I had always known to be roaming around more with my friends rather than my family people. Especially, our gang of seven, called Splendid Seven, during my college days at Vaishnav College (1992-1995), have gone to almost every happening place at Chennai. Be it a Sanskrit sloka recitation competition, or a dumb charades competition, or a quiz , treasure hunt and what not?? our gang was used to be seen at most of the inter-collegiate functions. To top up this, our gang member Srivi, had a cute little sis, Aarthi, and also, two close friends Vijaya and Meena for the Comp.Sc. department. Thanks to her NIIT classes, we also got another one in our gang, Saiprema. Immediately after college, Gayathri, Lakshmi and Geetha got married. Still, we managed to keep in touch. Slowly by 2000, all of us were married, and now, all have kids, and the eldest among the kids are 14 years old, while the youngest are 3 years old. In the meantime, on very rare occasions, we have met, and most of the time, someone or the other used to miss the get-together.
Srivi, who has settled in Canada, and had not visited India, since 2001, had suddenly made up her mind in Jan 2010, to visit India, for 3 weeks in Feb 2010. When she called Viji and myself, we were very much enthralled to hear her voice, and both of us made up our minds, to catch up with Srivi, as much as possible, to share our secrets, and other girlish stuff.
Feb 4th, 2010, was a perfect beginning for us, to meet. It was Srivi’s sis Aarthi’s son’s Upanayanam, and Viji and myself, went there on a triple purpose, one for the Upanayanam, the other to meet Srivi after a long time, and last but not the least, to spend time between me and Viji, which itself has not been happening as often as we would love to. After the function got over, we spent Viji and Ram’s 10th wedding anniversary, at the best suited place for them. Although Ram was away, at Belgium on an official tour, Viji, made it for both of them, and we spent time at my parent’s place at Sanatorium.
Our next plan was to meet Srivi, with all our families. We fixed the date for the meet as Feb 21st, as it was not only a Sunday, but was Srivi’s birthday. The last b’day of Srivi that I remember being with her was in 1997, the year she got married, and she was about to leave to America, the same night. Myself and Viji, we rushed to meet Srivi, along with her newly wed husband, at her Thatha’s place at West Mambalam. Thirteen years have passed by, and still, we are, as close as we were then, and that itself called for a celebration. Four families, Aarthi, Srivi, Uma and Viji’s, with respective husbands and kids, made it a group of 15 in total (8 adults + 7 kids) headed towards Dakshinchitra , near Mahabalipuram and reached around 12:00 noon. It was my idea to go there, because, ideally, I wanted a calm place, where the kids too would enjoy exploring the place, and the guys would both baby sit as well as get to know each other well, during which time, we ladies wanted to have time for ourselves.
The kids tried out their hands in various craft work. Few of the elders too, tried their hands on making pots. Overall, it was a great day spent and we loved having fun together after a long time.