A Chance Encounter…

18 July 2016

The newspaper lands faithfully upon our doorstep every single day. We read it as a routine pretty often. News, nowadays, is hardly worth looking forward to. Terrorist attacks, murders, accidents, rapes…absolutely nothing worth being glad of. We browse through the newspaper today, just like we do, every single day.

We read a headline…and we move ahead. We get on with our lives when a phone call comes through. It talks about a headline that features in today’s newspaper; one that we read, and moved on. An Expressway accident, that claimed lives one more time. That’s how these news articles begin…and that’s why we move on this easily too. Expressway accidents are becoming a frequency but the horror of it strikes completely when the news hits home, or rather hits our next door house.

We live next door to an office and the owner died in an Expressway accident last night. Their car hit the road divider and all the occupants in the car were declared dead upon arrival. The news states the nightly horror in such simple and matter-of-fact manner but the eerie silence that has descended next door shouts out the news, loud and constant.

He was a nice man, young and handsome. He was tall but never overwhelming. A politician to the world but always a neighbour to us. Polite and always offering any kind of help we might need. Often, we met him heading out when we were heading in, after a long day. He always took the time to stop and greet us, enquire about our day. Just a month ago, I was hanging out of my door and telling him about what my husband does. He broke into a smile when he heard that Travel and Tourism resides next door to him. “Pudhchi trip sirankadhunch plan karun ghenaar ata!” (The next trip would be definitely planned by sir!) are perhaps the last words we exchanged before he shut shop for the day.

Last night, he shut shop forever and here I am, still waiting for his office next door to open. Sometimes chance encounters create relationships whose depths you are never aware of…until a chance ‘encounter’ with a deadly obstacle takes them away forever.

Rest in Peace, Neighbour….