Monday, 16 March 2015

Getting Together : A Day of Re-Living the Past

                Growing up in a housing complex with a few other guys of my age in Kolkata, I was fortunate enough never to feel lonely at home , like some of my other friends did when the school was closed for vacations . Staying in buildings adjacent to each other , running away from the study table to the playground was a matter of minutes for us, as one of us would take the onus to get down on the ground before the others , and call out our names at the top of their vocal power !! Our ears were fine tuned to pick up these calls from the ground .Even from the farthest corners of home , we would detect the voices from downstairs , and rush to the balcony to reciprocate ! Mom would find it difficult to contain me once others assembled on the ground , and out I went , to indulge in football, cricket , or volleyball. For most of my school and college life , this was a routine , even more steadfast than my study schedule . 
        Joining work simply destroyed this playful chapter in my life, as all my friends had to migrate away from home to earn their livelihood , while I got posted in a hospital in Kolkata only. A few of them left the housing complex and shifted to their new homes in another part of the city. Often , I would feel lonely, when I had a day off, and I would stand at the balcony, staring at the playground below with a heavy heart . Occasionally , we would get together on a conference call, connecting Bengaluru, Chennai , and Kolkata , to reminisce about the good old days. 
          One winter , it happened that all five of us managed a chance to be in Kolkata and we decided that we had to spend a day together. Nothing was planned as to what we would do, but an early morning meeting in the housing inspired all of us to bring out the bats and balls to usher in our version of 'Oldies' Cricket ' ! People in my housing had long forgotten our tradition of ruining their mornings with our shrieks on the playground , and the occasional crashing sound of the ball rebounding off their windows. As they looked out of their windows, to assess what the commotion was all about, we waved at them , greeting them heartily ! We played till our overweight bodies gave in , and then set out by car for a traditional Kolkata breakfast on the streets! Driving around the city , having random food items from roadside eateries, it was unbelievable fun , as we had let go of all our customary etiquettes from the workplace , and simply indulged in heartwarming camaraderie . 
     The day was spent together at my place , watching photos and videos of our past bravado and nuisances . The recordings of our musical performances at our housing's cultural programme brought the memories rushing back, and we all remembered the mistakes that we had made in our stage performances , years ago! We were  members of our housing band, and music struck a special chord in us. So , an afternoon of singing away and playing the guitar , even without practice for many days , didn't feel like we were coming together after a long layoff .  The day ended with us enjoying a sumptuous dinner fixed by mom , amidst promises of another such getting together real soon , when all of us would have their schedules adjusted to meet up in Kolkata . 
       This day acts as the mood lifter during periods when I feel sullen or lethargic . The unabashed enjoyment that we had , reliving our past, brings a smile to the corner of my lips as I prepare to yet again delve into my daily schedule . For many years , what had been a mandatory association for me had transformed itself into a chance meeting now between professionals . Still , it had enough fuel to drive our souls at dreary hours , as we look forward to yet another getting together in a few months' time! 

 This was my #Together story , written for the campaign by You can check out their new website here .

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