Almost serendipity, twice

A few days ago, I am riding my scooter on the OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road) proceeding towards Kelambakkam and just near Hindustan University a white colored Hyundai Santa Fe SUV overtakes me. It is not going very fast and I take a moment to notice it clearly. I then proceed to Kelambakkam to exchange a cable at a spare parts shop for my scooter.  After getting the stuff I needed I head back and to my surprise at almost the same spot (near Hindustan University) the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, the same one that had overtaken me on my onward journey, now overtakes me on my return journey as well. It must have been 15 to 20 minutes for my activities and I was wondering what was the probability that the same vehicle overtakes me twice, both on my onward and return journeys and almost at the same place? One in a million! Even if I had slowed my vehicle a bit or wasted a little more time at the store in Kelambakkam, the vehicle wouldn’t have crossed me. I was struck at the amazing coincidence.

If this wasn’t a good example I have another incident to tell. The timing for this one is even more bizarre. This happened in 2011. I am parking my scooter at the Tharamani sub-urban train station and I notice a couple on an Enfield bullet who are also parking their vehicle. The lady was a white woman and her partner Indian. I could make out from the their English that they were probably from the U.K. We board the sub-urban train at the same time, in different compartments though. That was the last I saw of them. I get off the train at Chindadripet to go to Ritchie street. I have no idea where the couple got off. At Ritchie street I go about my shopping and I am sure I also had something to eat and drink. I then take the train from Chindadripet back to Tharamani. And here’s where the amazing thing happens. As I get off the train, I notice the couple getting off the train from another compartment and are heading to the bike parking area. It was just so bizarre!  What are the chances that they should also be in the same train at the same time on the return journey? Again, one in a million.

I call this post “almost serendipity” because serendipity is usually associated with something favorable unless you call this next incident one. As I am taking out my scooter from the parking lot at Tharamani station that day, I see this beauty, India’s (probably the first) 50cc geared motorbike.  Launched in the 80’s I cannot believe it is still in use in this decade. I rode pillion on one way back in 2003 but never knew there were others still in use.

Enfield Explorer


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