Norman Guido was a good friend in school. Yet as it almost always happens we drifted apart as we each went our own way after school. I went on to graduate from the College of Engineering , Guindy in Chennai and then the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and lived the life of a hard driving corporate executive; he became a well know plastic surgeon and head of the department of Plastic Surgery at St John’s Hospital in Bangalore.
My quest to seek out school mates as part of the pre-work for a book I am working on led me to Norman . I live most of the time at New Delhi but visit Bangalore for a few months of the year generally to avoid the chill and pollution in Delhi during the winter months. In Bangalore this year, I sent Norman a tentative message on my mobile phone wondering how he would take it and how was he placed in terms of time and would he be reticent about meeting me. He took a while to respond and then we fixed up a meeting at his house which curiously enough was just about five kilometres from my home in Bangalore.
What was I getting into was a question that played around in my head as it did in his. He wanted to know what I would like to drink and if I would eat non- vegetarian food and what not. He was as tentative as I was about this meeting from out of nowhere .
When we did meet he was just as keen on connecting with me as I was with him and we spent all of three hours just getting to know what each of us had been up to all these years. Fifty one years had almost totally erased the images I had of him in my memory bank but the human brain is so amazing that when we met it started to re-create elements of the Norman Guido I knew way back in our school days.
Norman is keen on contributing his thoughts and ideas for my book on the Anglo Indian community and I dare say he likes and needs my company. I can be a little presumptuous as I think I can show him how to lead an active life in retirement and in turn I am enjoying the company of a wonderful human being who has devoted his life thus far to his profession and has a passion for oil painting and classical music.