A picture of the Strangers Project that sparked the lovely conversation with a friend visiting from NY.
I think every child growing up was told not to talk to strangers. I think it’s a valid rule made up by ever concerned parents considering the world we live in and the unspeakable horrors that unfortunately happen right in our neighbourhoods. But does that rule have to apply to us as we grow up too?
Let me put it this way. I love talking to strangers. I’ve been at the receiving end of the most wonderful, heartwarming, inspiring and memorable stories because of the constant need in me to interact with the world. One could also be tactless and simply call it my excuse just to talk more. But I’m sure that the people reading this would never say something like that😉. Anyway, when I see so many people around me becoming more and more intent on preserving themselves for their online friends or for an ever shrinking circle of people as they’ve aged, I seem to have reached a point where I’m finding it difficult to effectively manage the increasing number of people I value. Some I will never meet again, a major portion of them I’m sure will not be in my life when I turn 40. And there are a few I’m certain I won’t lose even if I live to be a 100.
As I type this I’m recollecting a few interesting run ins I’ve had with strangers this very week. One involves a restroom at the club where me along with 4 random girls become grief councillor’s to a girl who caught her boyfriend cheating. So much solidarity has rarely been seen in a girls bathroom I tell you. The right things were said. The perfect abuses hurled. And sisterly relief was provided.
I’m remembering this fashionably lovely girl at the mall who stood outside a changing room and helped me pick out my birthday outfit (she really should take it up as a profession), a millennial while waiting in line at a waffle store who turned out to be a Bollywood gossip expert who got me to even install an app that she proclaimed was where you can find the “juiciest scoop”. And then there was last night, this pretty girl on a date at the adjacent table on karaoke night with whom I locked eyes every time someone was butchering a classic and we needed someone to roll eyes with. She came over to my table and gave me a hug before she left, which prompted my colleagues to ask me why I hadn’t gone upto my friends table and spoken with her earlier. 😏
But no story will replace my King in the North story. And that historic evening involved a table full of my friends and a bar full of strangers. EPIC!!