Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A funny interaction with a stranger



In my journey from home to my work place I take the local train. On Raksha Bhandan day, the train was unusually crowded. I had to stand in between the two seats facing each other in the train for most part of the journey. Since I did not get a place to sit I had placed my back pack on the top rack provided in the local train for luggage. When it was just 4 stations remaining for me to get down I happened to get a place to sit. There was a married couple seated face to face with each other. Both mother and dad carrying one of their kids on their lap. They had to get down at a station which was two stations prior to mine. I sat down next to the father of the kids.

Due to the unusual rush, the father felt that it will be difficult for the couple to reach near the exit on time. Hence, he told his wife that they would need to make their move quickly so that they do not get stuck especially since they have their two kids to be carried as well. However, this conversation was overheard by a middle aged man who was standing in between the two seats and he advised them that they need not hurry and be seated as they will get ample time. With this interaction a conversation started between these strangers. I was seated next to the father of the kids and hence could listen to this conversation.

This stranger continued interacting with the father of the kids. He asked them whether both their kids were girls. When the father confirmed that they were girls, the middle aged man smiled and said that good they are girls. He mentioned that what good are boys who will grow up and send their parents to old age homes. Not sure why he was so sure that all boys grow up to be irresponsible adults who won't take care of their parents. Anyways, it could be an opinion formed because of his observations that he has made after looking at things happening in his surroundings or in his close relations.

The couple by then had started to move towards the exit with their kids. This middle aged man (going forward I will refer to him as "Stranger") got to sit next to me as the couple had moved out.  When they moved out, a young man made his way in the space between the two seats. This guy had a back pack and  due to which he had to struggle a lot to reach a place where he could stand comfortably. Looking at this the Stranger (middle aged man) seated next to me started a conversation with me. He said that we should come up with a new bag that can be carried on top of the heads so that other passengers in the train do not get inconvenienced. I just smiled and nodded. He felt that no matter how the back pack is placed (on the front or on the back), it will cause inconvenience to people who are standing around, be it in an bus or in a train. He said that he had a bitter experience when traveling in a bus. A person carrying a back pack was trying to manoeuvre, happened to hit the specs he was wearing and it got thrown out of the window. I just smiled and did not utter a word.

I was about to reach my destination and considering the rush in the train I decided to get up and move quickly. I stood up and picked up my back pack from the rack where I had placed it after boarding the train. This stranger then asked me, "So, you were also carrying a back pack?". I felt like laughing out loud but toned it down to just a smile and moved on.
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