Sunday, September 13, 2009

Convent Educated

These past few weeks, I've been thinking about my schooldays a lot. This particular wave of nostalgia was triggered by a classmate who recently got married and did the requisite commemoration of the event on various social networking sites. We had been rather close at a point of time, and in remembrance of that particular chapter of our lives, she had sent me an invitation two months ago. Of course, I didn't go, but what struck me a little was how I didn't even consider going.

This friend of mine, S, was my partner on the quiz team in school. Well, we were the quiz team in school. Between the seventh and the tenth standards, we spent a lot of time together trying to win glory for our school with our astonishing knowledge of random trivia. We had our moments. We were the first all girls team to qualify for the final round of a particularly prestigious city competition (which we eventually lost). We had four exciting and exhausting years, competition after competition, and a friendship burgeoning in between. My mother was taken by S's other worldly commitment to her studies. Her parents also seemed fond of me. We lost touch after school, and over the years, I only heard of her, not from her.

So when I saw her wedding pictures, I was looking at her, really looking at her, after a gap of nine years. And it freaked me out a little. I know it's unrealistic to expect everyone else to stay the same while your own life moves on, but I just keep picturing everyone else still in their school uniforms. How can they be getting married? Are some of them seriously posting pictures of their children?

Driving down the lane of your own intensely important life, you tend to keep others' lives constant just to give you perspective. When it finally filters down to you that the rest of the world is moving too, it can be oddly unsettling. I miss the existence of the two too serious girls in their navy blue blazers and skirts, discussing the latest weird factoid in the corridors of a beautiful, still colonial school. I miss the fact that school is one part of my life that I have absolutely no contact with, keeping it fossilized in my memory. Most of all, after all these years, I still miss school as sharply as I did after I left. But that actually makes me happy.

Congratulations, S. You were beautiful.