Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fortuitous happenings

Its the little things that help strengthen people's belief in God and the unseen.

I had a series of fortuitous and not-so-fortuitous events recently that gave me -- well -- a pause.

I was in Ottawa for a talk I had to give and was scheduled to leave Ottawa for Toronto at midnight. The talk finished at about 3 in the afternoon and I had the rest of the day to myself. A friend who lives in Ottawa but was in Toronto for vacations, suddenly and unexpectedly decided to come back to Ottawa the day before thus allowing me to recharge and catch up with him.

I left for Toronto from Ottawa at midnight. My experience with Toronto's transit system was just plain horrible. It didn't have an online trip planner and was full of other annoying little quirks such as the ticket only being valid in a single direction and having different transit companies operate in the surrounding cities which meant that I couldn't use the pre-paid tickets I had brought earlier in those cities. I was asking around on how to get to my relative's place when I stumbled across a kind couple (a Pakistani guy married to a gori (a white girl)) who offered to drop me near my relative's place. They easily saved me about a hundred bucks that I would have had to give to the taxi cab otherwise. Not only were they kind enough to drop me off near my destination but even served me lunch at their place. It was pleasant, even if not totally unexpected, to see his gori wife make roti and chai.

The fortuitous streak ended when I realized that I had forgotten my relative's exact address and phone number at the couple's place. I roamed around the streets a bit, scouting for wireless internet so that I could retrieve her address from my email account. I was able to spot a mall where a guy agreed to let me retrieve the address and I finally made my way to the destination after about an hour of roaming around.

While such events can be explained off as statistical occurrences, they sure mean heck of a lot to the person whom they happen to, which is perhaps why it is so hard to label them off just as mere statistical occurrences.


  1. You're in Canada? And you give talks? How cool. I live near Toronto myself.

  2. I have been living in Vancouver for a little while now. Nice to hear that you reside in Canada too. We should probably meet up if you happen to visit Vancouver or I visit Toronto again. And the talk was a one off thing; not something I do on a regular basis.

  3. What were you giving a talk on?

    Yeah we should definitely meet up. I live in Mississauga.

  4. It was just a talk on my masters research given to a group at IBM.