Wednesday, 22 June 2016


(with thanks to facebook for unearthing this gem)

I think when you are 42 years old, you spend a whole bunch of time thinking about the past. I recently met with some friends - girls err women - I went to college with. We had a nice lunch - chat - exactly like we would have in those days in the early 90s'. Well, except for small differences. You know, one of the kids came along, one of us drove, the other brought her bike, Ola cab was summoned. We talked about calories. And uteruses.

But mostly, we talked about - and thought about in between sentences - about our life in those days. The fun days in the hostel. That old tree outside the library. Boys. Rules. Life lessons. How we thought we knew everything there was to know. We laughed at ourselves - our naivete, the confidence that we had in those days.

In many ways it was wonderful. We have been in touch for the most part, we know a lot about what our lives have been in the past 25 years since that day we all first met, back in 1991. We understand each other without having to say much. We can talk about the others without having to give the whole back story or explain things. We are happy, secure, and life is just generally awesome in one's forties no?

But then there are always those lingering moments - sometimes during our meet-ups, but most times afterwards when I think about it. It's a sadness, for what has clearly been left behind. And a regret that I didn't do that or say this. For me, these are not about the big things - career, husband, family. It's the small things. Not understanding someone's cry for help. An unnecessary argument I still recall. A small meanness I once displayed. A jealous feeling I had. A callousness... Taking someone for granted at times...

Oh I was young, I tell myself. I couldn't have known better. I was grappling with a ton of things. I was working myself to the bone on so many things. I justify it, in my head. I wouldn't call it guilt - not like there are that type of big old skeletons in my college closet to make me feel guilty per se. I guess it's an inescapable feeling that I should have been a better person, and a fear that even now, at 42, I may not be as good a person as I want to be.

Overall though, I clutch jealously to my old friends. They give me a peek into my old self, they remind me of the firebrand I used to be, they tell me the stories I have forgotten, and the best of it all is that they have grown meanwhile, into lovely women. All the edges rounded, a really peaceful aura around them. Of course, I can stay 'Hey BSA, Can I borrow your SLR?' and they will laugh, and we will talk about the godawful common room where the TV was located...