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Akhilesh Mathur > Classmates

To my classmates from Visakhapatnam, Delhi and Panjim.

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Dear classmates from Timpany School, St. Stephen's College, and the Postgraduate Centre,

Akhilesh Mathur

A yearning for one's roots is natural. Its intensity can vary with time, but it is always present. And though this yearning wells up now and again, the pressures of everyday life confine it to a corner of the mind where it lurks through the years, forced to maintain a low profile while we are busy building our lives.

School, college, job, family ... The years go by. Life progresses. You think of your classmates from time to time. But it is the immediate and the present that fill your consciousness. You are complacent. Life is good.

The yearning, however, is not content to tease you quietly. It is far more insidious. Unnoticed, it nibbles at your subconscious and codes your roots and memories into your emotional DNA over years and even decades. You cannot know it yet, but the repercussions of this will be far-reaching.

One day, as you approach 50, the altered emotional DNA stirs without warning.

A chain reaction is triggered. Neural networks that store your past gently awake. Ethereal image fragments come together after an eternity.

Memories resurface with a startling vividness. A dormant homing instinct awakens. Then, suddenly, you want to start finding your way once again towards the high-trust, high-respect and high-communication relationships that characterize your earlier years. The quest for sincerity begins again. Life has come full circle.

Akhilesh Mathur

Relationships forged during one's formative years have a timeless quality. This allows you to resume a conversation, almost in mid-sentence, with someone you haven't seen for an epoch. It's as if you went to the cooler for a glass of water and returned thirty years later. Formed in a climate of absolute trust, these relationships have a greatness that is difficult to match. They are a link to a golden age gone by and remain superlative even when interrupted for decades. The aphorism 'old is gold' was never truer.

We evolve and grow with time. Maturity, vision and strength increase with age. What will reconnecting after thirty years be like? It is natural to wonder. But you soon discover that any apprehensions are largely misplaced. Time has stood still. Shared experiences, memories and values prove to be a powerful binder. They prove to be an inseparable part of our psyche. Our past lives in our bones and flows in our blood.

Why do we seek out our classmates?

Experience, maturity and contentment combine over time to generate an emotional surplus. You also tend to review your life as the years go by. One day, you find yourself thinking back to your life as a student. A desire to rediscover this precious part of our lives is born. You want to find your classmates. You want to reach out and reconnect. You want to know how they are doing.

The years have scattered us to the winds. But many of us have been found, sometimes despite overwhelming odds. The reward? There is something magical in connecting seamlessly across three decades. Here is proof that some things in life are sacrosanct and beyond cynicism. The gulf across time and distance is bridged effortlessly. This fills you with a sense of wonderment. It makes you stronger and more complete.

My roots are inextricably linked to my classmates. You are missed. This is not a sentimental reversion to the past. It is a realization that bonds formed during our formative years can remain irreplaceable and undiminished across a lifetime.

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Page created on 30th August 2004 and last reviewed on 23rd December 2012

E-mail: akhilesh.mathur@upu.int

Akhilesh Mathur, Berne, Switzerland

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