“Ella tiene algo que me atrapa…”
– Encantadora (Remix), Yandel et al.
A rather bizarre coincidence occurred some time last spring:
There was one week when for some days, I had not seen my friend in the photo above, whom I have known since we were young kids living in Colombo, Sri Lanka and who is currently also pursuing her doctorate here at Cambridge. This is rather unusual for us.
But when we finally did come together for coffee at Cambridge’s riverside café Galleria, we discovered that we had both been recommended to read the same book — Alain de Botton’s Essays in Love — by two different people, within 24 hours of each other. We were rendered quite speechless at how this could transpire against all odds.
But then again, why were we surprised? On our many shopping expeditions together, we’d found that our hands always reached out to the same things on the shelves; we always feel inclined towards the same things on the menu; sometimes we think the same things, but say them in different ways. We both love mak cik (a Malay word meaning “auntie”) things, like Tefal pots and pans and home furniture, perhaps a love we both suspect we inherited from our mothers. On one of her recent Instagram photos taken by the beach in Malaysia, a friend even said she looked like me from that angle, and I couldn’t help but agree.
This friendship we’ve nurtured since childhood has had its ridges from our constant moving around with our families. But it has been very interesting to come together as adults, when even outsiders could see the similarities between our souls. I will cherish this friendship for a long, long time.