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😉. When I see so many people around me becoming more and more intent on preserving themselves for their online friends or with 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 of them I’m sure will not be there 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.
And then there was 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 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.
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!!
Everything from the hieroglyphs, the pharaohs, their relationship with the afterlife is endlessly fascinating. Ended up looking through my souvenirs acquired from a time when the Tutankhamun exhibit was opened in Fort Lauderdale in 2006 and I lamented for days that I would miss visiting by a couple of months.
Have spent the greater part of the day watching documentaries on ancient Egypt back to back. And as it always happens, I can’t help but remember a lovely sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelly I had the privilege of studying as a part of my curriculum in college. Which incidentally, was published 200 years ago to date!!
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Wonder when I will get to visit the Valley of the Kings? The closest I’ve ever come to seeing a portion of the grandeur of this lost civilization, was at the Egyptian exhibit at The Louvre.
A friends poignant question about strangers and long term memories associated with run ins with strangers, has opened up a flood gate of memories that involve benches, coffee shops, euro-rails, lakes, hills, elevators, bathrooms in clubs and even trial rooms. Who initiated these conversations, I’m not sure. But I’m sure there was a polite silence before engaging in general small talk that led to the big talk with people I hadn’t met before. I’ve traded stories for hours with a few of them and at times bravely confided facts that I hadn’t told a soul before.
A few of those strangers with whom I’ve kept in touch remember to send me the most lovely winter wonderland pictures from around the world.
From the Carolina’s to Europe actually 🙂
This picture Cma sent yesterday of a much loved learning tool that every girl from my middle school years would recognise is cheering me endlessly.
I’m remembering my auntie’s breakfast table complete with these homemade goodies served with gorgeous cutlery.
Up until a couple of months ago there was an active connection named “Port of Bravos” listed which I now think must have made an appearance in one of Boston’s suburbs. I think there is a pattern here, but I still stand by the fact that Scooby naming our network at home “Demon of the Hidden Mist” was pure genius. ZABUSA!!
Been sifting through a lot of old digital content in my archives and stumbled upon this pretty picture from a time when a couple of my colleagues and me took a break from the non stop partying in Goa to check out this famous artist (Mario Miranda)’s work in the middle of a bazaar.