A trip back home always helps put things in perspective.More so when you have friends you grew up with alongside you to talk.I had a few conversations this time around,which although unsurprising and expected did make me wonder-do we always have to change?
For two days I was alone.I passed time watching everything including Major League Baseball,which is in it's most exciting stage,one of the best F-1 races of recent times,world cup qualifying matches,Japan Open tennis,the boring Superseries cricket matches,World Rally re-runs,X-games both summer and winter and a few rugby matches.So pretty much everything live sport had to offer.The next day an old friend of mine turned up,and it was back to long conversations about life,universe and everything else on the grasses of the perennial favourite Jubilee Park.
Him,taking out a cigarette and match:So,I've started smoking.
All first time smokers think that's a big deal.Non smokers like me have learnt that it's not.
Me:Should I be surprised?
Me:I've got asthma and I would prefer having an attack running on a football ground for 2 hours or climbing the top of a hill than sitting idle and smoking.
Him:Then you don't take alcohol too?
Me:Do cough syrups count?
Him,laughing out:You'll always remain the Mr. Witty-Critic,won't you?
I wanted to point out that Benadryl was taken out of stores for it's high alcoholic content,but his last comment makes me do otherwise.
Him:I can always quit,I know that.
Me:Why does everyone say that? If you think it's allright to smoke then why on earth do you want to quit? I won't if I did,unless I had terminal cancer.
Him:No,I can quit anytime I want.
Me,slightly irritated:You won't be doing community service.
I can say these things to old friends.Not so old friends would think I'm being over critical,but older ones know that I am exactly that.So he decides to shut up.
Me:You don't want to go pandal hopping this time,I thought I would do that.
Him:That phase is over.There are all the same things,stupid crowd,heavy traffic,flashy pandals-I'm sick of it.
Me:This way you can trivialise anything.
The last comment was more on me than him.I was the only person who was absent from both the 10th and 12th std. last day festivities because I thought the celebrations were too loud and inappropriate.I was one of the few who laughed and made fun while a host of other cried on the last day.I have boycotted firecrackers for the past 7-8 years in Diwali,and I have quit going out on roads in Holi.And he was saying this to me.
I could have pointed all this out.I didn't because I felt what my friends would have been feeling 5 years back while coaxing me take part in the farewell.And how I had declined all their requests! Now I was the one going back.
The next day I meet one other friend along with him.While wandering about we meet an old schoolmate of ours.She is studying to be a doctor at Jamshedpur itself.After loads of leg pulling and all the doctor jokes in the world,we ask if she is roaming around in Puja this time-
Her:No offences meant,but it's all the same..
Damn! Am I the only one who wants to go back?
Priorities do change after school.I was probably too ahead at that time.But I still don't want to celebrate last day of school like it was done =))
There is a valid reason to that.Everytime I go back to school,some people who don't recognise ask me my batch.When I do tell them,they look back in horror,like I have uttered the unspeakable.And they turn away.What happened that day,in my absence,is stuff school legends are made of.I'm just happy I was an observer rather than a participant. :D
Maybe it's time to grow up.