The Circle of Life

January 8, 2010


Final year of college. Decisions to be made. Narrowed down to an MBA or a CA. CA was the cheaper option. Clincher was the fact that you could actually get paid Rs. 150 as monthly stipend for the ordeal. However, thanks to friends who opted for the MBA route, met people who were also embarking on a career in “management”. SB was one such acquaintance. Drinking oiled the friendship. Both of us went our separate ways and kept in touch on and off. Remember those were the antediluvean era before email, cell phones and social networking.

1996 or 1997 (memory is not what it used to be)

Joined an international consulting firm in Bangalore. AK is my boss. More friend than boss. Suffered each other for a fairly long time. Life moved on, more by accident than design. Though we never stopped taking credit for all the good things happening to us and around us. Naturally, the job started to bore. Start checking out other options. SB’s second coming into my life. Mentions his sister is now married to a gent who happens to be from the same confounded consulting business and is looking for people (do they ever stop). Fixes up a meeting for me with him. Meet him in his office. AK is kind enough to let me go for the meeting. Never landed the job. Cannot remember why. Cannot be lack of merit (fresh from reading Bonfire of the Vanities). Distinctly remember discussing the meeting with AK. Life moves on, as it always has and always will. AK and I go our own separate ways and I presume, so did SB’s brother in law (hereinafter referred to as “SU”). But not before, AK introduced me to the rest of his family including his sister DK.

New Year’s Eve 2010

First season for Arco Iris, our (Beni and I) newest baby. Touch base with old friends for selfish reasons. Hoping against hope they will refer guests, the paying ones that is. SB obliges. Calls up and says SU and SU’s wife (SB’s sister for those who still have not got the hang of it and hereinafter referred to as “VU”) are looking at options for bringing in 2010 and presto, they are coming to Arco Iris. Cheers all around. Me, am happy that I will be meeting SU after more than a decade. Forgot to mention that besides his professional competence, what impressed me the most about SU during the one meeting in 1997 was his heavy smoking. Doesn’t take much to impress me, then and now. A breath of fresh air in these rabid anti-tobacco days.

28th December 2009. SU and VU arrive. Pleasantries exchanged. Me shocked to be told that SU has quit smoking. Respect slides down a couple of notches. Literally fell off the chair when SU started espousing the causes of meditation and yoga. Me wondering if this is the same SU or an impersonator. Things do change in 12 years time. VU sweetly hands over the gifts that she has for us. 3 paintings. By VU’s ex-colleague’s sister. Picked up in her first exhibition.

The chat veers to our professional careers. During the course of the conversation realise that AK and SU were colleagues at some point. And that the paintings are by AK’s sister DK. After VU came to know that she would be spending New Year’s with her brother’s good friend, she decided to pick up gifts and almost celestially she decided on paintings by AK’s sister, DK, without the slightest idea of how all this was connected. More to come. SU and Vu’s yesteryears’ neighbour in Mumbai, PK happens to be a colleague of ours (yes, both Beni’s and mine). And quite miraculously, one of my seniors during my CA internship days had interned under him in New Delhi a few hundred years back. Agreed, it is a small world, but this small ?. Given the way things were unraveling, I was quietly confident that if we have dug deep enough, we would have realised that our fathers were separated at birth. Thankfully, by then my Old Monk had run out and that was that.

So, by some divine quirk, 3 paintings by DK adorn our home, Arco Iris, in Goa. Happy Tidings and a Sign that wonderful things are on their way.

Wishing all of us a wonderful 2010.


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