As few of the regular readers of my blog might be aware of the fact that I recently returned back to India. And so far, it’s been a very pleasant experience. Afterall, who does not love his/her country or staying with family. I know few might not, but I have always loved staying in India, in my hometown, with family and friends.
So, I met some of my school friends recently. The school buddies are like the oldest friends, we know in our life. Unlike college or office friends, they know our other side which we try to hide from the world. They know the stuff we did before we grew up to become nice, good looking adults, isn’t it? In India, we have a funny word for such friendship, which in Hindi we call “Langotiya yaar or Chaddi buddies!”. I can sense that the Indian reading crowd might be laughing out loud for this, but if I allowed myself to try my best to explain this to non-Hindi speaking or foreign readers, then it comes down to “Friends who have been together since they started wearing underpants!” In other words, friends since kindergarten or even before that.
Okay, so I met these friends ( not many, just 3-4 good old guys). In my childhood days, it was difficult to make friendships with girls due to separation of schools and groups of boys and girls. I bet things have changed a lot now. Anyways, I met them and it was very nice to spend time with them. We usually end up talking about all the topics in the world, be it girls, relationships, money, my US experience, politics, sex etc. In such a close group of guys ( just like gals have their own close knitted group), there is nothing to hide. I mean ofcourse, I do not mean we can talk everything with intricate details, but still it is far better to at least share some things with the old buddies which we usually will never discuss with our family, or colleagues.
But one thing I did observe, that things change in our life. We change over time. But somehow, these friends’ mindset who know us for so long, never changes. They will never forget the mistakes we did back in school, or some pranks which we had done to tease each other. I mean it’s okay to share those fond memories sometimes, but I sometimes feel the friends keep judging us from the old lens of those archaic memories. I mean it’s kind of funny, but some people don’t change their viewpoint. Even if we achieve anything in life, for these friends, we will always remain the same old buddy. That’s good to a certain extent, but then we know life is not the same for everyone, and life doesn’t stop at school also. We all move on, and try out different things in life. Someone becomes more rich, or more educated, or more famous in life or career. And in spite of all this, it should not affect the friendship.
But I guess sometimes, with old timers/buddies, it does get affected. Because they keep on seeing us from the old prism of being in school together or played together. And suddenly, the topic changes to “You have changed bro!” And my answer is Yes, because life changes everyone man!. I have no complaints against them, because after all they are my friends. But what I feel is in spite of good old school friendship, the conversation topics should change and become more mature with time. Some sort of privacy, or even freedom to have certain opinions must be welcomed. It is not necessary to talk about old pranks or funny incidents everytime we meet. Neither is it necessary to compare each other’s life. Because, in true friendship, it does not matter. All that matters is just being together in times of need, being there to share joy and sorrow, in short someone who’s there to say “I’ve got your back!”.
I think in India, where the culture is more informal, this problem persists more. Ofcourse, it might be there in other culture’s as well. But in my case, my school friends hardly leave any chance to bring out the old topics, pranks, or anything to tease each other. Then comparisons and gossip do follow. The only thing sometimes binds us all together is the long duration we know each other, and due to which, it’s really hard to break off with them. It’s not very easy to get away from someone who knows us for so long. So, then I also have to jump in the pool and throw their pranks, or mischiefs they did in school back on them. Even though I do not like to behave that way, I have to just to ensure I am not the only one left out in the group. You can call it a way of peer pressure. I guess yes it’s peer pressure, but this pressure seems to never end.
Finally, what am I trying to convey in this post? Frankly I don’t know, but maybe the best thing would be to tell them ” Hey, look, you are my best school buddies, and I know we have known for so long. And we are going to remain the same, but just do one favor, and that is For heaven sake, GROW UP IN LIFE and THE SCHOOL’s OVER!”