Meeting a Friend after 21 Years

Last week, I was on my way to Chennai by the early morning Jet flight. I reach the airport and find this incredibly long queue at 5:45 am to get inside. It took 15 minutes to just go in – past the security check of the ticket and ID. I gave the lady at the Jet check-in counter a piece of my mind — this just be a daily occurrence, and there is no reason why it cannot be solved by adding more people at the entrance. The gentleman who was behind me did the same.

Then, after going through security, we got into the bus to take us to the aircraft. It turned out that the aircraft was parked at the international bay, which meant a 20-minute bus ride. I couldn’t help commenting that it is hard to imagine they did not have a slot near the domestic terminal for a 6:45 am flight. The same gentleman also felt quite strongly about this issue. Others in the bus didn’t seem to mind.

And then I started staring at the gentleman. He reminded me of someone from my past life, someone from the time spent in IIT. I am not normally the kind of person to walk up to a person and ask their name, but something made me do it. I asked him, “Ravi?” And almost instantly came the reply, “Rajesh?” And then we hugged each other right there in the bus!

We had known each other quite well in IIT since both of us were active on the cultural scene. And then life took us our own ways. And here we were, meeting after 21 years! We had so much to catch up on!

And we also couldn’t help but comment that there is something about the IIT system which made us the only two “cribbus”about the way things are!