Intersection Point. Points, if you count the photographer!!!
“Can you take a picture of my friend and myself? We are meeting after a long time. The last time we saw each other was 32 years back half a world away”, I asked the lady at a Reston bar last week.
“Sure”, she said. And she adjusted my phone camera, she looked at me and said “I think I know you”.
I got distracted. “You know me? How?”
She: “That is what I am trying to remember”.
Me: “What is your name”
She: “No. X..I..O”
Name starting with a “X”. That triggered something. I asked her to hold off on taking any pictures. I took my phone back from her, went to my website and went to a particular post. I showed her a picture – “Does this look familiar to you?”
“Yes!!! I took that picture! You were sitting at the other end of the bar with your friend who you were meeting after a long time”.
“You are from Brazil, right? Now I remember you”, I said.
She then looked at me and Debasis and asked – “Is this what you do for a living – meeting old friends?”. We both laughed away.
Turns out Xio was also the same person who I had asked to take a picture of me and Raja – who I met after 34 years from my neighborhood back in Durgapur. That was about a year back and I had completely forgotten that we had come to the same Reston Bar.
All this time Debasis was incredulously following our conversation. “You seem to always have these incredible coincidences when it comes to meeting people”.
And in fact, it was an incredible coincidence that I was sitting at the bar with Debasis himself. That morning, as my office colleague Bob and I took a turn on Sunset Blvd in our rental car to go for a day long meeting with BEA Systems, I showed him the Bechtel building caddy corner from us and told him “Believe it or not, I found out that a classmate of mine from high school who lives in India is visiting US for a few days for work and is right now in that building. I have not seen him from high school days”.
So, maybe it is less of incredible coincidences and more of social media. Without WhatsApp, I would not have gotten this chance to meet the guy who used to be literally next door to me in my eleventh and twelfth grade hostel (dorm).
There was a lot to catch up on. He has kept in touch with quite a few friends from those two years that I had not had a chance to talk to. What bonded us a lot was his late elder sister and my mom who are (were) afflicted by the same psychiatric problem. He has obviously gone thru the same challenges that we go thru with my mom. I was fortunate enough to pick up some tips on the later stage issues that my mom is likely to go thru.
I remembered his parents visiting him very often over the weekends. And they used to bring food for him – mostly sweets. Being his next door neighbor – and therefore highly reliant on me waking him up early in the morning before classes started – I used to get some of the early shares from all those special food his parents used to bring. Unfortunately though, I will not have a chance to meet them again during my India trips since I learnt that both of them have passed away.
Hopefully next time I am in Delhi, I will get a chance to meet him and his immediate family there without having to wait for another 32 years!!