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Monday, August 10, 2015

The Laughter and the Love of Friends

By Zita Perera Subasinghe



In mid July this year, there was a red-letter day on my calendar. It was the rare chance to meet a special friend. There had been three such people from whom I was inseparable in our medical school days i.e., Sujatha, Suriyakanthi and Malkanthie. The two former I had the chance to meet a few times in the years that followed while we worked in different parts of the world but Malkanthie and I barely crossed each other’s paths in all those years when she lived in the United States. So when I had the chance to meet her with her family for a couple of hours in London I was full of anticipation.

It was triple the joy as her husband Jim and her daughter Megan accompanied her. It was perhaps about two hours we spent having a leisurely lunch in a busy restaurant in Central London but every minute was packed with exchange of news, catching up on all those past years and getting acquainted with Jim, a greatly friendly and interesting person and Megan, a beautiful young lady who was a delight to talk to and get to know.

Jim and Malkanthie have each reached the top of their field and held very responsible positions in the University where they worked. Megan was a delight to talk to. She is a beautiful, cheerful and accomplished young lady. She graduated with honours and high Distinction in Education and anticipates studying further to work with individuals with learning difficulties. Meeting Megan was the highlight of this meeting for me. The time went very fast and soon it was ‘Good bye till we meet again.’ The thought of an entry in the old autograph album of my schooldays came to mind. It was written by a school friend and dated 23 -09- 1959.

‘From quiet homes and first beginning
Out to the undiscovered ends
There’s nothing worth the wear of winning

But the laughter and the love of friends.’

10 comments:

  1. Thanks Zita, I recall meeting Malkanthi and Jim at the Hikkaduwa reunion and that was after yonks. It must have been so nice to catch up and likewise, I am eagerly waiting for our "summit" with ND, you and me in a few weeks time. I didn't know that Megan was such an accomplished person and if you are reading this Malkanthi, "well done, and good luck" , I say

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    1. Yes, me too! ND,MG, Zita summit in Central London is awaited by a horde of photographers and Press, I hear!
      Zita

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  2. Zita, it was lovely reading about you "catching up" with Malkanthi. I too have met school friends after 20-30 years, and I can imagine how happy these little re-unions are. There are two very good school friends of mine, one in the US and one in London. They now visit Sri Lanka once a year, and I can't explain how happy and excited I get when this event draws near.
    Sriani.

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    1. I understand that feeling, Sriani! It has a special magic which nothing else can compare with.
      Zita

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  3. Zita and Malkanthi,

    It is indeed great to meet up in such 'Mini Reunions' like this, outwith the 'Mega' ones that we usually meet up with "irregularly"!!!
    Malkanthi, the last time we met up with Jim was, I think At Hikkaduwa in the mid-90's?? I am not too sure if you were at the 2000 Reunion in NY, US??
    Zita, we met last at Cinnamon Lodge in 2007 and will not forget the rendition of "One Day at a Time" by your husband -- give him our kind regards.
    As for my association with the opposite gender of our batch was very minimal as my interests were outwith Med School!!!!
    The nearest I got to a Batch-mate was in the mid-90's on our way to Hikkaduwa when I "WAS SAT" next to our late Priya on the bus during the outward journey---- of course not forgetting Rohini Abhayaratne next to whom I "WAS SAT" at lectures at Med School!!!
    Memorable heady days
    As regards families, we were close to our late Veda's family when we were in the UK!! Also with our Waruna & Kusuma J-Ruberu when their son, Hairndra was in Med School In Aberdeen, Scotland and I was the Asst. Director at the Scottish National Blood Service there.
    I hope our families could meet up regularly, but it will only be a forlorn hope / wish as most of them will now have their own families, friends and lives to lead!!!
    Fondest regards and love to all,
    'Till we meet again'
    Razaque & Farina.

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  4. How right you are Razaque and Farina! These memories are pure gems. Aren't you glad you met Priya!? I remember such a meeting with Ganesh, and some others who are no more. With all our achievements, what we hold most dear are our friends.
    Zita

    Zita

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    1. Thanks Zita.
      I shall be posting a blog on "Friendship Gems" soon.
      Razaque.

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  5. Zita

    So lovely to see Malkanthi after all these years. I wouldn't have recognised if she walked down our street. One can say that of many of us now. Great to see everyone smiling. I wish I was there!! Malkanthi was a such a friendly person always with a smile. My best wishes and good health to all of you.
    ND

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  7. Zita, I am so happy that you got together with Malkanthi after so many years. I guess you didn't show up at the same reunions. Even though she and I are on the same continent, we don't see each other except at reunions and such.
    As Sriani said in her comment there is nothing as uplifting as reconnecting with an old friend. Stay in touch! Bunter/Srianee

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