The past few days have seen me arranging and then meeting an old friend from the medical college. The good doctor is an orthopedic surgeon who is settled with his family in the U.S. of A. He contacted me and a mutual friend the last time he came to India earlier this year, and this was his second visit in the same calendar year.
The experiences we shared about the past, and the bonhomie we shared in the present set me thinking about how invaluable old friendships can be. Although we always had mutual respect for each other, the friend I am talking about wasn't all that close to me during our medical college years. For example, neither of us had visited each others' homes, or met each others' parents. I did not think of inviting him when I got married, and I suspect he never thought to inform me when he left India to study and make a life for himself abroad.
However, now, after a gap of over 25 years, he sought me out on both the occasions, and wanted us to meet over dinner and have a nice time. Naturally, I was pleasantly surprised for I had, during the college years, not considered myself as an equal to him - either financially or in any other social sense. He put it down to a need to interact with his "partners", and I was moved to appreciate his point of view.
Our third friend and I have been in touch off and on, but for the last several years, both of us have been involved so deeply in our own lives that we have not met each other physically. Just a few phone conversations, and that's it. Thus, our America-settled friend has become a sort of catalyst and has brought the two of us together. Indeed, the situation has been a win-win one for all of us.
Meeting friends does something innately wonderful to one's mind and senses. It makes us better humans, as it teaches us to forgive and forget all wounds or misunderstandings of the past and enables us to become great pals, never to forget each other. I guess you could call this happy feeling to be not unlike a feeling of euphoria, a feling of something that turns out successfully in the end.