Thursday, December 31, 2015

What reinforced my thinking in 2015.

It has been scientifically proven that it is not wealth or being famous that makes you happy but the strong relationships that you build with family and friends.

This is the big take home for me from this wonderful year.

There were numerous family get togethers all through the year - two occasions for weddings, one for an engagement ceremony and many other small get togethers on different occasions. The bond among us has sustained over the years and I'm sure this is what Ammachi and Muthachan had wanted. The bonding among my dad's family has picked up thanks to the 'What'sApp' group that was put in place sometime during the middle of the year.

On a personal level, I've been pursuing sustained contact with my classmates, course mates, friends and relatives through e-mail and What'sApp.

And then, in the last month of the year two heady things happened. Soon after the 'Alumni Day' at school on the 12th, we'd our classmates' get together at the 'Waterscapes' in Kumarakom. Of the total of 63 classmates, 41 had attended with their spouses and three others were stag. Three couldn't make it due to last minute hiccups. But it was a tremendous response, to begin with, especially after the tepid response when the idea was conceived almost three years ago. The interaction showed the following:-

   (a) A certain bond exists between one's classmates especially when one has been in a boarding
   (b) We'd passed out of school in Apr '72, there were a few whom I was meeting for the first time
         since then but the take off was from that point of time, without hesitation and with no holds
   (c) Our spouses too enjoyed the conglomeration and the upshot has been that they've formed a
         What'sApp group of their's which is gratifying. Many could fill in the gaps of their partners'
         personalities after observing the relationship that existed among us from school.
   (d) Our next get together would be at Wyanad, in Dec '17.

Soon after, the privileged few among us had the 49th Course get together at the NDA from the 18th to the 21st. This time there was a sizeable chunk that I was meeting after our passing out parade in Dec '75. Of the total strength of 183, 82 had attended with their spouses while six others were stag! The attendance could have been better but for starters we're thrilled to bits at interacting with each other and brought out the following to the fore:-

     (a) The pride in being an ex-NDA.
     (b) Loyalty was a mix of school, squadron and the course, in that order of intensity.
     (c) There were quite a few course mates that one never interacted with during one's cadets' days
           because of being in different squadrons for purposes of stay and in differing classes for
     (d) Being in different services actually didn't mean a thing, the bonding was there all right!
     (e) Our spouses, again enjoyed the interaction and could carry back a friendship that was
           pan Indian!
     (f) The thrill at pointing out various places in the Academy where we'd spent our cadets' days
          and had unforgettable memories. A few of them were recalled by the course mates themselves
          who were party to the incidents!
     (g) Our next get together would be at Dubai, in Dec '16.

Simply great. One couldn't have asked for anything better!


Finally, got my renewed driving licence. I was careful not to lose my shirt in the ping pong played between Sunil Kumar, the motor vehicle inspector and John, the desk clerk during the course of over an hour that I was there at the office. As a rule, I do not take a seat after entering an office until the official offers me one. Sunil Kumar had taken advantage of this and had kept me standing all this while, from 11 Nov, when I'd submitted my application. Today, he did offer me a seat and insisted on my sitting when I showed a reluctance to do so. He also 'sir-ed' me for the first time and fed my cellphone number in his, wonder why?

It took me 49 days to get my renewed driving licence, without bribes!


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