As I'd said earlier, Lekha and me had gone to attend Sonia's wedding at Bangalore last week. Sonia is gonna make all of us proud as she's a 'Bhanu Athaiya' in the making - she's established herself as a 'Costume Design Director' in Bollywood, beginning with 'Chak de India' and the latest being 'Break ke Baad'.
At the St Antony's church at Madivala, where the wedding was solemnised, I got the opportunity to meet up with our Chemistry master at school, Mr. N Balakrishnan Nair(popularly known as NBN sir). I'd last met him at his house at N Paravoor, in Kerala, almost 15 years back. All of 82 years he's lost weght, has become frail and held my hand to negotiate the flight of steps to the Bishop's quarters where light refreshments had been organised. So I'd sir exclusively to myself for almost an hour and it was a great experience. His sense of humour continues to be sparkling and he remains the simple, kind and wonderful person that he was known to be. When I told him that I and my classmates are what we are today thanks to him and his counterparts' efforts, his answer had the distinct stamp of NBN wit and I quote, 'just like the newspaperboy delivers the newspapers regularly without fail, like the milkman supplies milk daily, we too did what we were supposed to do and it was nothing out of the way. Your love and affection overwhelm me'.
As he got into his car, I touched his feet as traditions go and he showered my forehead with kisses. Honestly and I ain't kidding, I consider it more valuable than the gallantry medal that I've in my kitty.
It was a lovely Sunday afternoon well spent and I thanked the Tharians - Sonia's parents - for offering me this rare opportunity.