The memories of school days are etched in one’s mind. One may not remember the name or the place after four decades but remembers the occasion or the event. The impressionable mind of school going students carries that image for years which gets mired with the passage of time.
This happened with me. I did my schooling from Sanatan Dharam High School in Simla (now Shimla). When I was in class X, which was our last year in school, I and my friend decided get a picture clicked so that we can remember each other even after school. That was not the era of WhatApp or Facebook. The black and white pictures and letters were the only medium to keep in touch with each other.
Time galloped. I left Shimla and then went to different districts of Himachal Pradesh like Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur in my academic pursuit. From Himachal I came to Uttar Pradesh to eke out my livelihood. I worked as journalist in different publications like The Pioneer, The Times of India, PTI, The Tribune and back to The Pioneer but the memory of the picture with my friend was still etched in my mind.
The unfortunate part was I had forgotten the name of my friend. I still remember I ate a roti with tea at his home – which was the best roti I had ever had. I still remember his house near ours in Lakkar Bazar. The memory of a large table at the cornor of the room with different sizes of drafting sets strewn around is still fresh in my mind, but I could not remember the name of my friend.
When I was introduced to the school mates by Pradeep Sood, through a WhatsApp group the warmth in the relationship of school mates helped in melting the ice which had settled on the old memories.
One day I got a call.
“Main Mohan bol raha hun. Pahchana tuney”, the caller said.
The next minute I know it was Mohan I was looking for. It was he with whom I had clicked the picture. It was he whose house I still remember with minutest of details.
“Yesss”, was my instantaneous reply. “I remember we got a picture clicked in a studio,” I said joyfully.
At last I was able to connect to my friend Mohan.