I was in London for a short course and after finishing the college registration requirements, I decided to just roam around and explore the area. After all, I would be spending next couple of months in the city.
It was my first day in London and I was still trying to figure my way around. I walked out of the building, took a left turn and started walking ahead. The whole area was filled with such beautiful buildings that I just kept walking and admiring the interesting architecture.
After a while, I saw a bunch of students wearing graduation gowns. I realized I might be outside my friend Anita’s college. I had called her in the morning to make plans and she had mentioned that it was her graduation day so she wouldn’t be able to meet me. I thought I’d try my luck and call her anyway. She answered! I spotted her amidst the crowd of black gowns, ran to her and gave her a big hug. We were meeting after three years, and that too on such a special day for her.
She was equally happy to see me and asked me to stay for the ceremony. As she went back to her friends, I walked towards the seating area reserved for the friends and families of the students. That’s when I saw this good looking guy standing all alone. He had long hair and was wearing a crisp white shirt with navy blue pants and a rather fancy pair of shoes. Our eyes met and we exchanged friendly smiles. Just then I heard Anita call out to him; I remembered her saying that her mother and her boyfriend would be coming to the ceremony. I assumed this guy was her boyfriend.
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I walked towards him and started talking to him. It was after the ceremony that I came to know Vivek was just a friend of Anita’s and not her boyfriend. The truth came out when Anita came to us and said, “Do you guys want to go for the reception, I have two passes since Maa and Rohit couldn’t come.” Vivek and I looked at each other and said, “Ya, sure.”
While Anita partied with her fellow graduates, we enjoyed some strawberry tarts and mushroom canapés and got to know a lot about each other. I discovered that he had come to London just the day before for some work. We both clicked really quickly and started talking as though we had known each other forever.
During the conversation we found out that we both had to go in the same direction. I had to meet a friend while he lived in an area nearby. So we left the place together after saying goodbye to Anita. He actually clicked my first picture from what turned out to be the most epic trip of my life! We took the same tube and he got off a few stations before mine. After he got down I realized we didn’t exchange numbers.
But as luck would have it, we met the next evening at Anita’s graduation party at her place. Vivek and I didn’t talk much at the party. I was there with my group of friends and was busy with them. However, we just looked at each other from across the room and smiled.
My trip was getting more interesting each day. The day after her graduation party, Anita planned a biking tour of East London. Being new to the city I jumped at the idea. There we were joined by Vivek and Sasha, another friend of hers. While Anita got busy talking to Sasha, Vivek and I started biking together. Although we cycled for hours, surprisingly enough, I wasn’t tired or bored at all! We spoke a lot that day, and he remembered every single thing I had told him the day we first met. To be honest I was impressed by this.
Spending time with each other while exploring the city became a daily thing for us. We would meet after he was done with work and I was done with my classes for the day. What followed were days filled with conversations, coffee dates, trips and walks - until the day he had to go back to India.
I went to the airport to see him off, knowing that I might not see him again. We had to be realistic, we didn’t even live in the same city! We weren’t ready to part ways, but we didn’t know what was going to happen next. So we decided to just let it be and not try the whole long distance thing.
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But the funny thing is, even after he left London I never felt alone because we kept in touch through facetime, calls and endless chats on WhatsApp. We just couldn’t stop talking to each other.
It’s been two years since the day I decided to take a random left turn and ended up meeting the love of my life. Yes, Vivek and I met after I came back to India and we have been in a relationship ever since. What happened that day made me believe in serendipity. If I had decided just to go back to my hotel from college I wouldn’t have met Vivek. Sometimes, a random turn can bring you to the right path and change the course of your life.
* Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Jul 16, 2016