Thursday, July 22, 2010

Those early friendships

Sue's post on her son and his little friend has inspired me to write a post of my own. I am blessed with decent memory so I have fairly vivid memories of some of my kindergarten friendships. For some reason, in those days, I mostly hung out with the boys at school. So here's remembering Abhishek, Arvind and Shammi.

So first there was Abhishek. Having both just moved to Delhi from Tamil Nadu at five, we were practically inseparable and happily chatted away in Tamil all day long while our teacher unsuccessfully tried to get us to interact with the other kids who mostly spoke Hindi/English. This continued until our teacher and parents conspired to tear us apart and put us in different sections lest we turn into some kind of social rejects. Heartbreaking, really.

Then came Arvind. Arvind was the sweetest guy and we got along really well. Until he lost bladder control in class one day, that is. After that incident, he was constantly the butt of everybody's jokes and I was too embarrassed to hang out with him. So that's how poor Arvind got dumped. Some of us have to learn the harsh ways of the world sooner than others, I guess.

Then came Shammi Kapoor. No his name wasn't really Shammi Kapoor (Bollywood star), but I remember him as such because he was Shammi's most ardent fan if there ever was one. Now Shammi, for some unfathomable reason, imagined that he had found a most captivated audience in me for his Chitrahaar song-and-dance performances. So each morning, Shammi and his devoted mother would hunt the school grounds and would not rest until they had found me. Mommy dear would then leave contented for the day. Shammi was like krazy-glue. Once spotted, it was impossible to get rid of him, or to make him stop "electric-shock dancing" (Shammi Kapoor's signature dancing style). I can still recall his chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe moves.

There were others too, but these are are the most memorable and perhaps also the quirkiest.

On journeys and destinations

These past few days, I have been trying to re-evaluate my priorities in life. The recent death of a very dear relative, well before his time, has got me thinking about my life in general. There seem to be so many things that my husband and I are constantly putting on the back burner because work and other seemingly mundane things occupy our time and our minds. That much needed visit to the dentist, our annual health check up, a much-desired vacation to Rome and Paris, making a "5-year plan", taking that photography class, investments ... the list just simply goes on. And time seems to be flying. Only the other day I was telling a wide-eyed recruit that I have been working for four years. He even said 'Wow!'.

Another thing I have realized about myself, is that sometimes I work so very hard towards something, but only after I have invested an immense amount of time and energy in it, do I realize that it does not mean as much to me as I thought it did. Perhaps it's the challenge of the journey but not the destination that interests me? Or maybe, I get so engrossed in the journey that I never stop to think if the destination is even worth it? For instance, I remember having worked truly, insanely hard to get into a top college during my teen years. And when I didn't, oddly the thing that rankled in my brain the most was not the fact that I spent all those hours slogging away, but that I had missed a basketball game at school that everyone couldn't stop talking about, to attend a tuition class. Sure, wanting to get into a top school is not a bad goal to have. But how close was it really to my heart? I honestly don't know. Yet, I spent the better part of my teen years working towards it, and in the process, missed many a birthday and hanging out with friends like a normal teenager should.

Anyway, here's an interesting story - . It's nothing new, many may have read it, but it conveys a simple yet interesting thought. Sometimes, I suppose we don't really analyze what we're working towards or why, and if, in the process we are missing out on the things that truly matter to us.

And on that note, I encourage everyone to take an hour out of your year to get your annual health check-up done. It's never too early or too late to start paying attention to your health. You owe it to yourself.