Life never works the way we expect it to be not atleast for me. Life teaches you these lessons through serendipitous incidents. A lot that we shove away as trivial and silly in our daily life could be miracles around the corner which changes our life or at least our staunch perspectives. My encounters with strangers in life has been like this. We are taught not to mingle or interact with strangers. Though as kids we had to be indoctrinated this way to keep us safe,as we grow this tends to mould us into paranoid freaks. Hence people remain islands. But I have often beleived we can connect to the world outside without really knowing anything about it in real. So here are some thoughts on how strangers have changed me, moulded me and even challenged me to reconsider my stance on life.
This blog for instance is one such example. None of my friends actually read what I wrote and even if they did, they never told me how they felt, nooone I knew commented or encouraged me rather they asked why did I have to do this. Judging by this behaviour of theirs I should be rethinking on what 'friendhsips' mean but then again I rather put more time into writing. So most of the followers here are strangers and in my life strangers have appreciated and understood me more than my near ones.
I remember crying at a church in Dharwad weeks after my dad passed away. Once a Mangalorean woman asked me in Konkani why I was crying. I hardly knew her language but I simply poured out my sorrow to her. She sat there silently, held my hand throughout and kept comforting me. I know it sounds like a scene from a movie but I never felt so comforted. There are times I walked around this campus looking a for a soul like this woman. She did not seem to be very educated but she definitely knew how to support someone in crisis. Kindness from a stranger surprises me. I am sure she would not remember me today , I can't remember her face either but she remains a memory afresh- a soul who touched my life when I had noone to turn to.
I was travelling unexpectedly for home with no reservations on a train at an uearthly hour. I had heard of general compartments and the struggle in there. I was considering if I should take this train at 3 am with no women in my vicinity when a guy asked me " first time?" . " Yeah", I said. We soon discovered we had the same destination in common. " Pretend to be a near one of mine", he said. I had no option so I agreed. I was scared if he would drug me so I tried to be awake. The moment I got into the compartment, I could feel him as a shield, protecting me from the thrusting men around. He made way for me, settled me and spoke to me with authority to confirm others speculations of we being a couple. I suddenly saw the others took no interest in me. We sat in silence for the next 6 hours reading our books. And finally when we reached our destination we parted ways with a smile he even showed me the the snap of his fiancee. I don't know why he did it or why I chose to trust him . But a stranger saved my life again.
I don't mean to say all strangers are nice, but neither are all the people we have known in life. After all the line between strange and familiar is so thin. It stops at a hi, a lending hand, or perhaps a click on the follower button of an arbit blog :)