Alumni meet on the 16th! For most of us this invite would trigger nostalgia and anticipation, but for me it triggered anxiety and perspiration. I accepted the invite after much deliberation and push from my family. The day arrived and I made it to the event at the appointed time. 

 

I quietly entered the ballroom where the event was happening and stood by the var with a glass of orange juice. I was trying to make myself as inconspicuous as possible. A few friends noticed me and shouted “oh look at that! Rahul Singhania is here”. A few high fives and hugs were followed by catching up on each other’s lives. 

 

It was then that I saw a glimpse of him. Smart, handsome, and impeccably dressed as always, but very unassuming like it was second nature to him. ‘Ani’ was how everyone addressed him affectionately at college. The top student of the class who had the looks to woo the girls too. The guy with the right aptitude and attitude, no wonder he was destined for higher altitude in life. 

 

The party got louder by the minute, and Ani at the center of it all. He was cracking jokes, pulling legs, dancing, and pretty much owning the party. I had wondered what had happened to him all these years. It seemed like he had vanished until I saw him again today, with the same charm and swag.

 

He didn’t notice me even though I was right next to him almost all through the party. I followed him around like a puppy. If I liked Ani at college, now I was envious of him. I asked myself “How can he be like this while I am like what I am? Where did he go? Why did he vanish?” And more importantly “Why wasn’t I like him?” 

 

We were taking the mandatory group picture and there he was right at the center beaming at the camera. How can someone exude such exuberance while there I was cowering behind him trying to make my invisible? 

 

The party ended, and there was handshakes, hugs, and happy tears all around. I looked around but Ani was nowhere to be found. Seemed like he had left or like his usual self, vanished without a trace. 

 

I got to my car resolving to be more like him. I didn’t like my boring self. I got into my car and sat alone for a while. I turned the rear-view mirror towards me, looked into my eyes and spoke to myself “Ani, where were you all these years? Why has your personality changed so much? Whoever said only women lose their identity and personality after wedding and children? Even men lose it. Like how Ani became Rahul Singhania and became unrecognisable to himself.”

 

I resolved to myself that I won’t let Ani vanish again. Thanks to the alumni meet, I discovered the Ani I had lost inside me. 

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One Comment

  1. The World is at its pace with Nature. Where are we? running & chasing money to build our homes. No man is left behind & everyone is rushing through the daily chores & task forgetting his real self. It will be so wonderful if all of us take time out to realize our true self & live a fulfilling life rather than routine mundane mechanized life.

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