Saturday, July 21, 2018

A warm blast from the past.....

"You always look great, but today you are looking even better. What's the secret?" I asked my patient, as I was finishing up.
"You are right, Doc. This past weekend I went to my high school reunion. I feel rejuvenated. It was so good to meet up and connect with folks from such a long time ago," he replied.
"High - School reunion? When did you graduate high school?" I asked.
"I was afraid you were going to ask that," he replied. "A long time ago, Doc. I graduated in 1972. I met some of my batch mates after 35 years. But it didn't feel like that. It was just one quick "Hello", and that crossed the bridge from 1972 to now in an instant."

And as I write this, my Medical College reunion was last week in Vancouver. I graduated Medical school in 1984. The years in Med school gave me a formative education and forged life-long friendships.  The organizers of our reunion had done a fabulous job staging different events. The whole reunion created a unique environment that took us all back many decades to revisit fond memories.

A heartfelt 'Hello' and a hug bridged the chasm of almost 4 decades. After that, the flow of conversation was free and easy. The connection was seamless. There was no awkwardness of the vast time span between now and the last time we met. Anecdotes from our Medical School sent us into fits of laughter. It is amazing how each one of us could remember, in meticulous detail, some incidents that are permanently etched in our gray matter. There was instant camaraderie all around.

I am sure all of us feel that way, whenever we meet old friends. We all have memory banks that are locked up in the depths of our brain cells. Its people from our past who have the keys to open up those banks. Then there is a flood of memories that envelop us in a warmth that cannot be described, but can only be felt.

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and more important, one of the best things you can be. Friends will rekindle an inner spirit, that no one else can. If we had to sum up friendship in one word, it would be 'comfort'.

So hats off to my colleagues from Dayanand Medical College, for their undying enthusiasm, sincerity, energy and friendship. 

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who know each other's worth." ~Robert Southey

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sophistication is all in the mind

"Please be ready on time this Friday evening," my wife said to me, a few weeks ago. "There'll be a lot of sophisticated people there." She was reminding me of a get together we were invited to.
"So I guess jeans won't cut it then?" I asked hesitantly.
"Jeans?" She gave me one of those looks. She walked away, shaking her head. "And be prepared to slow dance at the party," she added.

The words "slow dance" are enough to make any grown man cringe. Regular dance, I can handle. You shake a leg, move an arm and the dim lights with the flashing strobe takes care of the rest. "Slow Dance" is a different animal altogether.

What does sophistication really mean? Am I sophisticated? I guess its the people I know, people I work with and my friends who should decide whether I am or not. Well, one catch here though - the person who makes that judgment, better be sophisticated too.

So what makes people sophisticated? Is it the way you dress? The way you converse? Education? A bit of everything might be the right answer. It's a universally accepted fact that having a lot of money makes you wealthy, but not necessarily sophisticated.

I think every section of society, every social circle, sets its own bar regarding the threshold of crossing into their own elite world of sophistication. We are all drawn towards that world instinctively as we grow in years. Consciously trying to act sophisticated never works. Here's how the dictionary defines sophistication :

"Having acquired worldly knowledge or refinement; lacking natural simplicity or naiveté."

Anyway, I survived the "Sophisticated" party by just being myself. There were no major gaffes on my part and I tried to blend in with the elite crowd. And yes, the slow dance..... it was bit of a challenge. I just pretended I was ice-skating, but in slow motion.

"Sophistication is not how you look in fancy clothes, but how the clothes look on you. Its not about how much expensive jewelry you carry on your body, but how you carry yourself. Its not about how much money you make, but how humble money has made you."