Vanessa used to be the most beautiful girl in school. When Anu couldn’t make it to the class reunion, she made it to point to inquire about Vanessa with one of her ex-classmates, “Is she still as beautiful?”
Besides speculation about how everyone has changed over the years — if one has put on weight or not, has greyed hair, is married, divorced or single — reunions are also about rebonding.
For Vanessa, the class reunion was a wonderful experience. “When we met after many years, it was wonderful to recall the fun moments. It felt good to discuss our old teachers, friends and silly fights. Just refreshing one’s memory was a therapeutic experience.”
Vanessa was fascinated to see how everyone had changed over the years, not just physically. Their personalities and attitudes had changed too.
She adds, “While some old characteristics are so ingrained in us that it’s impossible to shake them off, there’s also a new-found maturity and wisdom, which only our experiences in life can bring. Each one had a story to narrate — some good, some bad — but I felt there was a lot to learn from one another.”
For Sushmita, who studied in a co-ed school, the reunion also meant reuniting with old flames and having a good laugh over old crushes. She says, “In school, my friend was heartbroken when her guy ditched her. But at the class reunion, she greeted him with a smile and joked about the episode. There were playful remarks too about how we are aunties and uncles now.”
Besides all the catching up with one another, the common point of discussion at reunions is children and their studies. Vanessa has two kids. Her classmates had found his or her own space. Everyone had made the most of their circumstances and looked blissful and contented. Their backgrounds didn’t matter.
She states, “It’s important to be successful and happy, irrespective of your choice of profession. This made me wonder why parents get so worked up about their children’s academic performance. Life has its own plans. I learnt this lesson at the class reunion.”
Surprisingly, the bonding process is better when one is in one’s 40s. Naveeta adds, “I think this has something to do with age and security. Women bond better when they are free of the responsibilities of their children. I meet my ex-classmates at least once in six months and we share our experiences. It also feels good to see all my classmates ageing gracefully.”
Vanessa feels that everyone gets so involved with their own friends and cliques in school that they rarely make the effort to get to know others in class.
She concludes, “We’ve all lost touch with one another for so long, that in a way, it’s like starting our relationships on clean slates. Besides, all of us shed our hang-ups when we become mature.”