I'm a Goan girl, working in Mumbai as the founder of a creative agency called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

I love Animals, Nature, Art, Relationships, Sports, Technology and Stories.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Strangers whom we know

It's not often with most people that they have a talk with a stranger and leave with a smile. Well for me it happens pretty often. Especially when I'm in the worst of moods. I have no evil intentions to get an off on things I purchase, or to just get my design approved.

Today was one of those days. The best strangers to talk to are those kind of people who have nothing in common with you. Those who live different lives. I almost lost consciousness in a overcrowded bus today. There were mean with sweaty underarms and the woman on the left gave me a scowl everytime my laptop bag brushed her arm. The woman who was seated in front of me gave me dirts as I almost fell on her. It was all coming to a climax, and I was literally testing myself. Bile ran up towards my throat and I struggled to get the window's air that was hogged by the two seated passengers. I was claustrophobic now, and my motion sickness was getting the better of me. To top all of this, the bus halted for ten minutes at every signal, and I could see another one approaching just as the bus started moving. And then, it came. Unexpected, sour and pungent, like there HAD to be a climax to it all. Somebody let out a silent killer fart. That was it. If I didn't get out I'd faint or barf. I was squeezed out of the backdoor like ketchup from the red squeezy thingies. Gaah.

As I tried to gain my balance on the ground, I walked ahead till the traffic ended, towards Versova, where I was heading. I waited for the rikshaws to p0ick me up, as the bag straps cut through my shoulders. I felt like my arms would be sliced off any minute. And then finally, a rik came. A guy got in before me, and I stared in horror at the now-moving rik. What did I do to deserve this???!! :'( I yelled out. A few heads turned. I watched my bus pass by, people pouring out of it. Well f*** you! I yelled at the bus. The rain was still pouring on me. I didn't have my umbrella. And there was one last ray of hope as the rik came to a halt in front of me. The guy inside asked me if I could drop him off at the end of the road. What the hell, why not? So I did, and now we come to the real part.
"Traffic kitne hai yaha bhaiiya" I said to the rikshaw driver. (There's so much traffic here.) He was a kind man, who'd just turned 61. He had a white beard, a white kurta and a white skull cap. I guess he was a muslim, and had kind droopy eyes. His wrinkled face showed the pains he must have tried to overcome. He spoke about his family, his two sons and two daughters, how he had to get his daughters married, about his field in a village near lucknow, and about life and mumbai. He seemed determined to make enuogh money to pay for his 4th child's education, for which he became a taxi driver in mumbai.

Finally as I reached Rajdoot complex, I got down and with my broken hindi, I nervously said,
"Achcha laga. Achcha." WTH was that?
(It was nice. NICE?)
Even though I'd rehearsed this in my mind, I just HAD to screw it. I stood corrected,
"Aapse baat karke achcha laga" I said, my eyes closed. (It felt nice talking to you.)
He smiled, nodded and folded his hands together. "Ha ji namaste."

And so all that traffic, all the people, and the sadness of mumbai's ratraced culture just went away. There were a million other people who thought like me, none of whom came from the same place, culture, religion or background as me.

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