2 January 2014

… and smaller…

After breakfast with Shridhar and a chance meeting with Deep, I came down to my room and was enjoying the view of the Arabian Sea and Juhu beach right in front of us, when I received a FB message from a friend of mine from yesteryears.

Carol Krishnamohan was visiting Mumbai from Hong Kong! In fact, she had brought her kids to play in the beach!! In Juhu beach!!! Right in front of our room!!!

A quick phone call, hurriedly getting the Marriott security guy to open the back gate to the beach and a brisk walk later, I met Carol – after over twelve years. We used to work together in the late 90s – very early 00s – in i2!! Found out that her husband – Mohan is an avid runner too!!!

At this point of time, I will no longer protest if you think I am making up all these stories. I am myself stunned by serendipity and fortunate coincidences!!!


2 January 2014

The world gets smaller…

Last day in India. As I finished up my breakfast meeting with Shridhar (more on this 100 country backpacker later) and started saying goodbye in the Executive Lounge of JW, guess who walks in with that characteristic unforgettable smile of his?

Deep Bhattacharya from Shanghai!!

I met him in Atlanta thru a common friend more than a year back and ran together in Fowler Park. And then I run into him in Bombay!! Apparently he has checked into this hotel too!!

Unfortunately, both of us had to run… but these are the fleeting moments of interaction points that make our lives so enriched!!!!


1 January 2014

“I wish you enough” for 2014

On this first day of the New Year, there are many ways of expressing my best wishes to you. None can match what I want to say as well as Bob Perks did in his short story “I wish you enough”.

From the bottom of my heart, my friends, “I wish you enough”.

If you are curious about the story, you can go to http://www.bobperks.com/wish.htm

or read it here…
I never really thought that I’d spend as much time in airports as I do. I don’t know why. I always wanted to be famous and that would mean lots of travel. But I’m not famous, yet I do see more than my share of airports.
I love them and I hate them. I love them because of the people I get to watch. But they are also the same reason why I hate airports. It all comes down to “hello” and “goodbye.”I must have mentioned this a few times while writing my stories for you.

I have great difficulties with saying goodbye. Even as I write this I am experiencing that pounding sensation in my heart. If I am watching such a scene in a movie I am affected so much that I need to sit up and take a few deep breaths. So when faced with a challenge in my life I have been known to go to our local airport and watch people say goodbye. I figure nothing that is happening to me at the time could be as bad as having to say goodbye.

Watching people cling to each other, crying, and holding each other in that last embrace makes me appreciate what I have even more. Seeing them finally pull apart, extending their arms until the tips of their fingers are the last to let go, is an image that stays forefront in my mind throughout the day.

On one of my recent business trips, when I arrived at the counter to check in, the woman said, “How are you today?” I replied, “I am missing my wife already and I haven’t even said goodbye.”

She then looked at my ticket and began to ask, “How long will you…Oh, my God. You will only be gone three days!” We all laughed. My problem was I still had to say goodbye.

But I learn from goodbye moments, too.

Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.”

They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me.

So I knew what this man experiencing.

“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.

“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back would be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.”When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

He then began to sob and walked away.

My friends, I wish you enough!