It was the fourth time that evening I had checked the time, it read 7:57 PM. I had planned to leave office a little early that day but alas I had failed yet again. Finally I had managed to wrap the work, pack my bag and leave for the day. After several months I was finally visiting my family, next three days I would be happily away from the city and work.
After an hour long journey I finally arrived at the bus stand. I walked into the restaurant in the bus stand to grab a quick bite before I hunt for the bus. This time too I had not booked the tickets in advance. I kind of like to have some surprise element to my travel.
So there I was with my plate of freshly reheated chapattis served at the restaurant in my hands, hunting for a vacant table to park my bottom and relish my meal. After a few minutes of 360 degree of gazing across the packed restaurant I decided to share a table with a lonely stranger.
I was mid way through my dinner, when the stranger got up and asked me if I could keep an eye on his luggage while he buys something more eat. I merely nodded my head in affirmation and smiled. He was back at the table and thanked me. I just smiled and asked him where he was headed to? He said Mangalore and I told him about my ancestral association with the city he was visiting. So we both now had something in common to talk about.
A little while later he told me that he happened to study in a college which happens to be in the city I was visiting. The conversation then drifted to talks about our work and we realised that our organizations had closely collaborated on one of the projects which I was a part of. And then he said clichéd yet a fact of life, “world is such a small place, a few minutes back we were total strangers and now we realise we share so much in common.”
Our dinners had ended but not our conversation. So we walked out of the restaurant and continued our talks over a cup of coffee. We both seemed to enjoy the conversation which drifted from talks of his 15 year old college memories to my thoughts on how music shapes ones adulthood. We drifted from topic to topic and seemed to have struck a chord. Although he was half a decade elder to me, we both seemed to be having interesting conversation like two long lost friends.
And then we parted ways and it was time for me to hunt a bus which could take me to my destination. What I did harp on looking back at this conversation of mine with a stranger was the fact that life could offer several such interesting moments. But the question is, are you open for it? Strange things happen on this planet called earth every day. These strange talks with strangers are one such thing. Now for the ones who still believe in “Don’t talk to strangers” maybe there is something you are missing. Maybe it’s a good conversation. A conversation which can throw up a different perspective to life the way you look at it.