It’s a small strange world that we live in. I truly believe that each an every one of us is separated from the other by just six people. We may not know this at the very moment or it may seem almost impossible to fathom, yet in this strange, mad, confusing world we remain connected to each other, for better or for worse. I know this is not a startling discovery for the rest of the world, but for a person that doesn’t believe in destiny and coincidences this was truly an epiphany.
I don’t think mankind would have survived for as long as it has if it weren’t for this strange, unfathomable connection that we have with another unsuspecting soul. The universe would have succumbed a long time ago under the ravage and plunder of wars, crimes, floods and famines if weren’t for people reaching out to each other in times of great calamity.
Possibilities that seem to be next to impossible have materialized right before my eyes time and again.They surprise and amuse me at manifestation of their impossible existense. Ever so often they convince me that just when you thought things couldn't get anymore monotonous, life throws a few surprises in your direction to shake you out of your stupor. Bizarre connections between human beings, who may have no connection at all, yet in some unsuspecting way come together in this complicated maze of life, fascinate me.
It was a humid Saturday, sweat oozed out of every open pore on my body. It slowly tricked down to god forsaken places making me angry and irritable. I walked with steady, long strides trying to get home as quickly as my feet would allow. Getting away from the oppressive heat and finally rewarding me with the well deserved nap was my sole purpose in life at that very moment. Working on the weekend never put me in a good mood, commuting in the blazing Mumbai heat to do so on a day when the rest of the world has called it quits made me livid.
I hurried along as best as I could stopping only momentarily to skillfully avoid the oncoming traffic that could potentially turn lethal in my haste. I passed the half-way mark, my cold comforting bed only a few impossibly long minutes away, when I heard the scarce summer breeze carry forth my name. I stop dead in my tracks and looked around expecting to see someone I knowm maybe a neighbor, maybe a friend. I wrinkled my brows in concentration as I tried to discern the towering figure striding my way. He smiled warmly in acknowledgement and pleasant surprise. I smiled back in confusing. He looked rather cute and oh so familiar. I looked rather greasy and dazed.
“Hey do you remember me?!” He gushed excitedly.
“Yes, of course! You are Tejas’s cousin.” I mused in a half nonplussed manner.
“No, no think again.” He said, his shoulders slumped slightly in dejection at the lack of my immediate recognition.
I stared at him perplexed, unable to put a name to the face. He finally gave up on my guessing abilities a second or two later and said that he was my neighbor from New York. Ahh, he was that quiet, shy guy who lived downstairs and never said more than two words to me for the first six months that we lived there. We eventually started to warm up towards each other at the very end of my stay, we even managed to pick up a random, stray conversation here and there admist our crazy schedules. By then it was too late, a week after he visited my place for the first and the last time I moved back to Bombay.
Six months later in a city with over five million people at junction off Hill Road and S.V Road A was the last person I expected to beacon me. Yet there we were foolishly smiling at each other, surprised at our rare chance encounter. Things like these only happen in the movies!
I was suppose to get home by 2 pm that afternoon, if it wasn’t for the last minute work that was thrust my way. He was never supposed to get off at Bandra. Yet at 5pm two Saturdays ago, fate in all its mystery brought us there at a weird junction in our lives.