I’m not an ardent believer of the word coincidence. Everything happens for a reason, I keep saying to staunch believers. Since this is the era of Facebook and Orkut, it makes it near impossible for one not to be in touch with chaddi buddies. Still, bumping into childhood friends online.. especially those you weren’t exactly ‘close friends’ with, means restricting your conversation to just “Hey, howzz life?” Meeting them in person is a different experience.
Last month, I ran into a school friend at a city mall. Both of us were in a tearing hurry and had come to the mall to collect some photographs, intending to leave within 10 minutes. Our stay was extended as we had to take nature’s call.. we would later learn. Coincidence?
Yuvika and I happened to push open the door to the washroom almost together. After 10 odd seconds, we looked towards each other. Then we looked away and stole a glance again. An awkward silence followed before both of us unanimously yelped, “Hiiiiiii.”
She had come down from Canada to attend a family function and was scheduled to fly back in two days. Plans be damned, we had to catch up over dinner. It was nine years since we met last and we didn’t want to take a chance again.
But first, Yuvika said, I have to go to home to drop some groceries. Nothing could have prepared us for the surprise that awaited us there.
“Hey, what are Kinjal and Devashree up to these days?” I asked Yuvika on our way to her home. “Don’t know much, just that Kinjal shifted to the U S, nine years back.. right after school. Devashree, I hear has a fancy job in a corporate firm. They are on my Facebook, but I log on just once in a fortnight,” she explained.
We hopped out of the autorickshaw, rang the doorbell and froze. We couldn’t believe our eyes. Kinjal and Devashree were at the door. They heard about Yuvika’s short stay and had come to surprise her. Kinjal was in Mumbai for a week, her sister was getting married in India.
The four of us hugged, exchanged pleasantries and within minutes we were chatting as if we were buddies all along. We were back to discussing teachers, principals, the naughty students, the studious ones, our bench partners and how each one had gotten the other into trouble back in school.
Suddenly, it didn’t seem like it had been nine years since we met last. Kinjal whisked out a digital camera and took dozens of pictures, promising to mail them soon. In what seemed like minutes, it was time to go home.
We promised to keep in touch though. It’s been three weeks since and we are back to writing on each others Facebook walls, “Hii, Howzz you, reached safe?” The photos are yet to reach our inbox as well.