Take time out for old friends….

From Left : Sarita Mandanna, Sangeeta Modi, Sandeep Runwal & Yours Truly

From Left : Sarita Mandanna, Sangeeta Modi, Sandeep Runwal & Yours Truly

When I got a call a few days back from a Sangeeta Modi, a good friend, asking me if I would be free for dinner on Sunday, my heart sank. Sunday, is one of those days that I ferociously protect for myself and my family. I try and avoid socialising on Sundays. Between my day job and writing career, thats one day that I get to recoup, think of plots and go on impromptu coffee trips with Dharini and Anusha. Another reason why I avoid socialising on Sunday evening is my daughter Anusha. Her bed time goes back to normal (10.30PM) after extended timings on Friday and Saturday, and she hates it if I am not home when she goes to sleep.

However when Sango called, it was difficult for me to say no. There was a reason to it. Just last weekend I had missed my Institute Alumni 20 year Reunion, which I had committed to attend. I was feeling very guilty about not attending. The dinner on Sunday was in honour of one of our batch mates and friend who stays in Canada and was transiting through Mumbai. What also made me agree was that I hadn’t met this friend of ours, Sarita Mandanna, even once after we passed out of IIM-Bangalore in 1993. And more so she is an author of immense repute(TIGER HILLS), having been published in 16 countries and languages across the globe. We have occasionally been in touch on Facebook, but twenty years in person is a bit too long. Sandeep Runwal, a close pal, a builder par excellence, and the one who had pushed for this meeting, was also there with his wife Priyanka Runwal.

So an exception was made to the “no social engagement on Sunday” rule and we all met at Taj Chambers at Lands End in Bandra (Courtesy Sandeep Runwal). And then came the four hour riot – which took us back twenty years in time. Back to our days at IIM-Bangalore. It didn’t seem like any of us had left campus. We relived the best years of our life in those four hours. Not a topic was left untouched – life in the hostel, friends, neighbours, assignments, late night walks, Night Canteen, strange quirks of a few of the people we knew, who was seeing whom, interesting escapades with profs, the number of authors who have come out of IIM Bangalore… well there was not a topic which was not discussed.

Finally when we walked out of Taj Chambers at night, we were not a bunch of forty year olds looking forward to going back to their jobs the next morning, but we were a bunch of twenty year olds walking out of the hostel Night Canteen heading back to their rooms looking forward to another day of fun in the hostel.

Its worth taking time out for old friends. You don’t get many opportunities to meet them. Hence look for every opportunity to connect, to relive the good memories of your past. Memories may not serve you much, but they will surely remind you that in a life moving ahead at a feverish pace, its worth pressing the pause button for a second and taking in the moment. Enjoy life. Savour it. The moment gone past will never come back. Live for today… in the present… and don’t die chasing tomorrow.

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