Call it serendity, call it yuan fen, call it co-incidence.
The high powered executive and half sister of a world famous film star — whose name I couldn’t remember despite trying very hard at a X’mas Day open house while discussing civil service changes with another guest — suddenly and unexpectedly materialised be4 me today in a food court at Raffles City!
This was what happened.
The X’mas Day conversation had gone something like that. Fellow guest told me she heard that one of her permanent secretaries is related to a world famous film star whose name I won’t mention.
Die-die not to be outdone in the gossip arena, I volunteered that I’m acquainted with the world famous film star’s half-sister.
Fellow guest was most impressed and asked what’s the name of this world famous film star’s half sister.
My memory failed me there and then. I could see the world famous film star’s half sister’s face but her name escaped me.
After many attempts to come up with a name and failing, fellow guest lost interest and I was left feeling silly. Worse, I continued to be bugged on and off trying to recall the name. I remember when i first met her as a hoity toity exec at a bank. I remember her last post as boss of an NGO. But for the life of me, I couldn’t remember her name.
It was like a apparition today when out of the crowd in the food court, she headed to where I was sitting — an unwanted stranger sharing a small table with an animated couple — and asked me if the remaining seat was taken.
She joined my table not because she recognised me but probably because it was the only vacant slot in her line of vision.
I must say I became quite indiscreet in my surprise.
“Hello world famous film star’s half sister!”
She was a bit taken aback and asked if we had met.
I told her my name.
She recognised it. We had a couple of minor dealings be4 in the past. But she obviously couldn’t recall my face.
She said I had a good memory whereas hers was… I quickly told her the X’mas lunch story and asked her to tell me her name again, as I needed to make good the information gap with fellow guest.
We exchanged further pleasantries, including confirming that she and world famous film star half sister are cousins to the permanent secretary who featured in the X’mas Day lunch conversation. Then we parted after we finished our food.
Why am I so astounded by this meeting?
First, because I talked about her only a week ago. Second, because she had been away from Singapore for some time and was only recently back on a new assignment. Today, she had walked from One Raffles Quay to check out Raffles City.
Third, I didn’t intend to spend much time at Raffles City, certainly not to eat lunch. I had gone there to pick up the report from my regular check up. As I was about to leave, I saw it was raining too heavily for my next stop, so killed time by going to the bank, looking at the shops till it was way past lunch time.
The food court there served as good food as much of what’s served down in Basement 1 but at a lot less $.
So there I was. And in walked half sister of the world famous film star I had talked about.
Talk about synchronicity. A precision engineer couldn’t have timed it better!