Expectations really change the way you perceive an experience. And I mean really.
A couple of years out of school, I sort of began losing touch with my schoolmates, me being at NITK, and they all in Bangalore, and their not being on Orkut. And then we had a reunion or two, which I attended expecting everyone to have undergone sea-changes and all. But no, the only shock I got was my diminutive fellow first bencher was now a venerable Petronas tower. No, actually, the bigger shock was that everyone seemed pretty much the same. My close friends were still my close friends. The class tensionParty was still the class tensionParty. The eternal star-crossed couple we giggled about was still the eternal star-crossed couple we giggled about. The class poet still wrote poetry about nature and beauty. And a friend I previously mentioned on this blog as Pink was still wearing the same top she was wearing when I saw her last.
As for those who couldn’t make it to the reunions, I kept meeting them off and on every now and then. They didn’t seem to have changed much, except maybe when they acquired fake accents and awesome degrees.
Even our teachers treated us the same way when we ran into them once in a while. They still called us by our old nicknames, pulled our legs about the same old jokes (they remembered!)….
Our ragtag bunch of thirty-nine still seemed to be much the same, the eight years notwithstanding. And so it seemed too with my friends from school who were a year or two older or younger than me.
So I basically assumed that everyone I knew from school would be pretty much the same, no changes whatsoever. I obviously was setting myself up for a big shock. And how.
I think Facebook is the biggest time-sink there ever is, even including Reddit or Google Reader. And my saying that certainly is something. So I don’t know what I was thinking one fine day when I decided to look up my schoolmates on Facebook.
The sleek handsome head-boy was now a teetering-towards-middle-age doctor in Boston. The head-girl in that batch, that doe-eyed girl we all aspired to be like, was now a pleasantly plump homemaker in Leeds. Some topper dude was now a professional photographer…. aal izz well, I suppose. Many more of those much-older kids had (obviously) undergone a sea-change.
So, hell, let’s turn to the juniors, shall we? Those kids who used to wet their pants when we were responsible middle-schoolers.
Big mistake. The girls all looked like Heidi Klum, the boys like Justin Timberlake (You know you’re getting on in years when your pop culture references are so yesterday). Their photos oozed so much oomph, it was hard to believe that this was the same kid who used to cry all the time for his mommy, and who would be placated with a pineapple-flavoured lollipop.
So anyway, let’s check out the teachers, shall we? That timeless bunch who stay the same, batch after batch, who narrate the same jokes year after year (and every class will have someone with an older sibling who had told them the joke), including the ones that start with ‘Last year, you know…’.
They were all Farmville-crazy!
One of them wrote a blog which had horrible, horrible grammar. Thank god she was the one who taught chemistry, not the one who taught English. I swear to god I’d have thrown myself off a cliff with disillusionment if she was.
And one more of them, the one who wore those prim sarees which established her as Martinet supreme, who used to regularly upbraid high school girls for our short skirts and too-tight uniforms (she said we looked ugly, it didn’t suit us, and a variety of other things that a thirteen-year-old feels horrible, horrible about), and said segregation of the sexes was good…. she had uploaded a few photos of herself posing in front of various European monuments wearing various forms of tight, revealing clothes. And she looked ugly, it didn’t suit her.
After that, I haven’t logged into Facebook, and don’t feel like for some time to come.