It’s a great big world, but a small one at the same time! How contradictory. We are just a speck of dust in the universe and worry about every small thing possible. After joining the fellowship I’ve been traveling and interacting with a lot of people, especially during the long train journeys. I keep coming across interesting people. They say opposites attract, but I beg to differ. We always tend to find similarities while interacting with each other. We gain some sense of confidence that there is some one like us out there and a sense of security prevails. When we come across people from our native state in a removed city, we feel elated just by listening to one or two words spoken in our native language.
I for one don’t talk to strangers much. But, these days I find myself making small talk with total strangers who just approach me and start a conversation. Everyone has a story to tell of their own. I remember last time when I was traveling how a random person wanted to exchange his berth with mine and since it wasn’t possible to do so started making small talk and told me about a random book and asked me to read it since it was one of the best sellers about which I haven’t heard of. Then he tells me that he is the author of that book, indeed! Technology these days I tell you, I googled up the name of the book and Voila I got the name of the author and his LinkedIn profile where all his information was present. It’s a little scary if you think about it, how each one of us have our trails on the internet and how any person can get information about the other. It’s a boon and a bane at the same time how we don’t have privacy anymore.
Two people find it difficult to keep up a conversation sitting face to face but we tend to talk to complete strangers on the web. Why is that we are secure when it comes to not facing the person while talking? What are we scared of? We are scared about getting caught i guess, as we don’t pay complete attention to what the other person is saying. Most of us like to talk than to hear what the other person has to say. We end up not being able to listen to a conversation even for a minute. We look at our phones or pretend to be paying attention to what the other person is speaking about.
There was this other incident I’d like to share, it always intrigues people when I tell them that I am an engineer doing a fellowship with an NGO. The first question that they ask me is why being an engineer am I doing a fellowship in the social sector. Then when they learn that the fellowship is only for a year, the next question they ask me is what after the fellowship? Am I going to continue in the sector and ‘waste’ my engineering degree or am I going to go back to core and pursue masters in engineering. If yes then will I not be questioned about being doing something which is not relevant to my under grad? So, when I once answered that am confused as to what I should be doing the person making small talk, asking me all these questions started giving me “Gyaan” for free as to how I can get a balance in my life, when I was least interested. I mean now when one is busy reading a book, a random person approaches starts asking questions and says what you are doing is not right and this is how it should be done! I got offended, but I chose not to retort, instead I politely thanked that person and continued reading my book. Aren’t we all faking things up like this, we all wear masks. In the whole pretense we are forgetting who we are and living a lie. Not all of us, but most of us are.
I also came across people who are way too nice and have helped me beyond what is needed during my journeys and left a smile on my face. That is why I believe that the world is still a better place to live and I say though the world is huge it is small because I’ve been running into people that I’ve known in the most unexpected locations at unexpected time. What goes around comes around, and the people that I previously knew are coming back into my life!