Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Friends off the streets of Mumbai



She was walking on Linking Road one late evening not for want of something better but because she could think of nothing better. She had grown very familiar with the area and was taking arbitrary bends and turns through the lanes. After a while she became aware of walking behind a foreigner with an almost 7 year old beggar by his side. They were just walking together oblivious and yet conscious of each other’s company. For no particular reason except that she didn’t want to exercise her mind in deciding what route to take, she started following them. After a long time she came face to face with the foreigner at a bend and they smiled at each other. She asked him,” The boy’s been giving you company for quite a while?” he replied”Yes, and I’m glad”. The trio then started walking together-she, the beggar and the foreigner who was a Swiss pilot here in Mumbai for some training with Air India. They paused at a pastry shop situated on a corner and appropriately named “Just around the Corner”. He asked her,” Is this inappropriate, an elderly foreigner sharing a cheesecake with a young girl at this unearthly hour?” She dismissed it with a wry smile and asked him,” So, do the Swiss make better cheesecakes?” They found the beggar still waiting for them as they left the mouth wateringly - aromatic Pastry Shop. And he tottered along next to them as they picked their way back. She asked the beggar,”Tu iske saath kyun chal raha hai?” the beggar raised his eyebrows in question and asked her the same. And they concluded silently “Aise hi…”.The Swiss broke into their communion by asking “Left or Right”? They walked together to her guest house where they clicked pictures of each other and the beggar. Without harboring the prospect of another meeting, he left saying-“Thanks for being so beautiful”. And she stood at her gate watching him and the beggar walk away…

15 comments:

dhaval said...

very interesting ,i think such experiences make our vision broad!

Somsubhro Chaudhuri said...

That's an amazing experience.. That happened with you? That boy was quite stuck to the Swiss. I never had cheesecake, that's a shame.. What better way to have it first in the same way but with a beautiful young German woman after we met at a Go-Karting Point.. This hasn't happened though, its all in my mind.. I am imagining it already... I Wonder..

Japna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Japna said...

there are some times in our life, where contemplating meeting again might wreck it. I'm glad 'she' left it at the 'beautiful' that it was....

moments where strangers touch our lives should be left at just that...
*smiles* (read: pavit)

The Fake Man said...

Found the lost photograph?
And came with it the memories, streamlined into a beautiful post. Not bad, Jelly!

i spoke to you last night.... said...

Meeting strangers. There was a time when i dreaded such an experience.Why? Lets not get into that.

What is it that makes people afraid to talk to strangers? I think one obstacle may be that people don't know how to 'disengage' if they don't want to talk further.
I guess, this incident, besides being interesting and 'beautiful' , might turn out to be a "ready reference" for someone who wants to learn the act of "disengaging"...

Japna said it beautifully
"moments where strangers touch our lives should be left at just that..."

MoonStone said...

beautiful post...
and that must have been a nice experience...

but its around 4 in the morning and there is no pastry shop in the vicinity... I hate you for making me crave cheesecakes at this hour...
well... c'est la vie...

Vinni said...

:-) thats really sweet! very touchy. nice. kids can be sweet at times. dont thet?

Harlan said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog ages ago....

Something about this experience with the Swiss and the little boy...it has an odd familiarity. It's a rich anecdote, thanks.

Anonymous said...

cheesecakes. lotto. gellato. staedler. zippo. penguin.

Jasmine said...

@ Anonymous,
Yeah Right,Bingo infact,though I have nothing for penguins,the creatures or the publisher...
And if you know me so well why couldn't you spell "staedtler" right?Can you see me fuming???;)

Anchita said...

Strange & beautiful meeting with a stranger which seems a strange thing but that strangeness is something strangely special about you which removes the "strange" part from your relations and make them strangely spl..................................strange use of word "strange".....oops !!

bonny s said...

Interesting.. mystic!!

Ragini said...

Random moments. Random happenings. Random meetings. Unplanned. Unexpected. No expectations. No clue. Follow the lead. You end up somewhere. No purpose. No gain. No loss. Nothing.
And it's this nothingness that makes it so beautiful.

fullyfurnished said...

a brilliant read this. effortless and natural.

i love walking alone too, with no destination in mind. but i'm surely heading here for surprises.