Saturday, October 16, 2004

Funny coincidences & paranormal phenomena

n I met a colleague when I walked into my office for work in the morning. I met him at the same spot in the evening when I was leaving for home.

n I crossed a fruit vendor at a particular spot when I was going to the market. I crossed another fruit vendor at the same spot on my way back.

n I met the neighbourhood shopkeeper in the morning when I was leaving home. In the afternoon, when I came back I met the same man at the same spot.

During the past 20-odd years, I have had more than 10 such experiences, some of them very striking, Nothing very haunting about them. Because each of those twin-encounters has been very pleasant and quite ordinary. Nevertheless, what I found unique was: same person, same spot, during my onward journey and return journey. It looked so programmed.

Of course it hasn't been too frequent. When you consider the number of occurrences and the period of time, they easily fall into the category of coincidences. And mercifully, the same set of incidents hasn't repeated itself over and over again. Imagine, meeting the same person, at the same spot during your onward and return journeys, when there is no particular reason for it to happen. When something happens all too frequently it's no longer a coincidence, but bizarre, and may be even haunting.

Another inexplicable thing that has happened to me is: I think about someone who has been out of touch, and after some time the phone rings; and as if he has heard me think, that person is on the line! Or, I get an email from that person. Sometimes the time gap has been as little as a few minutes, sometimes a few hours. This hasn't happened too frequently to brand myself as someone with telepathic abilities.

Don't think all people who call me up are the ones I had just then been thinking about. Or, don't think I am thinking about you when you are thinking of calling me. There have been plenty surprises too. Surprises are perhaps one of the most pleasant things in life. There can be a pattern to surprises too, is it not? Something like a season for things to happen, like a season of surprises.

Last week, it so happened I have been renewing old contacts. Nothing remarkable about it if I had been initiating them. But, here others also have been calling me up and saying, "Hey it's been long time.. how have you been... " Or, situations have developed when I had to renew an old contact. The point is: it's not by my design, but purely accidental, coincidental.

I called my friend in Goa the other day and he said, I was the 7th or 8th person who was making an STD call to him that day. "How come a lot my friends decided to call me today?" he was wondering aloud.

I don't know if you have noticed this: on some days there's much traffic on the roads. I am not referring to holidays, but normal working days. And, the other way round too: for no particular reason, there is so much of traffic on some days.

I am sure many people must be experiencing such phenomena. Mostly we are so caught up with our daily lives, we hardly notice such Para occurrences, like precognition and telepathy (a term coined by English essayist W.H. Myers). I have also heard of telekinesis: movement of objects from one position to another using mental concentration. I haven't yet seen someone do it.

Those of us who have had such experiences, are often puzzled. Those who haven't will mostly be sceptical, but they shouldn't be dismissive. For, there are phenomena which still can't be explained or proved using conventional scientific methods. Parapsychology is being researched by scientists, I suppose. And, one day we may have the answers, for what till then would be bizarre coincidences.

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