Two strangers facing each other, our eyes meet, mine to that of the opposite person and the opposite person’s to mine. We exchanged smiles, mine been more wider as I felt so, maybe the opposite person’s smile was wider than mine, I am not sure. We looked at each other’s hand, initially that person glanced at my hands and then noticing that the eyes were looking at my hands I did the same, in complete syncronisation with each other. We both stared at each other almost for a minute trying to adjust our eye’s pupil to get a proper glance of the object in our hand.
No no … this is not what you are thinking. This happened yesterday evening while I was traveling back home in the train. We both boarded the same train, the same coach and from the same station. Once I got in we were facing exactly opposite each other (well, people traveling in Mumbai local trains will understand it much better 🙂 ).
Well, it was the book we both were holding to read during the journey towards home. And I know you will be disappointed to read that the opposite person was not female too. We both were holding the same book to read. I normally have a habit to read during my train journey and once I hop into the train I immediately remove the book from my bag to read.
We both were reading the same book and hence all these exchanges of eye contact and smiles . I have seen many people reading books while traveling but hardly I have found anyone reading the same book as mine. Couple of times it has happened that people have asked me about the author and the book I was reading at that time but never have I had an experience like yesterday.
Another few minutes of scanning each other we both got engrossed into our reading but the curious person I am, I did not allow myself to settle calmly. I wanted to pinch him hard and say same pinch but I avoided it . I took the initiative to ask him his opinion about the author and then it all started from how to when to where to who and lots more. Infact the full 50 minutes of our traveling journey we were chatting on all the topics we can think of; books to politics to demonetization to our profession.
Well, it’s the power of the book and the reading habit which helps to friend a stranger no matter which part of the world you are in.