Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A funny interaction with a stranger

In my journey from home to my work place I take the local train. On Raksha Bhandan day, the train was unusually crowded. I had to stand in between the two seats facing each other in the train for most part of the journey. Since I did not get a place to sit I had placed my back pack on the top rack provided in the local train for luggage. When it was just 4 stations remaining for me to get down I happened to get a place to sit. There was a married couple seated face to face with each other. Both mother and dad carrying one of their kids on their lap. They had to get down at a station which was two stations prior to mine. I sat down next to the father of the kids.

Due to the unusual rush, the father felt that it will be difficult for the couple to reach near the exit on time. Hence, he told his wife that they would need to make their move quickly so that they do not get stuck especially since they have their two kids to be carried as well. However, this conversation was overheard by a middle aged man who was standing in between the two seats and he advised them that they need not hurry and be seated as they will get ample time. With this interaction a conversation started between these strangers. I was seated next to the father of the kids and hence could listen to this conversation.

This stranger continued interacting with the father of the kids. He asked them whether both their kids were girls. When the father confirmed that they were girls, the middle aged man smiled and said that good they are girls. He mentioned that what good are boys who will grow up and send their parents to old age homes. Not sure why he was so sure that all boys grow up to be irresponsible adults who won't take care of their parents. Anyways, it could be an opinion formed because of his observations that he has made after looking at things happening in his surroundings or in his close relations.

The couple by then had started to move towards the exit with their kids. This middle aged man (going forward I will refer to him as "Stranger") got to sit next to me as the couple had moved out.  When they moved out, a young man made his way in the space between the two seats. This guy had a back pack and  due to which he had to struggle a lot to reach a place where he could stand comfortably. Looking at this the Stranger (middle aged man) seated next to me started a conversation with me. He said that we should come up with a new bag that can be carried on top of the heads so that other passengers in the train do not get inconvenienced. I just smiled and nodded. He felt that no matter how the back pack is placed (on the front or on the back), it will cause inconvenience to people who are standing around, be it in an bus or in a train. He said that he had a bitter experience when traveling in a bus. A person carrying a back pack was trying to manoeuvre, happened to hit the specs he was wearing and it got thrown out of the window. I just smiled and did not utter a word.

I was about to reach my destination and considering the rush in the train I decided to get up and move quickly. I stood up and picked up my back pack from the rack where I had placed it after boarding the train. This stranger then asked me, "So, you were also carrying a back pack?". I felt like laughing out loud but toned it down to just a smile and moved on.

Friday, August 9, 2013

If my life story was a book, what would it be titled?

After reflecting on events that happened in my life, as far as my mind can recollect, I think my life story would be titled "I Strive, Destiny Drives" . Yes, I do believe in destiny. I also believe in goals. However, my life so far has been destiny driven more than goal driven. I would love to ensure that I control my life rather than situations and circumstances. More often than not destiny has triumphed over free will. It is not that I never achieved any goals set by me. The scale is tilted more towards destiny.

I personally do not recollect events that happened around my birth. I came to know from my mother that I was a premature baby. I came into this world approximately 2 months earlier than expected. You could say I was born impatient. However, life so far has been a lesson in patience.

I specialized in Production engineering and during college days, I managed to clear my second year without keeping terms. This was a big surprise for me because there was a subject in which I was very confident that I would fail. Not the right kind of confidence to have, isn’t it? Destiny had something different in store for me. I cleared my second year without failing in a single subject. It is still a mystery for me as to how I managed to clear that subject in which I was sure of failing. No complaints though. This was one occasion where I was happy to be proved wrong by destiny. Similarly in 3rd year, I was not confident of scoring well. I expected I would score below 60%. To my surprise I managed to score close to 70%. You may think that I was pessimistic. No, I am not a pessimistic person. In fact, my optimism at times can be bordering around insanity. So, the above comments of mine about my college days are expectations I had, based on how my exams went. It was based on some analysis I did after attempting the exams. So, when I surpassed my expectations and I did not have any logical reasoning, I definitely felt that it was destiny playing a role in my life. Again, please do not misinterpret my statements here and feel that destiny is a substitute to hard work and planning. I am not making any such claim. I am only trying to indicate that no matter how hard you work, how hard you try or how meticulously you plan; there are many events in life that will happen not as expected by you.

Even when getting into a job, I ended up doing a job which was not in line with my educational qualification. However, I still enjoyed doing it. Ultimately, that is what matters.

Destiny had to play a role in my marriage as well. We happened to meet online despite being at a common friend’s engagement and wedding prior to our online interaction. As if we were not destined to meet up then. Our friendship started over Orkut, numbers got exchanged, we started to meet and things moved so quickly that within 4 months we got married.

You must have also experienced situations in life wherein things were planned very meticulously yet some unexpected turn of events caused the final outcome to be totally different from what was envisioned at the outset.