Life begins at 40!

It was midnight and and a weekend – I was preparing to hit bed and suddenly, I heared somebody whisper “Happy birthday to you papa”.
It was my li’l princess with a gift wrapped up nicely, she was brimming with life. “Happy birthday papa. This is for you”, she said handing over the gift to me. I was excited and hugged her up.
Click! Click! Click!
“I am in my pajamas dear”, I said to my personal photographer my biwi 🙂 Don’t worry, it will look brilliant in photos. She has excellent photography sense and I did not challenge. We chit chatted for some time and I went to sleep with a happy smile.

Woke up in the morning, feeling very special already. Checked my whatsapp -1560 unread messages. Wow so many birthday wishes, I thought. But when I checked – it was a new Whatsapp group created by a school friend within our school batch and within 2 hours it had 1560 messages. What a lovely surprise. I was very excited and said “Hello” to the group. Day 1 was all about checking out everyone’s current status.

“Where are you these days? Are you married? How many wives? errr….I meant…How many children? Oh! you are settled in US.
Share your family pics. Do you recall our Class Teacher? When was the last time we spoke………………………………………………

And the excitement continued…….The whole batch together was chatting after 25 Years of passing from school.
Somebody messaged – “Lets plan a re-union” It was an unanimous “Yes” by many. Those who were outside India, were just fuming.

School friends are always awesome. So many childhood memories…….Its heavenly…..We never felt that we did not speak with many for 25 years. As if it was just a week back,

Suddenly, a thought came to my mind “Life begins at 40”. It was my 40th birthday and what an amazing start. I started thinking and thinking that its been a hard life after school – higher studies, Job, family and social responsibilities………Somehow you get lost into the crowd.
That day I had the self realisation – “Explore within, to navigate outside”. I pledged to myself that I would take out time to fulfill all my big and small dreams I have.

The school reunion was planned and I was really excited. We had a gala reunion, sweet childhood memories. That day I realised that the child in me is still alive somewhere within. “Tweety, see this is our school”, I said to my li’l princess. Yes, I had my family travel with me to Bhubaneswar for the reunion. It was a reunion cum mini trip with family.

I relived my childhood for 2 full days. “Hey lets to the market to our favourite Pani puri and Chaat stall”, I demanded to my buddies. Off we went on my friends SUV. I remembered, how we used to do the same but on our two wheeled ferarries (bi-cycles).

“Hey, do you recall, how we used to do those cycle races and one day when four of use were racing, suddenly saw Sanyasi missing. (Sanyasi was one of our best friends. Till date its a puzzle why his name was Sanyasi, while he was a ….XXXX……).

“Hey where’s Sanyasi gone”, I asked puzzled. Suddenly we saw an Ox with two big sharp horns, running with full force towards us. For a split second we thought this is the end to our lives. But wait, who is sitting on the Ox? Is it Sanyasi!! Yes, it was. Did he do black magic and turned his cycle into a Ox? We all were puzzled. Suddenly, The Ox made a jerking action and Thud! Sanyasi came skidding and stopped right in front of us.

“What happened?”, we asked. “Aah! Ouch! Let me take my breath back guys”, said Sanyasi. After a min., he said stammering, “I was racing and for a sec I took my eyes off the road and suddenly an Ox came in front of me. The cycle hit the Ox and I flew off my cycle and right on top of the Ox. Before I could come down, Mr. Ox started running”, said Sanyasi.
“Ha ha ha…..he he he…..” we broke into laughter.
“I am in pain and you guys are laughing”, said Sanyasi fuming. We said, “No. we are sympathetic” “He he he, ha ha ha” more giggles 😉

So many such anecdotes. I miss my school days. We pledged that we will meet once a year and the saga continues till date. Even during lock down we had Online meets – “Back to School”. I have started enjoying life. I pulled together myself and started several things I love to do – Travel, Photography, Food, movies, Creative writing, Blogging, Music, reading, Podcasting and the list goes on.
Whoever said – its really true – Life does begin at 40.

Swarup Biswas

I am an explorer. Join with me in my expedition to explore new destinations, cultures, people, food, stories, facts and much more...

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