Moments to Memories
by Vaman Acharya
(Bengaluru, Karnataka, India)
It was a moment of thrill for him, when he saw a man seated just besides him. He could not control his emotion and said, “Hello, Vasudev.”
Vasu noticed someone was calling him by name. He was surprised for a moment that at this place being a stranger, who will call him by name? Vasu turned his head towards the man and replied, “Yes! I am Vasudev. I am sorry; I am unable to recognize you.”
“Vasudev, We both were classmates in the college. I wonder how you are unable to recognize me. How can it be possible? I am Varadaraj. Affectionately everybody used to call me as ‘Raja’. I am your old friend and college mate.
Vasu recollected the past and said, “Sorry, Varadaraj, you have changed a lot. When you told me your identity, I was just remembering you as a young, energetic and handsome Varadaraj. In that process, I was confused and unable to recognize you for a couple of minutes. Please excuse me.”
“Okay! Don’t try to confuse yourself. But I have not confused to recognize you. When I looked at you, I was one hundred percent confident that you are none other than Vasudev. I don’t find any major changes in your appearance, except your gray hairs and some wrinkles here and there. Of course, it may be due to ageing. I don’t think I have changed a lot,” said Varadaraj.
“Meeting an old friend after a long time and feeling that nothing has changed is aptly applies to us,” said Vasu.
“Oliver Goldsmith rightly said ‘I love everything that’s old, old friends, old times, old manners, old books and old wines,” said Varadaraj
“I appreciate your knowledge of English.”
“I am not a knowledgeable person as you think. Thank you for your compliment.”
Vasu met his old friend Varadaraj after a long gap of almost 35 years. During this long period both had no occasion to meet each other. Vasu joined Bank service and Varadaraj joined Posts & Telegraph service.
Their five minutes meeting in the cellar of the apartment complex under construction, revealed so many past events. Memories of all the old days came back one by one.
Vasu was searching for a flat for his eldest son, a resident of United States of America. He went to the apartment site along with his friend Praveen. Both wanted to purchase flats in a good locality within their budget. One day, they moved out in the evening casually without collecting the information like apartments for sale either in the paper or through any real estate agent.
While passing through on the road, they observed one apartment complex was under construction. Out of curiosity, they went inside. The builder had opened a temporary office in the cellar. On enquiry, the builder informed about the availability of one unit of 4 BHK on the top floor and 2BHK on the 2nd floor.
Both the friends went up together to see the flats. They liked the flats at the first sight. The initial talks with the builder were encouraging. Luckily, the deal was struck for both with the builder. Vasu selected 4BHK specious flat on the top floor and his friend’s choice was 2 BHK flat on lower floor.
Varadaraj was present there discussing with the builder. He was in need of an apartment on rent. He got 2 BHK attached to cellar on rental basis. While negotiating with the builder, Varadaraj noticed the presence of Vasu.
Vasu's memories with Varadaraj was mostly about their college days. Most of the people have their college life with full of fun. Vasu never had any such fun or enjoyment in his college life due to poor economic condition. But the only thing that he earned is a degree and good friend like Varadaraj.
How life has changed now, both are retired from the service. They do not even get time to meet frequently to spend time due to their personal reasons. Their life styles have changed. This may be due to the circumstances prevailing in their homes. Only five minutes for first meeting between the friends was a nice time spent.
They used to spend lot of time in the company of friends during their college life. Some times these friends used to pass time in college canteen. Life has completely changed after the gap of 35 years. The nature of talk then and now has fully changed. The same friends; enjoy each and every moment in those days.
Who knows when these moments will turn into memories? Now the time has come to put the moments into memories.
Varadaraj moved immediately to his rented accommodation. But in the case of Vasu, he let out the flat to a business man. He stays with his youngest son in the same city. Vasu purchased this flat for investment purpose. If Vasu also moved to the newly built flat along with his friend Varadaraj the situation would have been different. They lost the opportunity of meeting each other frequently. But whenever they find time, they meet for a while.
The searching of apartment paved the way of meeting the old friends again. ***