9 people from 4 different Indian cities: Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad. School-buddies, once spending their lives together, walking to trouble or merry land hand in hand, sharing all their moments of joy-pain, happiness- sadness collectively; now are separated by work, responsibilities and priorities. They remained connected via mobile, mails, Whatsapp but what was missing was their unadulterated adda, something which is synonymous with boys from Kolkata. So, what did they do? They decided to meet, a re-union, away from the hustles of bustles of metro cities but at the most happening place in India, Goa. Fairy-tale, isn’t it?
But life can never be a fairy-tale. It can be as brutal as I can hardly imagine. One of those 9 guys, got a new job opportunity the joining date for which clashes with their itinerary for Goa. He tries hard and genuinely to postpone the joining date but alas! When has corporate culture given any value to human sentiments and emotions! So, of went 1 and there were 8.
More planning and preparations followed as the big day was about to arrive. The pain of losing one friend from the trip was hard to go away but that’s one thing that life has taught us all quite well, move on, no matter how heavy is the burden of pain. The 1st rendezvous city was Mumbai where most of them were to meet except 2 who would straightaway fly to Goa. 2 days before this 1st tryst came the shocker of a news. The guy from Mumbai was critically ill and was hospitalized. Another sad twist to the once “oh-so-beautiful” fairy-tale.
So, the meeting point shifted from the warm coziness of the house to a dreary, depressing room of nursing-home. All tried to cheer up the other one but the loss was irrecoverable. What was thought to be a great and startling trip in the making was slowly turning into one dark hell-hole. People got perplexed and anxious that what more tragic incidents were in store. Two were gone already and the 3rd who was a doctor postponed his trip to take care of the ill friend. With fear and still a bit of joy, the others went forward.
So, 6 of them reached Goa and the 1st day was basically a “take rest and get ready for more” day. The troubles never left them behind. The 1st day it was losing of Scooty keys, the next few days had mandatory bribing the police, in between there was problem with the money-hungry Scooty owner. But in spite of all these there was no shortage of happiness. Strolling down the beach at night, zooming from one beach to another, one fort to another, one food joint and shacks to another, the “dry and smokeless parties”, taking random pictures and profile pictures, pictures of us and others, water sports and beach sports. Life felt like bliss served to them in a platter.
But it was a story of re-union. So what happened to the relationships of those 7 people?
It was not all hunky-dory between them. How can it be, physical distance creates mental distance, no matter how much science tries to make you stay connected. They fought between each other, they sobbed on each other’s arms, they got into heated arguments and they started judging each other, got ridiculed by one another. But isn’t fighting and making up, one of the main criteria of a great friendship? What’s a friendship if one can’t open his voice within friends, if one needs to think before speaking?
So, there was adda, making fun of each other, enjoying together, sharing the to be shared not to be shared things, sleeping in the same bed, wearing the wackiest of dress, helping others with life goals, sorting out problems of each others lives, long drives, singing those school and college songs together, memorializing Christmas together, making high fives, hugging each other. There was celebrating friendship, there was shading inhibitions and coming close, there was making the wobbly bond impregnable.
There was re-living the school days together.