Tuesday, August 18, 2009


My friend from engineering school is in Colombia right now! He found a friend from Colombia in his graduate school in Ohio and now has flown straight into Medellin in his new friend's home country. Colombia of drug cartel, Valderamma and Shakira fame, very symbolic of the roguish charm and exotic nature of South America being trekked across by the same guy whom I borrowed notes from and shared a common anxiety with over what the future held for us as we crammed and mugged to become engineers in the little town of Kurukshetra. Since then we have met in Calcutta on New Year's Eve, in a nondescript town in Maryland where his car had caught fire and roamed the streets of Washington DC together with his crew. Talk about the currents of fate and they sure seem to choose strange places for us to run into each other.

Life is infinitely unpredictable. As friends who partnered in carrom, or slouched next to each other as any random action movie classic played on HBO under the exhilirating coolness of the common room coolers, was there any way in which we could've told how our lives would proceed. Or could have any of the others who'd shared the same lifestyle with us, one of intense inactivity in Kurukshetra? So much can change over just a couple of years! As my pal roams the late Pablo Escobar's sprawling fortified mansion in Medellin, now a museum to the extravagant lifestyle of the most powerful drug lord of all time, with his personal army and supposedly 7th on the Forbes list of billionaires at one point of time, he must be puzzling over the same question that often intrigues me, "This feels great but how the hell did I get here?"

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