What are the odds…?

I do not believe in coincidences. Doing so would be at “odds” (no pun intended) with my strongly ESTJ mindset.

However, there are certain situations that leave me no choice but to ask myself, “Now what is the probability of that happening?”.

Perhaps some of you have come across these circumstances as well? At the very least, I am sure you’ll agree that they are…odd.

A young man came up to me on Friday evening last week and asked me if I had a book published for sale on Amazon to which I replied yes and asked him if he had read it.

He then tells me that it is a great read to which I respond with a question, “…are you…Calvin?” As it happens…Calvin lives in the same apartment complex that I do in the very next building!

Just last week, my colleague & I had a lengthy discussion about the poor performance of the New Orleans Saints against the Dallas Cowboys at what everyone thought (well, Saints fans anyway…) was going to be another routine win for the Saints in what is turning out to be a rather successful season for them. After that conversation which took place in the parking lot of my workplace, I walked towards my car, opened the door, put my backpack on the co-passenger seat, got in, closed the door, put on my seat belt, started the car, sent my wife a text message that I am on my way home and tuned into National Public Radio and the first words that came out of the speakers as I put my car in reverse were, “...fleur-de-lis…“. As it happens, that radio program had nothing at all to do with football, the state of Louisiana or even France for that matter.

My favourite colour happens to be purple. I am also a passionate polyglot and at the present time I am learning German, Russian & Spanish. A month or so ago, as my son & I were playing Monopoly during which he always gets the upper hand rather swiftly and keeps it that way, I was silently thinking to myself in German, “My favourite colour is purple.“. I love the sound of that sentence in German. It’s surprisingly therapeutic; especially when I’ve been declared bankrupt for the third time in 30 minutes in a game of Monopoly against an exceptionally lucky 6 year old. Right at that moment, my daughter walks up to me with a box full  of assorted crayons and says, “Papa, can you please write your name on this sheet of paper? Here, use this purple crayon.“.

One night in the summer of 2018 as I was lying down in my hotel room bed (a rather comfortable one I might add), I experienced my first episode of sleep paralysis. It was most fascinating. The entire session might have lasted 10 minutes if that. I recall hearing a clear conversation between a colleague of mine and another person whose voice I did not recognize talking about whether they should break into my hotel room to rescue me from the fire or evacuate the building right away and let the fire brigade take care of the rest. It came across as an oddly unhurried conversation given the topic of discussion. I snapped out of it, relished the novelty of the event, looked it up online for its prevalence among humans and its scientific basis, drank a glass of water and slept fitfully for the rest of that night. The next morning, as I was driving to work, the colleague whose voice I heard during my sleep paralysis sent me a text message that my rental car dutifully read out loud, “Good morning Ganapathy. How are you? Did you sleep well last night?“.