Friendships and reunions

It is the third time this year that I find myself on the Emirates flight to Dubai, the first leg of my trip to Trivandrum. I normally only go home twice a year, but this year I am doing it for the third time. I made a promise to my medical school friends last year and I am keeping it. I haven’t joined in any of the reunion meetings for a very long time. To be truthful I’ve only done it once and that too a very long time ago.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t seen them for that long period of time. I’ve always felt that it was important to keep in touch and used to persuade my close group of friends to do so even when I couldn’t make it. The meetings have always been over the summer months and I have never been able to join in for various reasons.

Things have changed now. This time it is in September, which makes a huge difference for me. Also it has been exactly 40 years since we all started our medical school days. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, we didn’t know what we were letting ourselves in for. We had all got into one of the prestigious medical universities in Kerala through our hard work and it was now time to see it through. Our parents were proud of us as they dropped us off at the campus. They can now tell everyone about their children’s achievement. Our younger siblings looked up to us with pride and envy wondering if they could replicate the achievement and become the apple in the eyes of our parents as well. If we had older brothers and sisters at the university, they took on a protective role to make sure that the seniors didn’t give us a hard time.

Thus started our five years of medical schooling followed by a year as a house officer in the same institute. During that time I made some very good life long friends and over the past year that list of friendship has grown.

Earlier today I was reading a news article which said that one of the ways to finding happiness is to reconnect with our old school and college friends. Looking at the list they suggested I have achieved most apart from getting enough sleep every day. I need to work on that, but I’m glad that the other paths to happiness are within my reach. Over the coming weekend that is what we will all be doing – having the best time of our lives.

It was not just the newspaper article but even other articles that I have read recently. All continually talk about friendships and how important it is. Friends have always played a big role in my life but it is only in the past two years that I’ve appreciated the significance and realised the importance. I feel that significant people come into our lives to play important roles and help mould you into the person you have now become and mostly for the better. So it is that friendship that we will be celebrating this coming weekend. Renewing acquaintances, catching up with long lost friends, making new friends and strengthening existing ones.

I write this not just for my college and medical schoolmates but also for all the friends in my little world, my schoolmates and my workmates. Each and every person is special to me and without them I would certainly have been a much poorer person.

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