Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
I’m still in touch with most of my friends from school and college. We did lose touch for a while in between but most of us reconnected with the onset of ‘social media’.
And it was social media that gave me one of the biggest surprises of my life as well.
This happened way back in 2008. I was an active member on a local online forum here. Now, on the forum, there was a rule that we were to withhold our real names. All of us had aliases. There was this user who used to call himself Smoke. Now Smoke was clearly one of the most popular members on the forum and we quickly struck a jolly camaraderie online. We still didn’t know each others’ real identities.
One day, a common friend to both of us spilled the beans that Smoke and I were working in the same company. Oh wow! After much cajoling, she told me his real name. So I sent him an email though our internal mail and after playing him a bit, I told him my alias. He was like “What?! You work HERE?”
We became work buddies and kept our online banter alive as well. By and by, I came to know that he was of my age, that he went to school here for a while before moving to India and so on. Now, all these revelations happened over a span of a couple of years, mind you.
One day, a couple of years ago, we were yapping casually about work stuff and vacations and all that. I don’t remember how the topic swerved there, but we were talking about where I started school. It was a little private kindergarten with just two classrooms – one for Upper KG and one for Lower KG.
Imagine our combined surprise when we both sort of discovered together that we were actually ‘classmates’ in the same kindergarten 😀 😛 He remembered a few names of the kids who studied with us, I remembered some more. We both vividly remembered the sand pit where we used to be allowed to play in. And the little red folding chairs in the classroom. Oh and our dear teacher, curly haired Mrs. Saldanha! ^_^ We both couldn’t control our laughter that day. Like what are the odds of some random person you met online ending up as one of your first classmates? One in a thousand, one in a million? I don’t know! Whatever it is, I’m so glad we found each other!