It is always a pleasure to run into old friends. More so when it happens after a gap of 7-8 years, and we have lost touch so much that we barely recognise each other, and haltingly ask ‘if you are she?’

It happened to me at Bangalore International Airport the day I returned from Kerala. We were waiting for the baggage to arrive and I was seated with Munnu asleep in my arms. The turbulent weather had made us all rather queasy and we were glad to be on terra firma again. A woman carrying a child walked towards me and entered the room behind my seat. When I saw her, I was immediately reminded of an old friend, who, when I heard last, was settled in Bangalore. Could it be she? But she had glanced at me and looked away. I considered going in to the room. Just then she came out and I seized the moment to ask, “Are you S-?” She turned around at the question and immediately recognised me. Whew.

I am glad that I did not suppress the urge to ask, to confirm that it was indeed she. Had I not spoken up, I would have missed the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend and would forever have regretted it.

Sometimes we are given a moment to make a choice, perhaps nothing significant or huge, but important nonetheless. At times we let it slip by, and wonder, “What would had happened if I… ?” But then there is no going back to correct it. I know that a small chance encounter does not warrant this much of philosophy, but for a long time afterwards, I felt really content that I had not let the opportunity slip by.