Wow! What Memories!!

A few days ago I read this gruesome news item which led me to a long lost friend.

The suburban railway station Chetpet mentioned in the report brought back memories of a friend with whom I had lost contact after an accidental meeting in 1964.

Let me start at the beginning.

SK and I were classmates between 1954 and 1958 and the school we studied in was adjacent to Chetpet station.  SK’s home was also close by along the railway tracks. I had often gone to his home during lunch breaks and have very pleasant memories of his mother fussing over both of us and feeding us. In 1958 both of us got our school leaving certificates and moved on in our separate ways. I went off to Hyderabad while SK stayed on in Chennai then known as Madras. By 1965 when we again met accidentally on a main arterial road of Chennai, we had both been in employment, SK as a banker and I as a salesman. During that accidental meeting, both of us retired to a famous restaurant on Mount Road in Chennai for some coffee and catching up with each other. We parted ways again with me going off to Ahmedabad to Business School and he to continue his career as a banker.

Reading about the Chetpet station assault brought back memories of SK and I decide to see if I can reconnect with him and asked some banker friends in Chennai for help. Nothing was forthcoming when I remembered that my cousin SS was also a banker who spent his initial years in the same back as where SK was working. I contacted my cousin who in turn referred me to another ex colleague SV, who fortunately, had retired to live in Pune where I live. SV gave me a telephone number and suggested that if that was not the same SK that I was looking for he would at least be able to help me find my friend’s where and / or what-abouts.

I called that number and was totally zapped to find that it was indeed my old classmate SK on the line and after 54 years both of us caught up with each other with the assurance that we would be in regular touch now that social media makes it so easy.

The Topic of this post however is to express my amazement at the two instances of remarkable memory.

When I rang up SV as suggested by my cousin, I introduced myself by name and before I could say anything else, SV promptly said “cousin of SS from Bombay”. Apparently, when my cousin was in Bombay in the late sixties when I too was there for a few months undergoing training with my employer then and he and SV were in the same branch where he had met me once. And that was in 1967 and he remembered the name after 52 years!

When I reestablished contact with SK and said that we last met in 1965 he said yes, he distinctly remembered the occasion, the name of the restaurant where we had coffee and he particularly remembered my having black coffee which was unusual in Madras of those days where the famous degree/filter coffee was and is the more popular option.

Do you now see my exclamation in the topic of this blog post? Amazing is it not?

13 thoughts on “Wow! What Memories!!”

  1. Indeed, my dear Ramana. I do recognize your exclamation marks and the meaning behind them.

    I will, unfailingly, keep making contact with those from a long time ago. Every five years, ten years. Every five/ten years – usually on their birthdays for which I have an uncanny memory. Mixed results. Whilst no one has forgotten me, and my overtures always sweetly acknowledged, it appears that some threads cannot be knotted again. Brings a Bertolt Brecht poem to mind, loosely translated:

    “The torn rope

    The torn rope can be spliced together again.
    It holds again, but
    it is torn.

    Maybe we’ll meet again, but
    where you have left me
    you will not meet me again.”

    Of course, I’d like to amend those lines “where we left off we’ll not meet again” – the essence of Brecht’s sentiment the same. It is one of the most heartbreaking truths of my life. Not, of course, that I ever give up. On anyone. Or anything. I do believe that once we have had a connection we will always have a connection. I do not discard others as so much of a banana skin on life’s journey. Once a friend, always a friend.


  2. In August I will be attending the last reunion ofmy high school class – 52 years after graduation. Most attendees will be people I have not seen since graduation day. I am looking forward to the long train trip to California and reconnecting with ols aquaintences.

  3. It’s wonderful to reconnect with someone you lost touch with many years ago. I was looking at a Facebook post a while back and noticed a commenter called L— A——-. I knew someone of that name in the early seventies but we lost touch. When I asked if she was in fact the same person, it turned out she was and we’ve been FB friends ever since.

    Great that you were reunited with a friend from 54 years ago! And amazing how you managed to track him down.

    The Chetpet station attack sounds horrific. I hope the woman is recovering from her injuries.

    1. Both the attacked and the attacker are well on their way to recovery as per latest reports. The latter I am sure will face the music once he is discharged from the hospital.

  4. Sometimes renewal can be great, other times not so much. People change in oh so many ways and often not for the best. I’ve been surprised at some journeys of old friends but not in a good way, and delighted with others. For instance a hippie boyfriend from the sixties with a passion for justice became quite a greedy property developer and didn’t care what or who he ran down to get there.
    When he found me he listed all the properties he owned and his businesses.
    I wondered where he went.



    1. I have had my share of disappointments as well of disconnecting with old friends whose current ideology does not gel with my own. A couple of them were vicious and personal and I had to cut them off from my life.

  5. I’ve found a few friends from the social media but today it wasn’t a friend in the true sense but rather a vintage recipe book…and it wasn’t in a op-shop either

    I’ve just made a book with a theme of walnuts…and most of the papers inside are vintage looking. I started thinking last evening that I needed some type of recipe and I remembered I had mothers’ recipe book from the 1930/40/50s…

    And yes she had a number of hand written recipes some though in a dark pencil which I thought maybe won’t copy!

    They did, and not only that all the stains and scribbles copied as well..I helped the edges a bit with walnut ink stain…the centre line of the page has also aged nicely in her book – the book is a bit of disrepair but it makes it even more vintage looking

    such a find…
    Catherine de Seton recently posted..Vintage with Walnuts…

  6. Hi Rummy,

    It is indeed amazing! I wish I had that great a memory for names or streets. I don’t. I never forget a face though.
    This was an amazing post, Rummy, thank you. And I am so glad you found your friend :).

    My friend, next week I will be off to rest. So I see you in August.

    Max Coutinho recently posted..The Left Wing’s 7 Capital Sins

Comments are closed.