What is Coincidence !

I started working at the age of 22 and got a regular full time job with the National Dairy Development Board ( NDDB), Anand in 1968. I decided to leave NDDB after 32 years of service in the year 2000. It was a one of the most difficult personal decisions of my life. Thereafter, I worked for 17 more years with Grow Talent Company Limited / School of Inspired Leadership at Gurgaon and finally after 49 years of service “retired” in the year 2017. I am still connected with a couple of organisations but I am not involved in operations. 

Life is not roller coaster ride. My life too has been full of ups and downs but the overall feeling is good and filled with a sense of deep gratitude for all those who helped and encouraged me over the years.

This blog is not my biography. However, it may not be out of place to share some background information to put in perspective a rather unusual experience I had on the day of my birth in 1993.

I was traveling from Delhi to Ahmedabad that day.

My first salary as a regular employee with NDDB , Anand was Rs 435.21 per month. I have been an income tax payee since financial year 1968-1969.
I paid Rs. 235 as income tax that year.

The salary I got was good as there was some surplus too.

I was able to send some small amount to my mother, indulge in luxury on a few occasions by traveling to Baroda paying Rs. 0.65 for a third class rail ticket one way and have lunch at Quality restaurant.

Milk from Amul dairy doled out of cans cost Rs 1.05 per litre. We would buy coupons in advance to pay for the same. A thali at Amul canteen cost Rs 1.35.

As the years went by expenses kept on increasing. Among friend we would borrow from each other. to be borrowing of money at month end among friends and colleagues.

In my 1968 diary I found that I had noted down money borrowed from others and to be returned but it was hardly more than 10-15 rupees in a month.

I was waiting for the flight and to while away time walked into the bookshop at the airport. Determined not to buy a book I was only looking at books flipping a few pages and of course the price before putting it back.

I picked up Autobiography of a Yogi and read a few pages. As I was about to keep the book back on the shelf I looked on a page that provided information on the life of Yoganand.

Mukund Lal Ghosh who later came to be known as renowned Swamy Yoganand Paramahans was born on 5 January 1893 and I had his book in my hand on 5 January 1993 exactly 100 years after his birth.

He was born in Gorakhpur and so am I. Muftipur where he was born is a mohalla in Gorakhpur city and my village is some 30 km from the city!

Price of the book was not very high.

That day I broke a promise made to myself and bought the book.

What is Coincidence ? Why and how does it happen? I found an interesting article in the Atlantic the author, Julie Beck gives a real life incident which he experienced and towards the end of the article has this to say “ In their 1989 paper, Methods for Studying Coincidences, the mathematicians Persi Diaconis and Frederick Mosteller considered defining a coincidence as

a rare event,” but decided “this includes too much to permit careful study.” Instead, they settled on, “A coincidence is a surprising concurrence of events, perceived as meaningfully related, with no apparent causal connection.”

What do you think ? Would be interesting if you also share such incidents of coincidence. Do please write back in the comments column given below or share an article by email at sk@vrikshamandir.com


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  1. Ananth (IRMA PRM 1981-83) Avatar
    Ananth (IRMA PRM 1981-83)

    Statistics says that “correlation is NOT casuation”. And this entire episode can be dismissed as “spurious correlation”?

    Whether you ascribe meaning to this “chance event” (what is the probability of this happening?) is entirely based on your personal value systems, and your sense of perspective and philosophy of life?

    1. Vrikshamandir Avatar

      I would agree with your statement “chance events” about which we talk about depend on our sense of perspective and philosophy of life”.

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