Reunion Speech Scripted & Delivered by my schoolmate on 13th Sep 2015 at the venue where we all met.
Hi! Welcome, friends. It’s great to be here. In fact, at our age its “Great to be anywhere.” Thanks to all for coming! Your presence makes this reunion a success. By sheer will power we’ve turned back the calendar to 1988 today.
For those of you who don’t recognize me ― or don’t remember me ― or perhaps never knew me, I’m Marina ― Marina Fernandes, the Amitabh Bachan of BPES High School, Class of ‘87-‘88.
In school, I was, like many of you, just a kid ― interested in good times, friends, music and not much else ― trying to be about as irresponsible as I thought I could get away with. School days were always filled with emotion and excitement. The saying goes that “If memory is a child, high school is a mother”.
The year, 1988, was a great deal more than just our passing out year ― the year we went our separate ways and began our lives as young adults. It was a year of many other beginnings.
The origins of this reunion lie in the chance meeting between Shibu, Sudhir, Preetha, Lisha and Sheeba, where the first threads of discussion took place and this idea began to take shape. Thanks to the social media we were able to reconstitute a faithful remnant of BPES Class of ’87-‘88.
During the past few months, whenever I mentioned to anyone that this year is the 27th anniversary of my passing out from high school, the response was, “My goodness” or “You have to be kidding”. These expressions were usually followed by, “Why, you don’t look that old”
At first I took the comments as complimentary and I went around priming in the mirror, but one thing about mirrors is they don’t lie. The mirror and my health told me that no one was really amazed. They were just trying to be polite, even kind. What they really did not want to say was: “My you’re getting up in age, aren’t you?”
What is it about school reunions that make all of us so excited about. For some of us, it is a look to the past and regression into all the feelings of teenage insecurity. For others, it is a look to the future and a realization that the light at the end of the tunnel is actually the oncoming train of MID LIFE CRISIS bearing down upon them. If you have any of those feelings today, don’t worry, you are not alone.
Now close your eyes: Its 2015, we are all in our mid-40’s, and we must learn to respect reality. We entered careers, raised families, faced challenges of health and personal setbacks. Many of us accomplished great things. We know there’s really no point in judging one another anymore — not for the big things. We’ve all made choices and we’re living with the consequences. Five kids or no kids; women with thriving careers or stay-at-home strugglers like me; failed relationships and unexpected heartbreaks, families with twins or teens (sometimes both). It’s just life. So here we are, 27 years later, and for many of us, at a new crossroad in our lives – once again faced with a mix of anxiety and excitement over how we will deal with what’s ahead.
Today, we’re all together again to remember those wonderful times we spent at BPES ― when we were together almost every day ― when we formed many of the values we now hold dear, and many of the most intimate, precious and lasting friendships of our lives.
There are people in this room who are still among my closest friends ― very special people who, after all these years, are dearer to me than ever ― people I still see often, but never often enough. There are others whom I haven’t seen in 10, 20, or even 27 years, but whom I am nonetheless happy to see once again, today. I love reunions ― and I love this class ― and I suspect many of you are here today because you share these feelings.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them and say what you want to them. So don’t worry too much about any thing especially how you look. They say everyone is beautiful in their 40’s! Looking around I’m thinking perhaps we should have held off for another year to allow some more of that ‘inner beauty’ to come out!
Whether you are thinning on top or widening down low; whether you’ve come to punch someone in the nose or pinch someone; to have a crack at the one that got away…. or to get away from the one that didn’t…
I welcome you to the First Reunion of the BPES High School, Class of ’87-‘88.
Have fun, enjoy, laugh, share and treasure. Above all, celebrate who you are and which school and where you came from.
Have a great time!