Cherished Memories with Friends

friendship blog birthday

Over my 80-year lifespan I have treasured and enjoyed the company of my old friends while making new friends as time went by.

Each group has a very unique place in my friendship, my reflections start with my dear friend Ragini.  We met at age 4 on our first day in kindergarten at Mt. Carmel High School in Ahmedabad. To this day we have a special unbreakable bond, forever till death do us apart. We are lucky to be sharing the joys of our family and supporting each other during sad happenings as well. We continue to stay in touch in person and by phone, as well as her enjoyable visits here with her family and ours with them in India.

My friend Ragini

My next special friend’s group started in 1958 St Xaviers College before going to Med School. We have kept in touch with a few and had a wonderful reunion at our place in Sept 2013. We had all aged gracefully. Prior to our reunion, my friend Ragini called and told me to make sure I mention her and our wonderful memories of 1957 and 1958. She didn’t want us to forget her, as she was unable to attend the reunion.

Since 1967, when we came to the USA, we have over the years been able to reestablish connections with old friends from the United Kingdom, Lady Hardinge  Medical College, New Delhi, Pakistan, and US. Some by luck and chance and many others through rejuvenated old connections.

In 1967 I was doing my Anesthesia Residency at Deaconess Hospital and working with a famous Heart Surgeon Dr Ashraf. During the conversation we both had a pleasant surprise in finding out that his sister  Booba was my previous classmate. We instantly Bonded. He was a superb human being and a great friend. More rewarding was that Booba migrated to Boston from Kashmir and we spent many happy times together with our families. We met after a hiatus of 15 years but time did not drift us apart.

My Friend Fazila’s birthday 2018

The real surprise was the discovery of another dear friend Fazila. Connection with her seemed to be lost forever across the Continents. Our group went in different directions, but we were still connected, except for Fazila. After graduation, she went To Pakistan and our connection seemed to be lost forever.

In July 1994 there was a medical convention in Boston which was a mega affair. There was a lot of glitter at the Prudential Center highlighted with the view of the July 4th Fireworks, dinner, and entertainment. Of course, there were boutiques to complement. As I was browsing around, I met this very pleasant lady and chatted with her. She was from Miami, Florida and Karachi, Pakistan. I casually mentioned my lost connection to my dear friend Fazila. I was totally surprised to hear that she knew her very well and gave me an update about her kids studying in Boston. She told me that she was a frequent flyer every year in the summer enjoying Newbury Street. Small World. Karma to have her reconnected. I was shocked and overwhelmed like a kid getting a mega box of cookies. I gave her my card and she promised when she goes in January 1995, she will connect with her.

In January 1995, I returned from the hospital after a grueling day at work covering call to and from and was exhausted. It was night and inclement weather. Raj could see that I was miserable, and he said he had a pleasant surprise for me. He handed me this wonderful loving affectionate letter from Fazila. This worked like a catalyst and brought a pleasant surprise on my face and invigorated me. Lost and found with dividends that she would be visiting us with her husband for a few days in the springtime.  Of course, they visited us, and we engaged in endless sharing that time never did us apart. We had many more visits and times together after that.

More than me, she reconnected with all our old friends in New Delhi with her frequent trips from Karachi to India. After a long hiatus, she was enjoying more than ever with all the mega connections in India, UK and USA.

We were blessed that our dear friends from across the globe, Booba, Veena, Zahada and Fazila’s daughter Vazira, were all present at Mohit’s wedding. A precious reunion.

My 3 sisters Nirmal, Varsha, Veena are my best friends. We are forever enjoying each other’s company and sharing difficult times with unlimited everlasting support. Totally unsurpassable.

My most sincere gratitude for being so lucky to have wonderful friends and family

My thoughts:

A long time ago a friend mentioned that family you are born with, but friends you choose.

I have been fortunate to be blessed with a wonderful family and loving friends. They all have a very special place in my heart. I have been even more fortunate to have friends that have become family. Old friends are gold and new friends are diamond, but they are set together.

Thanks to modern technology and Internet and Google and Zoom, I am enjoying the company of my dear friends, sharing past memories and our stories of today and probably tomorrow.

My sincere appreciation and thanks to my dear friends in Massachusetts for being my pillar of support during my sad and difficult time.

My friend Fazila’s Birthday

Ragini, Mohit and me
Ragini and my family

 

 

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