Dear Old man who sat next to me on the bus,
Of course I don’t know if you actually read my blog, because I never mentioned my blog in our conversation in the bus. If by some means you did stumble upon my blog, neither of us do know for sure that it is the other person on the other side of the screen. Maybe this letter is something that might hit a familiar chord with you.

You and I met on a bus ride from Ahmedabad to Baroda one evening years ago. The bus was incredibly slow and took almost twice the time it normally takes. Both of us could have still not had had this conversation, had my mobile not been on low battery. I generally keep my earphones on, or use some app if I am not sleeping on the bus. On account of not having a good charge, I pulled out a book from my bag. I still remember that it was ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by ‘Ayn Rand’.

You could have kept to yourself but luckily for us, your curiosity got the better of you. You asked me with wonder how people of my age were reading the book. I confess that my initial feeling was that of contempt, primarily at the idea of being disturbed by a stranger while I was reading. However, better sense prevailed, and I told you that this book had been a recommendation from my mentor. He had in fact repeatedly insisted that I do read it.

While we did discuss the book, as to why I liked it and why you didn’t, you began to ask me about my job. It was a different manner in which you asked questions. We discussed processes, systems and control mechanisms. How the cost spent quality control ends up more than paying for itself in the long run, and what your personal experiences had been about it from your time at your own work place.

To this day, it remains one of the freest flowing discussion I have ever had with a stranger. Thank you, for the conversation that day. Thank you for the time that felt that it passed faster than it did, and for the re-assurance that not all old people who chat with you have marriage or settling down to discuss.



I wrote this for the 30 days 30 letters prompt: A letter to a stranger. Other bloggers can add the links to their posts in the linky below:

22 thoughts on “Dear Old man who sat next to me on the bus

  1. This one has me grinning wide. I’m sure you know why.

    I’ll share a link with you about a conversation I had with a stranger once. A five hour conversation. The most thrilling of my life.

    Ah! The souls you meet and the incredible memories that get created!
    Sent from My Blackberry® @ Tata Docomo

  2. Some conversations with strangers on any journey can be really enjoyable, especially when they are on common non-personal topics of interest.

    Of course, intrusions into personal matters can be quite painful, especially when the person intruding is much older. For such people, one must have an escape route, or one must create one!

    1. This is why I plug my earphones in, so that I don’t have to talk to people.. IN this particular case however, it was a very pleasant disturbance 🙂

  3. I love talking to strangers! And I do it more freely here. and the conversations have ranged from insulting to enlightening. Each person brings a different experience to the table! 🙂

  4. I don’t think any of us will ever talk to a stranger, if not for these travels… and definitely, they have their own upside, don’t they? 🙂

  5. Aah strangers! The best conversationalists more often than not! Unlike you (Like your old man) I look for strangers during my travels, to disturb and discuss everything under the sun. 😀

  6. Atlas Shrugged is a brilliant book and just like you it was recommended to me by my mentor, though I am yet to finish it. I especially loved the last line of the letter. Yes, most old people get into conversations regarding marriage and settling down. I didn’t give a chance to anybody and settled with a ‘Bal-vivah’. 😛 Sigh! How I missed a wonderful conversation with an old uncle or aunt. 😀

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