given on rent and did cost 1 Re an hour, and we used to end up parting with Rs 3 every Saturday and each’s pocket went lighter by Re 1. Cricket, muddy marbles, sand and stone, under over, hide and seek made the ground lively and the evenings lit up with the shouts of kids from the neighborhood.
We got to wear new clothes only during festivals or special occasions and we could count our dresses. Infact, some of them got passed on from our elder cousin brothers to our bodies but I always ensured that such clothes were worn and torn out by me so that I could save myself from the silent scolds of my cousin juniors.
As I speak of the term cousin, I would like to make a mention of a very near and dear cousin of mine named Keshav being 8 days younger to me has been a great brother all along.
It does seem interesting for us to be part of the generation change which has grown in leaps and bounds in technology. We never dreamt that life would change this fast someday. While there have been many interesting encounters, there have also been surprising developments in parallel. Our whole lifetime education expense is a kid’s kindergarten fees now. Cars that were hardly seen in people’s lives back then, have actually made people disappear from roads now. Cameras have gone digital and put themselves into mobiles turning the GB into various unlimited human expression. Relationship, respect, caring are taking a backseat and selfishness, greed and restlessness are invading the mind instead. But having positive people around, it does help in keeping ourselves humble and continue to respect humanity.
The greying hair reminds us that we are growing old as these years pass by, but one thing that makes us contended and happy is the fact that the friendship bonding has remained as strong as it was back in the days starting from wearing knickers at primary school to fancy pants now from our hard earned money.
Love and caring for each other still remains young in our heart and that is displayed with the longing to meet at frequent intervals and speak of good times and thereby standing for each other’s support.
It was an amazing day to spend in the presence of my childhood friends bidding goodbye to the parting year leaving us with smiles to cherish and good times to bless us all.
Happy new year dear bloggers and readers, hope the new year adds the same color like the other years did.