As you must have read in my previous post, I was meeting Mahnia – a colleague from my past – after a long time. In fact, we were sitting at a table outside a restaurant. We were on the street and literally all the downtown people were milling around us as we caught up with each others’ lives.
During that conversation, I saw somebody go by us who I thought I recognized. But it was too quick and she had big sunglasses on. Ten minutes later, the same lady went past us again from the other side.
I told Mahnia that I thought I knew that lady. If I was not very mistaken, many moons back, she was the bar tender at the place Sharmila and I still go to this day on Sunday evenings. I remember her for teh cute nairband she would always sport and also for the fact that she was a row-er (is that the right word?). She coached folks who wanted to learn rowing in the Rowing Club near us. I had been toying with the idea of rowing for a long time since it would allow me to be with nature and also would be a good upper body exercise.
About half an hour later, that lady went past us yet another time!!! Mahnia insisted that I find out if it is the same person. I gave in and came out on the street and yelled – “Katelyn?” I was half expecting the lady to just keep going. Except that she turned around, recognized me in about half a second and yelled “Raj”?
Well, there was the second intersection point of the same evening!! Last time I saw her was when Sharmila and I visited her at a new bar where she had started working after leaving our Sunday night place. As I talked to her, I realized that she had moved on to great successes careerwise from there.
It was only for a couple of minutes. But it was so great to see her after such a long time again!!!
And for the record, Katelyn, if you are reading this post, you promised to come and visit Sharmila and me at Milton’s one of these Sundays…
Met Mahnia after many many moons since we had worked together. Funnily enough, most of our discussions were around time spent while NOT working. She is in a phase where she is taking time off from her job. Having gone thru that three times in life – and my family will argue the best three times of our lives – we talked a lot about the importance of taking “time outs” in life and pursuing very different goals. And eventually recognizing the mortaility of life – on other words, the finiteness of our life.
As we said this evening – Most of us do not wake up realizing n=n-1 now and live the rest of the day as if n is not a finite number.
I took some tips from her long hiking and long biking trips. Someday, I am sure I will get into those too.
It was great to meet an old colleague and a great human being!!
I understand the problem is attributed to Pythagoras. (I am not sure of the veracity of the story). In any case, my friend Prodipto posted this in our school Whatsapp group. Try it…
In a party that had 100 guests, the first guest was given 1% of a large cake. The next guest got 2% of what was left. And the next got 3% of what was left…. on and on… the 99th guest got 99% whatever was left at that time and the 100th guest got the final (100% of) leftover.
Which guest got the largest piece?
Adding the answer here…
Since Sharmila and Natasha are in Dallas I drove for four hours to visit Nikita in her college campus where she is doing a summer camp.
We walked for two hours in the campus and I did not get a chance to put in a word edgewise. She is super excited about dorm life and her friends and has so far given me a blow by blow description of the last two weeks’ activities!!!
I think it was around 2003. Thoroughly exhausted after a week of intense meetings in Bangalore – and messed up by the time differences – I finally slouched down on seat 1C on a Jet Airways flight from Bangalore to Kolkata one Friday evening. I had my head down and was just trying to get some of my energy back. Through the corner of my eyes, sitting in the aisle seat, I could see all the people filing into the plane.
I suddenly saw this really cute young girl walk into the plane all smiles at me. I smile back at her. And thru the corner of my eyes, I could see there was a gentleman behind her. All I could see was up to his knees and he was wearing a kurta-pyjama. So as not to be a weird guy, I raised my head with the smile to acknowledge him too.
And that is when I go the shock of my life. The gentleman, as it turned out, was none other than Subhasis Ojha. Fancy meeting him – a guy who lived in Canada and was my team mate – on a flight in India. He introduced his wife Sanghamitra to me who was just behind him. It so happened that it was not the happiest moment for them. Of course, discounting the obvious fact that they had just met me, they had bigger challenges to deal with. Sangha’s mom had just passed away and they were headed for her last rites.
Believe it or not, after that day on the the plane, I actually managed to see both of them again this week, after a gap of almost a decade and a half.
It was a office meeting that got me to Toronto this week. After the meetings, I reached out to some of my old friends to see if they were available. Other than the Ojhas, there was Marty Flemington who showed up. The guy I will always remember as “Mr. Architect” – I saw him after another decade and a half. And what a great day too! It is his birthday today.
As onerous as travel and business meetings are – especially if you have to wait for an hour and forty minutes in customs – there are always memorable moments to create. And I am always grateful to friends like Subhasis, Sangha and Marty who make it so!!