Reunion 2021

Nov 27, 2021; 6.20 am – Inside Indigo Flight 2331

After two years our batch is getting together for the annual reunion. This time we have had a lot of venue changes and finally we meet where it all began – ISB, Hyderabad. 😊

I am the sole representative from the Delhi gang … Hmmm, we really need to figure out why that is. Anyway, am taking the 6.45 am flight. Krishnan ensured that I kept the alarm for 3.15 am. He would have ideally liked me to wake up by 2.30 am but I didn’t play ball. Was ready for the drive to the airport by 3.45 am.

The roads aren’t as empty as we thought. Since the pandemic seems to have receded in India, and more and more people are vaccinated, travel has opened up ! So glad that it has.

Traffic on NH8 at 4.12 am

The T2 terminal is all spruced up. I didn’t have to print my boarding pass. Just showed the QR code everywhere. As I am travelling with just my handbag, I didn’t have to stop anywhere. Was done with the security check in ten minutes.

I was the first passenger to walk through the boarding gate. Very thrilled for Krishnan’s sake because he loves to do this. For me, am just glad that I boarded the flight and didn’t miss it like in 2018 – Reunion 2018 … and a flight missed !

The beautiful view from the boarding gate.
T3 is visible under the walkway

While the dashboard on the car said 14 deg C – it’s not very cold. Even as we took the bus at the airport, it was pleasant.

It was a long bus ride to board the aircraft. I almost wondered if we were driving to Hyderabad and wanted to tell the driver to take a different route. It appears to be a nearly full flight. Amma has packed dosas for me and I just got a bottle of water from the Air Hostess, so am all set.

10.00 pm Home, Gurgaon

Rajini and I reached around the same time, coincidentally. Going back to the campus after 3 years ! Was there last in 2018 for the reunion. Manoj insisted that I eat something in the Bajaj Hall, so I did. Met Aziz for the first time in person as he was having breakfast.

We then walked around the campus waiting for Ram, Gaurav and Bhaskar to join us before starting the reflection session.

It was so nice just catching up with everyone in person after nearly two years of being locked in.

Reunion 2021
Out in the lawn ! First group pic of the day 🙂

After a short walk we got into the classroom assigned to us. It was all equipped for doing online classes. The pandemic has really changed so many things. Ram and Bhaskar had joined us by this time. We first discussed about the reunion itself. Took some decisions on the format and logistics.

Reunion 2021
Back to School 🙂

We started the reflection session and like always, it was the highlight of the reunion. Some of us have gone through a roller coaster ride during the pandemic, especially during wave 2. It was so difficult to relive those moments. 🙁 For nearly all of us, priorities have changed significantly as a result of what happened during the pandemic.

Reunion 2021
The reflection session in progress …

We managed to complete just half the session before breaking for lunch. We continued after lunch. I was taking the 5.50 pm flight back to Delhi. While Rajini and Siva tried convincing me to take a cab at 4 pm, I was quite worried that I will miss the flight ! I missed a couple of reflections, and the dinner at Glass Onion. I still can’t book an Uber by myself, so Siva helped out 😃. Uber is the one app that never works for me.

Reached the airport at 4 p.m with a really bad headache. I guess the early morning flight didn’t work very well for me as well as the change in weather. It was warmer in Hyderabad, pleasant but definitely warmer. There was a last minute gate change but thankfully I heard the announcement and got to the right gate.

Got into the flight and ate one dosa that Amma had packed for me. Popped a Combiflam and took the following picture of the Hyderabad airfield before take off. Then slept through the entire flight !

Reunion 2021
Beautiful airfield at Hyderabad with the runway lights

At the T2 terminal, cabs were running short so took a black and yellow cab after many years. Reached home by 9.15 pm with traces of the headache still there.

It was great to feel normal again, meeting friends in person and taking a flight without fear of the Wuhan virus. The mask, sanitiser and social distance will be the norm for a little longer but they are more inconveniences than a problem. Hoping that the new variant doesn’t cause any further damage in India and we can truly get back to living our lives.


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