Not too long ago I wrote about destiny versus free will. And here I am today, talking about coincidences. Sometimes certain things happen in life that make us question whether it was all part of the plan or if it was just a coincidence. My life is full of such odd coincidences.

One time, as a teenager, I got into an argument with my parents and decided to run away – oh the teenage years! I started walking and soon enough I realized that I was lost. I kept walking in the hope of finding my way back, only to get further lost and ended up deep in the woods. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I saw a cop. A cop, in the middle of the forest, on foot – now that’s some coincidence! He asked me what I was doing there and I told him what had happened. He said a young girl should not be venturing out there all by herself, it wasn’t safe. He offered to escort me back home, and after many hours of walking I was finally reunited with my family, safe and ever so grateful to have found that mysterious policeman. I think that I had digressed from my life’s intended path and hence the universe had to intervene.

The universe always gives us a chance to correct our course, however, it is up to us to recognize the opportunity as such and take it. When I met that cop in the forest, I could have rejected his offer to help and continued walking. I might have ended up in grave trouble and regretted my decision to leave and refuse help when it came. That is what I had talked about in my post about destiny. Sometimes we can deviate too far from the intended path by making one wrong decision after another, and that is when we live, or die, with regrets. But the universe does offer at least one chance.

The way I ended up back in India was also a series of coincidences. I did not plan for it, it just happened. At the time it seemed like a series of unfortunate coincidences but in hindsight it seems like it was part of the plan. The way I ended up in Goa was also a coincidence. I had never applied for my current job. I got a call one day and I said yes. And everything I have now feels so right. I have some amazing friends, a budding passion project, I found a puppy, and I found love. Almost all of these things happened as coincidences too. My passion project came about on a whim one afternoon. I had a thought as I was walking down the street, and coincidentally, I walked into the right place, at the right time and met the right people. The puppy came to me on my birthday. I’ve tried giving him up several times but somehow it never worked. And my love? Well that’s a coincidence too, and in fact, the reason I started thinking about coincidences.

I was going through my blog last week, finally organizing posts into a menu, when I noticed something. I wrote a post on May 27 last year, more or less challenging the universe to impose love on me if it does exist out there for me. On May 29, I met him.

I knew him before that too, but we were no more than formal acquaintances. On May 29, purely by chance, we ended up spending the most memorable night together. It’s not what you might think it was. The plan was only to have one casual drink. But then we went on to walk by the river, then to a “secret” beach. We spent the whole night talking; we watched the first rays of the sun light up the sky; we rescued a baby fish that had shored up, probably because of the low tide that night. We, well I, did some yoga – silly, I know – and he took pictures (that is how I know the date, from the photos in my camera roll, and one of those pictures is featured here). I say that that was the night we met because that is the night we knew we had something special. I felt a strange comfort in his presence, although I had never spent any time with him before. I remember wanting to rest my head on his shoulder. I can’t remember if I did though. I wish I could ask him because he would remember. What I do remember is telling him at some point during that night that we were kindred spirits.

Those are some coincidences that are etched in my mind but by no means the only coincidences I’ve experienced. But are they really only coincidences? I like to think not. Not everything is a coincidence, not even good things that may seem like a chance encounter or serendipity. Perhaps they are part of a bigger plan that we don’t see. And sometimes they are spontaneous course corrections to get us back on that plan. But that’s not to say that there are no coincidences at all in life. There are. Towards the end, I think both he and I were beginning to realize that our attachment was much deeper than we liked to admit. We did a bunch of nonsensical “if we’re meant to be together”s – like catching an empty bottle in open waters, missing a flight… the answer always came up as an affirmative. Those were purely coincidences though because here we are, separated forever.

It’s hard to say what’s a coincidence and what’s more than that. I believe in the Universe, and I believe in miracles – miracles are miracles only because we can’t understand them, not because they can’t be explained. Trust me, I am a person who whole-heartedly believes in science but I also acknowledge that there are things that science can’t explain yet. So I like to believe that anything of the slightest consequence that happens to us happens for a reason. There are no accidents. What may seem like random events are actually not random at all. It’s sort of like the chaos theory but in a metaphysical way. That’s the way I see it. It may be too romantic a notion to think that the Universe is always guiding us, but the more I go through life with an open mind, the more I realize that the Universe talks to me, and sometimes coincidence is the language it uses.