A touch of nostalgia

Photo for representation.

Recently, I attended a get-together with my batchmates from engineering college. As is the norm on such occasions, the initial fifteen minutes were spent on a lighthearted discussion on the expanding girth of our stomachs and receding hairlines. Soon we graduated to the pleasant memories of our college years. 

College days in NIT-K, Surathkal was pleasant. With no parental supervision, our evenings were full of activity. Our only source of watching movies was in Mangalore about 20 km away. Friday nights were particularly exciting, all of us would want to see Bollywood films on the day of their release. Just after dinner, fleets of Ambassador taxis would make their way to the hostel blocks. Generally, eight students would fit into the car, and then the cars would wait for us at the theatre to bring us back. The theatre would be noisy as it would comprise of students from our college. The next day, it was obvious which student had gone to the movies as they would be singing songs loudly while having a bath.

Growing up in Delhi was very different then, there were not that many security restrictions. On Republic Day youngsters sat on dhurries along Rajpath, near the saluting base. Pandit Nehru would get down from his Cadillac and walk along the low railing, waving to us as we raised a cry of ‘Chacha Nehru’. We would wait excitedly for the fly-past after the parade. In those days, the modern aircraft were Hawker Hunters, Mysteries and Canberras. As the grand finale, the Toofanis would fly in a formation which broke away just over the saluting base leaving behind a trail of tricolour smoke. It is said that the current generation does not have this opportunity owing to high-security regulations.

My grandmother’s younger brother suffered from Arthritis which restricted his movement. Every evening he would get into his big American car all set for a drive. One of my uncles would be the designated driver for that day. I was a student in Bangalore, so I would invite myself for on this ride. We would first go to Vidhana Soudha where my uncle and I would take a stroll while the old man sat in the car. My financial position would be precarious, so on most days, I was treated to some chaat or spicy puffed rice with slices of tomato by my uncle. Our next stop would be the fountain in Cubbon Park. Here, our snack would be boiled peanuts. Our final stop would be MG Road where we would park perpendicular to Plaza theatre. Here, of course, was our compulsory visit to Lakeview for ice cream.

In the years to come, I wonder what type of pleasant activities people would be recalling when they meet as a group? I am sure nostalgia would be different for every generation.

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