But still these words will remind us....
The years between seem to melt into oblivion during a reunion. It’s been 24 years since I’d seen most of my classmates (and some dorm mates) but it was like we had left off our conversations from yesterday. I guess boarding school does that to you. Bonds develop that transcend Father Time .To quote from one of our hymns, ‘distance may part, and seas may divide us…’, our formative years together has made it so easy to relate to each other.
Thanks to a few persevering souls, the get-together became a reality. The chosen venue – Marari Beach Resort, a few miles from Alleppey.
Words do not do justice to the beauty of the place. From the numerous trees to the individual ‘huts’, everything here feels pristine and pure. Well, until our rowdy Old Lawrencians (Batch of ’86) landed up. To understand the depth of our conversations and intellect, one only had to hear the first thing I heard when I met one of my classmates, for the first time in about two and a half decades – ‘hey, did you pee into our house master’s home?’. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the meet.
Friday evening saw us all hanging out at one of the bachelor pads. Though we had been promised ‘alternate’ arrangements for single people without accompanied spouses, nothing of that sort was forthcoming so we had to make do with alcohol and various varieties of inhalants.
The anecdotes and embarrassing stories began in earnest soon after and we were regaled with tales of utter desperation and incomprehensible acts which seemed so logical in our childhood years. The ‘lending library’ story was arguably the best of the lot, followed by the ‘special jam’ narrative and the pigeon hunting capers.
Sordid pasts of each GUY were mercilessly raked up and narrated in excruciating detail. ‘Guy’ is in Caps because the ladies of Lawrence refused to divulge even a single episode remotely scandalous. We gotta change that for the next one!
The stragglers finally wrapped up around 2 a.m. but not before three of us walked to the beach for the heck of it.
Ah, the food in the resort is quite good, especially the squid and the fish. Highly recommended! Other dishes were not too bad but nothing spectacular.
More swimming in the pool for the kids and adults alike on morning and a stressful massage in the evening filled up most of Saturday. This yarn would be incomplete without the massage account. For one, you are to strip 100% and a miniscule loin cloth provides inadequate cover. Two beefy looking he-men then hammer and pummel the crap out of you and all the time you’re praying the cloth holds position. Once these guys are satisfied that they’ve vented enough, you’re maneuvered into a wooden cabinet with batwing doors which are closed so only your head peeps out. This is the steam bath part of the massage and you’re still not aware that the worst is still to come.
Okay, now for the killer. You are guided into a bathroom and the loincloth is unceremoniously ripped off and a coarse powdered paste thingy is applied all over your back while you stand helpless and dumbfounded at this sudden turn of events. The guy even puts shampoo on your hair for crying out loud! Just when you’ve had enough, the guy applies the stuff on the opposite side of the back, which is…anyway…I was distraught overall…
Luckily, you are handed a towel so you can dry yourself unassisted!
More remembrances of good times in the evening ably supported by the right fluids, memories of those no longer with us, happy and not so happy thoughts, recollections of injustices, it was just a great time for one and all. I’m not sure how much the non-Lawrencian spouses enjoyed these chronicles, but it was great to step back in time and relive the past. After all, isn’t that what a reunion is all about?