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So here I am, in one piece having escaped unhurt from the machinations of Fate to bop me one on the head. Try it did, really hard, and failed (but eventually succeeded partially elsewhere).

The first time Fate showed its hand about its intentions was while I was relaxing in the A/C coach of the Janshatabdi to Chandigarh, which was our first stop to Destination Kufri (link), in the company of IHM, Monika and Dhiren (and their respective kids). All of us had boarded the train at New Delhi. The train had hardly chugged out of the station and picked up a wee bit of speed than I was hit really hard on my head.

I sat still too dazed to say a word.

I mean I was under the impression I was among friends. By then I had already been with IHM for more than twenty-four hours and she had not exhibited any violent tendencies whatsoever. On the other hand she had been the most gracious host, who seemed genuinely pleased to have me home with her. Why would she suddenly go and bop me one now anyway when she could well have done it in the privacy of her home where I was totally at her mercy?

Then there was Monika seated on the seat across the aisle from mine. I was seeing her face to face for the first time too, that too only minutes before the train left the station. Was it her hand that dealt the blow? But she was the same person who once took up the fight for me (unasked) when my blog link was being used by a stranger as her own, in some blog directory or other. Would such a person hit you? Next was Dhiren, seated right behind me, strategically placed to have given me that blow. But, why? He had seemed such a lamb, soft spoken and quiet when we shook hands just minutes before. But then this again being another first meeting, I realized I could be wrong about him too

I must tell you that all these thoughts flitted through my mind in just split seconds, because within seconds after I had been hit, IHM had jumped up from her seat and started apologizing. No, no, you wrong her. She wasn’t apologizing because she had hit me, though in my confused state, I almost believed that was why she was saying she was sorry. Her apology was because it had been her bag, or rather Brat 3’s bag, that had rolled off the luggage rack above and on to my head as the train picked up speed. Phew…

Fate sort of tried the same trick with me on my flight from Dubai to San Francisco last month. The flight had just taken off and the Airbus still had its nose directed upwards when I heard a commotion. People sitting on the other side were gesticulating and saying something. I looked up to where they pointed to find the door of the luggage cabin above my head had snapped open. The bags piled inside looked ominously close to doing free-falls. The gentleman sitting on the seat across the aisle from me removed his seat belt and valiantly tried standing up, a difficult task on an inclined plane, to close the door. From her seat, the stewardess ordered him to remain seated and he was forced to obey. Helpful suggestions came my way from fellow passengers, to hold my hands above my head in case one of the bags came loose and fell on my head. The American lady sitting next to me immediately raised the hand rest and pulled me closer to her. Soon the plane straightened itself having reached the required height, and the air-hostess walked over to close the door shut. That was close. Phew…

I bet you cannot guess what happened when the flight was about to land at San Francisco. No way. Not again. Yes, once again, the door of the luggage rack above my head, but on the opposite side, snapped open in much the same manner! That’s when I realized Fate was conspiring to take revenge on me, perhaps for bopping someone on the head though inadvertently (link). Anyways…

On my return journey, I was literally shaking in my sneakers on each take off and landing, but managed to land at Trivandrum in one piece, with no flying (free-falling) bags trying to break my neck.

The failure must surely have some of you rejoicing (I hope) and some others shaking their heads in disappointment. To the latter, all can say is, unto each life some rain must fall. Better luck next time. But yeah, Fate did manage to do some little bit of damage after all when I was lifting my bags off the luggage carousel. That’s why you have seen less of me. I am laid up with a bad back. And Luci didn’t help any with her continued show of love and affection in her hyperactive way, undoing most of the recovery made and sending me right back to bed. Hmm… whose side is she on, anyway?! Hrrmmmpff.