“There’s a reason why you meet the people you meet.” This does sound like a cheesy line straight out of some overly mushed up rom-com movie. You hear it (or some permutation of it) everywhere you go. Our culture is embedded into our being even before we are born. So the phrase, ‘everything happens for a reason’ is something we grow up hearing, even if we don’t believe it entirely.

I am one of those semi-believers. Being fatalistic and alternating between twiddling thumbs doing nothing to then throwing the hands up in the air out of exasperation because ‘everything happens for a reason’, wasn't how my brain was programmed to function for some reason.

But this statement has for some reason just stuck with me.  I owe it to the wise old man I met during my stay in Ladakh. And I was only beginning to understand the essence of it - minus any shred of fatalism whatsoever.  I understand that as all of us complete - and some of us celebrate - our annual trip around the sun (read: birthdays), we meet people. A lot of them.
And these people reflect as mirrors for us.

Some people have instantly put me at ease (sometimes moments after just being introduced to them) either by being livewires or calm and peaceful listeners, full of positive vibes. I enjoy their company; they seem to be able to bring out the best in you.
They also serve as a reminder of a part of you that needs to be cultivated and nurtured.

Some are the exact opposite and their very presence has made me want to fold my hand into a fist, clench my jaw…you get the drift! You definitely can’t dream of sharing breathing space with them.
But they’re a reminder of those facets (thoughts, behaviour patterns) within me that have to go away.

Some are at ease with themselves, happy with who they are. There’s no mask.
I’ve begin to acknowledge my own self-assuredness because of them.

Some others are ill at ease in the company of others; their body language is rigid and defensive.
And there I see where I need some tough love.

Some provoke you for the sake of provocation.
Some, to get you to question and think…and eventually act.

Some with their self-deprecatory sense of humour make you appreciate the importance of humility. And also that laughing at one’s own self is quite entertaining.

Some seem like they’re walking around with shackles bound to their feet – with grouses of yesterday and empty talks about tomorrow.
That’s when I know why I need to start living the moment.

Some have the most casual of appearances and hardly anything larger than life about them. Or so I thought until…they produced a work of art, science or better still, common sense.
That’s when it strikes that me that I house within me something understated, yet absolutely ‘WOW’.

Some seem to fit the caricature of Aesop’s grasshopper – always only making merry, without a care in the world. They make it seem like they have it easy. A quiet word with them and I’ve seen the strength they demonstrate because behind the scenes life isn’t just song and dance (even for folks like them).
And I’ve begun to value the times I’ve braved the tsunami like waves all by myself and emerged stronger.

Some seem like cardboard cut outs – hardly ever emoting…when suddenly one day I’ve seen them for all their colours.
I’ve watched myself in the rear view mirror from when I’ve shrunk into a shell and then slowly arose to a new ‘me’.

Yeah. These are my reasons for believing why we meet the people we meet for a reason.
I’m truly grateful to the ones I’ve met and will continue to meet.
Some will serve as reminders of the version I used to be; others as a reflection of the version I am; still others will awaken the version I aspire to be.

If I hadn’t been shown the mirror at all those intervals I wouldn’t have had such eye openers – because one has to only peer a lil bit beneath the surface and we’re all almost alike. After all ‘you are unique like everybody else!’

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