There is one thing I find increasingly interesting (or weird, take your pick) in my travels in India. People I meet independently of each other know each other. And while some of the connections may be somewhat expected (the gay community in Mumbai is somewhat small for example), other connections are just plain out of left field. How strange would it be for example that Xerxes, (who I met through Nikhil and Rittu) should know Dirk from Pondicherry who he met on a project site and who I met through Dipen (who is Rahul’s friend) while I was in the south? How odd is it that a few years ago Troy met a bunch of the same people I have met here independently of him? Is it not weird that Shankar who I met on a train to Mumbai should know Meeta (Rittu’s sister) and Digraj and that Vivek who I met through Shumona (who I met at vipassana) should know him?
In a country of a billion people, is this normal? What does this say about the social, economic, or class circles we tend to run in? I have prided myself on being much more open to meeting many more kinds of people here than in the states, getting to know almost anyone who cares to strike up a conversation. That said, clearly the places I go (trains I take, places I eat, etc) are frequented by a much smaller circle than I imagine. It is true that I am only remarking here on the connections, and there have been many people I have met (in ashrams and on trains, for instance) who don’t fall into the connection web, but I still find it striking.
There are many other connections and I will be graphing them in a modified L-word style over the coming months. Enjoy.