Tuesday morning, 8:00 AM, 2nd September
I was back from my momentous trip and creatively fulfilling trip to San Fran and north California, back at the Logan airport in Boston. I had flown through the night and wasn't feeling the greatest on a Tuesday morning. But office was what was paying for all my footloose tendencies and so it was a homage I had to pay. I took the Silver Line bus out from the airport to South Station only to find that the next train out to Middleboro (The closest commuter rail stop to Taunton) was 2 hours later. So cursing my bad luck and the hang-over like drowsiness that hammered inside my head, I decided to foot the 94 dollar taxi fare that awaited me for a cab to Taunton from the airport.
As I lined up again for the Silver Line bus back to Logan, who should I see of all the people in the world but Dibyendu Da. Here was one of my elder bro's best college buddies, whose last memory I had until that day was of my 13th birthday celebration back in Bharuch. I remembered him asking me time and again on September 26th, 1997 "You are a teenager now. Do you really feel like one?" And with all the awkwardness that is the baggage of that age of life, I couldn't come up with any kind of an answer at all. Yes, I knew that I felt different with all those hormones pumping through my system and the calisthenics of my thoughts as they tried to keep up with them. But was this the 'real' teenage feeling that Dibyendu was talking about or was it some sensational experience that I was totally missing out on?
The reason that I'd have really loved to answer the question then was that Dibyendu was incidentally also the college rock star with a truly awesome voice and for me and my sister the epitome of college cool. The college rock show that my bro managed to sneak my sister and me into (My bro being 11 years older than me and my sis being only 2 years older than me, it was really the high point of our kiddo lives) is a mainstay of my childhood memories. The thundering vocals of Dibyendu as he sung "We will rock you" in the packed auditorium and as all of the crowd clapped and shouted in unison were indeed difficult to forget. My initiation into the world of rock music had begun just because of this guy!
Considering that he saw me after 11 odd years that day at the Boston South Station, Dibyendu Da was pretty subdued in his reaction. I could recognize him at my first glance, but I could see the moment of doubt in his eyes before he realized that the tall, lanky guy in an Iron Maiden tee was actually the same geeky little kid whom he had last met in that little town in south Gujarat. He too was on the way to Logan to take a flight out to Virginia where he lived and worked now. He asked me about my future plans and we had an honest talk about my still stagnating dreams of becoming a writer. He gave quite a few suggestions which unfortunately being the lazy ass that I am, I haven't been able to follow up yet! He left for his flight while I headed out to Taunton in high spirits on a day which otherwise would've turned out to be a very stressful one.
To accidentally run into the person from my past who was probably my first real inspiration for really wanting to do something creative in a city halfway across the world was a great sign in itself. I am a selectively superstitious man. I believe only in good omens and find great thrills in the kinder twists of fate. I think that moments like these set our lives rolling inexorably to a destination, a destination whose unsolved mystery drives us and draws us on.