Life is strange, in many ways !! We never know how it will bring beautiful twists and turns as we unfold each chapter eagerly looking for what is in store for us. This chapter of mine unfolded 12 years ago at a time when I least expected. Working for a MNC as first job with much excitement being rostered in night shift had its own pros and cons. While I learnt to work at a time when I usually slept like most of them, I also had the associated tiredness and felt drowsy most nights and looked for ways and means to keep myself active. This search of mine led to me finding solace in the company of co-worker who not only sat right beside me but was also close to my age group. As we say, we connect well with similar age people, I was curious to talk, to share my woes of night shift and of course to learn ‘IT – Information Technology’ as I was campus recruited directly to the systems department of HSBC.

As I was night-dreaming about starting a conversation with this stranger (yea, this co-worker was a stranger as he had recently joined us from another team) I was shaken by the words my girlfriend told me – He is not our type ! He will get overly friendly if you talk to him casually and is known to have several girl friends !! Ummm… that was not a good alarm, u see ! Being just 20 years and raised in an environment where girls are asked to be cautious of mingling with unknown boys those words of my friend sparked through my mind like wild fire and I refrained from saying a word. I told myself – ooh dear ! I should probably listen to the wise words of my friend who has cautioned me. Days passed…I mean nights passed and as I went to work every night, I thought at least today this stranger will open his mouth and say a word. To my dismay he never spoke anything apart from the usual and casual greetings as we saw each other eye to eye. Seriously ?? I wondered.. Apart from that he was always glued to his desktop or went to help clients when there was an issue. I did try peeping through from the side to his desktop to understand what keeps his so very intrigued but couldn’t succeed. This was the least I expected given the hype that was created about his flirty nature!!

Time to break the ice….

One night I had mentally prepared myself to talk to him and ask if everything was ok. I was so bothered about his attitude that I no longer could tolerate him not speaking even a word ,forget about that busyness with his desktop. I was eager to know what he reads through every night that keeps his eyes wide open while I struggled by taking multiple breaks to stay awake. As I settled down that night and saw him come by, I told – Hey ! How are you ? I always see you busy in your world and you are studying most of the time. Are you pursuing a certification for career progression ? I sit right beside you and you haven’t spoken a word till date – is everything ok ? My continuous questions made him smile and he said – well, I read ‘Harry Potter PDF version’ to keep myself awake and didn’t have any reason to talk to you. OMG ! Dude, are you serious? I thought in my mind. Is this the same guy my friend was referring otherwise ? Has there been a mistaken identity ? These were the thoughts that were racing through my mind and something that kept me awake until I asked my friend if she was indeed referring to the same guy with the tagline – flirty !

However, my effort didn’t definitely go waste as that night a chat conversation was ignited and we started to slowly get to know each other and then as we were assigned to complete same projects, we had no choice but to work as a team. I slowly realized how he opened up with me by sharing his knowledge on the project we were working and also helping/assisting with things I needed. From a place where we hardly spoke to now helping each other was building a new bond between us. As we learned the facts about that project and several other projects we worked together in our duration with HSBC, we noticed how we had similar taste for life and started to enjoy each other’s company that filled the room with joy and laughter. It was positive aura that I always got when I was with him, I thought! One fine day when my girlfriend saw us chatting together and laughing away to glory she stated – I can’t stand him ! How are you talking so freely ?

Our perception is not always right….

As she said that, I took time to explain to her how I started enjoying working with him on the projects we were assigned together and how her perception is probably not right. She would disagree initially but as she made the effort to know this one time stranger but now a close confidante of mine, she did agree about her perceived notion and was apologetic. That said, as you read through this, would you want to ask yourself – Is there someone in your life whom you perceived not to be the ‘right’ person ? Have you thought what made you to think so ? Were there any true experiences related to you and your life with that person or have you just heard from a third person and then perceived it to be true ?

Our life ahead….

As I and this one time stranger got to know each other better, we decided to get married and will be celebrating 12 years of beautiful marital life on the 6th May 2021. Our story is a phenomenal example of how life brings with it a beautiful twist and turn, of how perception sometimes need to be re-evaluated, of how 2 complete strangers can get into a beautiful life long bond complimenting each other and the relationship. Cheers to my soul mate and I dedicate this article/story to him – A stranger turned life partner : Vamsi Gunturi.