Its 3:30 pm and I am sitting in the swish and swanky Terminal 3 of the New Delhi International Airport. The contrast is rather stark with the outside sky which remains as smoky, dusty and dull grey as I have always remembered.

The flight to Indore – the town where I am supposed to fly next for my brother’s wedding, is delayed by another 2 hours. I have finished my free wifi quota and with nothing else to ponder over, have my INSEAD year book propped up.

So many faces I won’t see anymore. I wonder if I took them all for granted? Never really appreciating how transient it all really was. Never really questioning whether that fleeting conversation we had, was going to be our very last one. Did I say goodbye to everyone who mattered? Was I able to convey just how much I liked, admired and was fond of these people? What about the ones who I always thought would be amazing to know but never got to know?

The Croatia trip helped – a bit. Made a couple of new friends against all odds. Said loving words to the old ones and beamed at the throbbing, bursting energy all around. The turquoise blue waters and the crumbling old towns played great supporting cast.

Speaking of which, what about the support staff? Shouldn’t I have given them a gift or something to remember me by? Did I say thank you to all of them for all they did for us 18J’s through the year? Most importantly why did it felt so emotional to say goodbye to some of them despite having such short conversations?

Never really got around to properly thank the professors. One of the things I always procrastinated over. Shouldn’t I have set up coffee chats or lunch chats or something to just to get to know who they are and what inspired them to teach?

Argh and what about Fonty itself! Shouldn’t I have had gone to the forest one last time? Will I remember the crispness of the air and the calmness of the trees? Have I taken in fully – the beauty of Rue des Sablons, the freshness of Lebanese fare from the market, the comfort of Trattoria, and even the grubbiness of Manhattan?

Feels like I went to INSEAD looking for answers but came back with more questions.

More ruffling through the yearbook. The latter half is marked with quotes from the student community – ‘diversity’, ‘best year’, ‘transformation’ … but I don’t really care about words right now. Maybe someday I will actually read what they all said. Right now though, I am quite content looking at the smiling faces in fond remembrance.

I try to smile back but there is a dull heaviness in the gut, making it difficult. The kind which comes with the sad realization that never would I see these faces all together in the same place again.

With a sudden bustle, everybody rises as one to join the queue to board.

The announcement is made.

Time to say goodbye.