“You will not know me sir…”, I started my conversation with the gentleman who had just stepped out of his house when I rang the bell. If I could get a penny every time I have started my conversation with a stranger with that familiar refrain of “You will not know me…”, I would be a rich person today. Well, maybe not as poor, at least.
“My name is Rajib Roy…” I continued.
“Oh! I know you.”
That floored me. “You do? How?” I stammered. I started looking him up a little more purposefully. Perhaps we had worked together in the past?
“Oh! We still get your mail,” he casually answered.
“Ah! so you know of me, then!! Indeed we lived in this house for nine years. This was our first house – for my wife and me. Both my daughters were born in this house. We have a lot of memories here.”
“Why don’t you come in?”
“No. I am between meetings in Coppell and Mansfield. I thought I will just swing by to see the house from outside.”
We stood there and talked about his family – his five kids and how two of his young daughters have converted my library cum music room into their bedroom. And the neighbors we used to have then. After a few minutes, I told him that I needed to go.
“Would you mind if I took a picture of the house from the front?”
“Sure thing. If you don’t want to come in, you can go to the backyard from the side gate to take pictures.”
And with that I got the two shots in this picture of the first house Sharmila and I had bought and moved in to. That was 1998. Sharmila went into labor literally the day we had moved our stuff. Natasha, Sharmila and I – we all moved in together a couple of days later. I still remember opening up boxes after boxes looking for a spoon to make coffee the day after we all came back from the hospital!!
The backyard – specially the pool and the water behind brought back rich memories of the two girls. Pool was their favorite spot. Their friends used to come over and have pool parties fairly regularly. (In our friends’ circle and in the neighborhood, we were among the first ones to have a pool those days).
After taking in the view for a few seconds, I had a “Bye Bye Pool” moment like my father in law as I withdrew!
I am fortunate that work lets me still come back to Dallas and re-live some of the memories of those beautiful days long gone!!