It was one of those days when you finally decide to go on a date. You clear your schedule and make sure that no work or classes clash with the lunch timing. And you also make sure that you don’t tell your close friends the date venue because you know that they won’t think twice before crashing it (Priya and Afsheen )
Excitedly you leave your house in the morning with the hope that lunch time arrives as soon as possible.
And it does. Finally, the clock ticked 2 pm and you arrive at the decided place. A date you have been dying to go on.
A date with the person who knows you the best i.e. yourself.
You sit at the corner booth with a book in hand and your bag in another.
“Phew, some alone time!”
You order your food and then begin reading. Every now and then you look around and see the waiter staring at you weirdly or notice the sympathetic look on the face of the couple sitting at the next booth. You smile shyly and then try to ignore them.
Even though you try to act indifferent, their stares makes you think. Think hard. Are they just trying to figure out as to why this girl is sitting all alone at the booth of a busy deli having lunch by herself?
Did she have a break up?
Is she depressed?
Is she crazy?
They see you. They try to figure out your story without knowing you.
You also see them.
You see the people you have never seen before and in all probability will never see again. And you see them silently judging you.
So you begin to think about them too. Each and everyone out there has a story. A story which you will never get to know. Your story, which they will never get to know. And that very concept is disturbing. As intriguing and fascinating as they may seem, they remain strangers.
Maybe their likes and dislikes are the same as yours.
You will never know.
Maybe they have a story similar to yours.
Maybe. Just maybe.
But you will never know.
Because you did not make an attempt to get to know them. Or perhaps you did, but they did not reciprocate the attempt.
But sometimes, you get talking. A lot of talking happens.
“Hey, wanna join us?”, said the girl from the next booth as she waited for her friend.
“Nah, it’s okay. As much as I would love to, I am on a date with myself!”
She laughed and then said something. I replied back and then began the conversation.
She trusted me enough to open up to so I am in no place to tell anyone what she said even though I know that she will never get to read this or meet me again.
But If I could meet you just ONE more time, I would want you to know that in you, I found a glimpse of myself.
When we connect with strangers in that present moment, it’s easy to get swept away with thoughts. Sometimes, we may pontificate about letting go before an attachment even manifests. However, connections with strangers are valuable since it’s these encounters that enrich our own experiences in some way, shape or form. But if those encounters never happen then you won’t ever know how they were supposed to enrich you.
We did not exchange numbers, we did not make an attempt to establish any form of contact via any medium maybe because we knew that there is sheer beauty in talking your heart out to someone you will never see again.
She looked up at me as I stood up to leave and smiled. A smile that I don’t want to forget.
This is the beauty of words. You can stitch them to make a conversation. A conversation that touches the heart.
A conversation that you want to remember for as long as you live.