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‘I met this guy at the kids’ gymnastics class. He happened to be a fellow parent. He had vibuthi on his forehead and I assumed he must be Tamil. Slowly, I introduced myself to him. Names were exchanged. Where we were from? Which school we studied? And then, it slowly dawned on me. I went together with this guy for chess tutoring when I was eleven. It took a couple of minutes for both of us to let it sink in that we were actually getting in touch after about twenty odd years!’

One fine September afternoon, when the husband narrated this to me, the excitement in his voice was so contagious.

After this first ‘coincidental’ meeting of the husband and his childhood ‘chess friend’, we got introduced to each others’ families. This friend (let’s call him B) has a daughter the same age as our kids and like their fathers, they get along really well. No fights. No complaints. If they are together, there’s just laughter and fun. **touchwood** Similarly, B’s wife and I get along pretty well too. We have similar views (mostly!) on parenting, philosophy and films.

B’s family is the first one that we got to know when we had just moved in to a newer place and were struggling to find company. And honestly, I am so so glad we met them. Till today, they’ve been a great company and of immense help in times of need.

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The gymnastic class that my kids go to has something to do with reviving old friendships. Or at least, that’s how I like to romanticize it.

One fine afternoon, when we were coming back from the gymnastic class, the husband called one of his other long-lost friends from his chess-learning days. They had been in touch on Facebook but were just that – Facebook friends. When the husband called this friend, we (kids and me) were sitting in the car and listening to the conversation between these guys on speaker.

Husband – How are you?
Friend – Great da. Where are you now? In the US?
Husband – Yes da. And you are in San Antonio right?
Friend – No no. Am in Dallas.
Husband – **getting a little excited now** Where in Dallas?

So, husband and this friend (let’s call him CJ) exchange addresses only to find that they live just three streets away from us. And apparently, the other chess friend B too knew this friend and all the three live within a two-mile radius. The weird ways of this small world! The three of them were in conference in no time and we were sitting there silently smiling and listening to their excitement of reminiscing their childhood days.

The same evening, all of us with our families got together in B’s house and it is one of those days I will remember for a long long time. The men were still in their excitement hangover. The kids (all of them almost the same age!) were having so much fun and making a ruckus. And we, the women were trying to introduce ourselves and finding some common ground to talk about. At one point in time, I turned around and realized that I was surrounded by really really nice people.

Somehow that day everything came together and made it a magical evening of sorts.

*****

I’ve written so many times here about how much I hate transitions and the uncertainties that come with it. But this time around I realized that along with uncertainty also comes goodness.

I am not a believer in God and miracles. But every time I am caught in an unfamiliar place or circumstance, I realize I am surrounded by some of the most nicest people in the world. I keep getting overwhelmed by the goodness that I get without even asking. And I keep wondering if I deserve all this goodness.

(This is just a small glimpse of all the nice people that we’ve met so far in this new place. So many other known and unknown people have touched our lives in some small way or other. I will write about them in due course because I firmly believe that stories about goodness should never go untold!)

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