Ravi Speaks-Early school friends and daily evening stroll.

Ravi Speaks:-

In this article, the four very close classmates of the 10th standard used to meet in the evening invariably and go for the evening walk through the market areas. This article recalls the innocence attached to our friendship forty-five years back and compares that with the present-day difficult atmosphere-where bullying in the school arena has become very challenging, especially in our south Asian countries. Daily various topics were discussed during this evening stroll lasting for almost 90 minutes. We used to keep certain unsolved topics for the evening discussion for the stroll and, believe it or not, we used to get invariably satisfactory answers during these evenings’ walk-the talk-discussions. Those walks were the learning phases of our late teens and maybe we got enlightened too, with some fragments of knowledge-making us also attentive to this competitive arena.

Early School Friends And Daily Evening Stroll

Early School friends strive together

The present state of affairs in bigger schools
When I look back 45 years from now and recall the innocence attached to our friendships-I feel myself to be one of the luckiest ones. The reason is very simple, and that is the state of affairs nowadays prevalent in schools. Most people aren't aware of the huge problem in today's school system-I am talking about ‘bullying’. This is a fast-growing problem, and it is shocking to discover how many kids are victims of this intimidation. And that they are going to school frightened and in danger every day while they are trying to focus on getting an education is unacceptable!

Not only do you have to deal with what's going on at home, but you have to deal with the issues at school. I know it's hard at school to want to fit in, be noticed, and hang out with the in-crowd. The pressures to be accepted can consume you and coerce you to do things against your better judgment. You think your survival depends on networking and dodging your way into groups of individuals that you feel will raise you to the higher echelon of social status.

What is a closed friends' group or clique?
Friendship is an important part of a child's development. Having friends helps children become independent from their families and prepares them for the trusting relationships we hope they will establish as adults. The groups of friends keep important differences from the closed groups or "cliques". Friend groups are based on shared interests, sports, activities, classes, neighborhoods, or even family connections. In groups of friends, its members are free to socialize and hang out with people outside the group without worrying about being expelled from it. They may not do everything together, and it is okay to do so. 

Friends follow a strong pressure in the so-called closed groups
Closed groups or cliques are sometimes formed around common interests, but the social dynamics are very different. These are "exclusive" and "exclusive" groups. They are usually under the strict control of the leaders, who decide who is "in" and who is "out." The children in the closed group do most of the things together. Whoever has a friend outside the closed group may suffer rejection from the other members of the group or be ridiculed for it. The members of the group or clique usually follow the rules of the leader, be it wearing particular clothing or doing certain activities. Closed groups often involve following many rules (implicit or clearly stated), as well as strong pressure to follow them. 

Children who are part of the group are often concerned about whether they will remain popular or will be expelled from the group for doing or saying the wrong thing, or for not dressing in a certain way. This can create a lot of pressure. Children can be pressured to take risks, such as stealing, teasing, or bullying other children to remain part of the closed group. Children may also feel pressured to buy expensive clothes or to gossip or tease online. 

Unlike the modern times, we really had a close-knit friendship with innocence attached to it
During our school days, we somehow had a very close-knit friendship which, as I compare it, today would come as the deep one with a clear innocence attached. I may even say with no expectations and conditions attached. There was the phase in my later teens when I was in Matric standard and I had three more friends whom I used to meet at Parade Ground in the evening at around 6.30 -7.00 PM and then we used to discuss many things while having a walk down the city areas of Jammu. 

My other friends were Rajesh Khajuria, Deepak Mathu, and Kanwarjeet Singh. All of us were studying in the same school and invariably in the evening, we used to meet and start our walk from the Parade ground inside the ground and after making two or three rounds of the ground-we used to go to the city bazaar area and from there to the residency Road and come back to Jain Bazaar from the Navi Sadak -area. This whole walk would take some time, one and a half hours or even two hours.

Race & Stress levels have increased and friends have no time to stroll around
In modern days-as someone who also feels antsy every evening, my advice would be to move around. Make lots of erratic movements. Grab something moderately weighted, and swing it around. The more positions you can move your body into, the more pressure you put onto limbs that aren't usually used that way, and the more you can use the muscles that desperately want to be moved. 

In modern times when the stress levels have gone multiple times higher and even if you feel slightly dizzy or experience, a sort of 'detached feeling' from what is happening around you - pour water over your head and at the back of your neck". Around four decades back it was the 'during the race' good advice on the leaflet which we received before the race. Look at modern times where the race-like situation has already put all the young people to test and their immediate action plans trying them hard to clear those tests-the question of having a strong and bonded friendship becomes a very tough one.

Now compare it with my 45 years old factual story-where the bond between the four of us was very strong and the level of innocence was very high with each one of us passing through the teens of our initial phase- happily one would see a sea of change already happened.

Four of us were unique in our own ways, having special traits attached 
Rajesh was known to all of us by the nickname- “Scientist” and Deepak was known as the “Philosopher” whereas Kanwarjeet Singh used to be called by us “Daeggie”. That was his home pet name as well. The beauty was that Rajesh and Deepak were very intelligent as compared to me and Daeggie. Both of them were doing well in their studies as well. They had a very special knack for picking up the current topics and discussing the same. We two -Daeggie and myself used to be mostly the listeners, and I sometimes used to put a question or two to their explanations. During those days, only when we were just fifteen or sixteen years old- Rajesh used to explain the principal mechanism of the Atom Bomb and stuff like that. Believe me, whatever he used to tell us -all that had a solid sense & authenticity with logic- made us very serious about his explanations. Likewise, Deepak was a very analytical type of person and a very intelligent chap. He used to top in the class and I never saw him putting in any special efforts for his class exams or even in his finals. But at the end of all the sessions, when the results were announced, he used to come as the topper, beating many other aspirants by a big margin.

Likewise, Rajesh was no less than Deepak-His knowledge about the latest scientific developments coming in the news was up to date and we used to rather add up for our information some of that knowledge from him requesting him to explain certain things where we could not understand. “Daeggie” was a good company to all of us since he too was interested to know more and more about the topics being discussed mainly by these two and, he had been very close to Rajesh right from the beginning and that way became a part of this group of four.

Rajesh saved all of us from the venomous snake simply by his courage once
I still remember once a medium-sized snake fell on my house’s open veranda from the open sky. The moment it fell on the floor it started struggling to recover from the hard fall and probably even from the injury it had got from the Hawk-which was carrying it in the sky. All my home people got terrified seeing a snake on the veranda. Incidentally, Rajesh was there at my house. He immediately asked for a big bottle and we had the big beer bottle-which we gave him. He had a small thin stick in his right hand and with the help of that stick, he smartly directed the snake to enter the neck of the bottle and trapped the snake inside the transparent bottle alive. He saved all of us from further damage that way and took the same snake with him, saying that he would give it to the laboratory for further study. He was very inquisitive and intelligent as well.

Look how destiny played with each of us later
After 1977, we all parted from each other since some of us went to college for the PUC or 11th Standard and others went to higher secondary schools for their 11th. We tried to be with each other but the connection was not continued with some of them and only Deepak remained in touch with me till late.

Now look at the destiny-Deepak being very intelligent went in for MBBS, MD, and later did his IPS after his MD and left the medical line and joined the Police services-but as the luck would have it -he died in Srinagar while serving the police services. He was hardly 33 years of age. I had written a detailed blog on him sometime back. He was in touch with me till 1990 and had even remained in my marriage for almost all the marriage functions, but after that, he had chosen altogether a different line and an unfortunate thing happened to him. I would always remember him for his affection, intelligence, and above all for his friendship-which was above all the other traits he had.

Look at the irony of sorts-Rajesh, being very intelligent, went in for the research & Doctorate in chemistry and even for the higher studies, but alas he too died immediately after completing his Ph.D. at the Department of Chemistry-Punjab University. He's leaving early, which gave a big blow to his family and we yet again lost another valuable personality. Had he been still alive, he would have surely got into some invention as we used to tell him seriously about the same. He had that bent and he used to go into the micro-levels and come out with a logical conclusion. God did not keep him also here with the rest of the mortals.

Daeggie, I used to meet even after 1990 when I went to my hometown Jammu. He has been running his Retail Business on drugs and the fourth one is your truly narrating all these incidents. Some with a very heavy heart and some with pride.

Our daily stroll in the evening was walk-the-talk-discussions-informative & problem solving
Our walk in the evening was not a low-profile casual walk only. This had become a regular feature because it had developed a special attraction for all of us since we used to be eager to meet every day in the evening and learned many new things from our intelligent friends and their thought process-which differed from the usual lot. I still remember I used to keep certain unsolved topics for the evening discussion with these guys and believe it or not, I used to get invariably the satisfactory answers from these evenings’ walk-the talk-discussions only. Those walks were the learning phases of our late teens and maybe we got enlightened too, with some fragments of knowledge-making us also adaptive in this competitive arena.




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