Nfld. & Labrador·Point of View

You never know what's around the corner, including in a tunnel at MUN

She came for a two-year postgraduate program, but Prajwala Dixit found quite a bit more than she expected.

Prajwala Dixit crosses the globe to find her home and the man who would become her husband

Prajwala Dixit returns to a corner of Memorial University's tunnel system that changed her life. (John Gushue/CBC)

Theoretically, the air distance between Dubai and St. John's is 9,218 kilometres.

In reality, due to connecting flights, I have crossed more than 13,000 kilometres and (more than) seven seas to find the man I call my husband, and the place I call home.

This is that story.

It would be apt to say my life in St. John's began "tempest"-uously.

Hurricane Igor was here to welcome me in 2010 with his arms wide open. A turbulent flight hurtling towards an island was not the vision I had in mind for my arrival here (especially since I had just finished watching the TV series Lost).

I always wonder what made me stay here to pursue my postgraduate degree: the lack of power that first week, the cold and harsh climate, and not knowing a single soul.

I constantly looked for the answer but realized only after a few years down the line that it was perhaps destiny (and maybe the friendly people here!).

So, what (or rather who) made me reach this profound answer?

For that, we'll have to rewind and go back over half a decade to the night — nights, actually; I'll explain in a moment — that I met a very special person.

Directions, with a friendly touch

It was my second or third week at Memorial as a postgraduate student, and the MUNnels were more a maze than an underground tunnel system.

I was lost — looking for a building and running late — when I saw a lonely figure dressed in a red shirt and jeans, with a Jansport bag on his shoulder and a coffee in hand walking a few steps ahead.

"Excuse me," I said catching up to him. "Could you please point me to the right direction of the Bruneau building."

He very politely escorted me to the correct turn, after which I rushed to the Bruneau building.

Did Dixit's future husband accidentally or deliberately hit her with the cue ball? It's debatable. (Shutterstock)

This was our first meeting. Little did I know that it would not be the last.

Several months later, on a cold evening that I had decided to spend indoors in my pyjamas watching a meaningless telly show, I was forced to accompany a friend to play pool.

Movies often romanticize the first moment the main characters lay eyes on each other. A gentle breeze is accompanied by beautiful background music. Nearly everything moving in slow motion, almost making the moment freeze and coming to a standstill.

I used to find these scenes in the movies hilarious and completely unrealistic. I would chalk it down to huge fans and great (and many a times, shoddy) camera technique.

But that evening when he sauntered in to play pool (along with a friend), it seemed like everything around me had stopped moving.

Cupid strikes, right on the ankle

A gentle breeze came in as the door opened and someone turned on the music — just like in the movies. Walking big steps, in a checked white, red and blue shirt untucked, he began playing pool at the table next to mine.

How I was hoping he would notice me and want to talk to me, but he seemed oblivious to my presence, to which he now says he was playing cool!

Prajwala Dixit wonders what might have happened if she had easily found the Bruneau Centre one day in 2010. (John Gushue/CBC)

But Cupid struck. Literally.

His cue ball hit my ankle; accidentally or purposely is very debatable. He came over, bent on one knee (foreshadowing, in retrospect) and looked up at me with his eyes twinkling.

I felt I knew him from somewhere, but I was so awestruck that all that came out my mouth was "I'm sorry." And this is how we met the second time — by sheer destiny.

Later that evening, after we got chatting, we realized that he was my compass when I was lost, and looking for the Bruneau building — more foreshadowing!

He continues to be my compass and more. Today, after several thousand "meetings," he is my husband, my best friend, the father of my child, my partner-in-crime and of course, the love of my life.

St. John's, already a city of memories

I find St. John's coloured with our memories — first date, favourite restaurants, his proposal at Signal Hill, first home we rented, first child and first home purchase.

I am eternally grateful to St. John's for giving me not only a world-class education, amazing professional opportunities, wonderful friends but also, and most important, my family.

We continue to live here and hope to continue to make more memories that colour St. John's vibrantly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Prajwala Dixit

Journalist

Prajwala Dixit is a journalist, columnist, playwright and writer in St. John's.

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