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Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Love Letter to Strangers


Hi,

    I see you every day. On my way to office. On my way back home. When I look out the window of my room. Through the rain-streaked windshield of a taxi. Walking, running, arguing, laughing, crying, hurting, loving, praying, begging, living. I don't know you, but I wish I did. 


I have often wondered about the lives you lead. It could be very similar to mine, or so very different. Does someone wait for you at home? Or do you step across an empty threshold. Do you play with your son, make love to your husband or wife, or do you sink into a chair, battle weary, before digging yourself out to dine on whatever can be prepared with the least amount of effort? I have often wondered about things that are of no business to me, because I so desperately would like to know you. In this teeming city of millions I would like reach out and touch you, and feel how your lives vibrate. Do you yearn for tomorrow, or do you not want the night to end? What are your hopes, what are your dreams? What makes you get out of bed when you wake up in the morning? What drives you through the day? 



You know what I would love to do? I would love to talk to you. I would love to know your story, and don't tell me you don't have one, because I don't believe you. You are alive. You have lived. You have a story. You have tales of how you lost the ones you loved and met the one you are in love with. You have been a good son, or an angry rebel. Slowly, the world has tried to shape you, and you have sometimes struggled, and sometimes relented, until you have come to be the unique combination of qualities, personal traits and quirks and beliefs that make you, YOU. You have battled deadly enemies in the school playground, and suffered heartbreak and loss in college, you have suffered humiliation and tasted glory in your profession. You have looked into the eyes of your child and seen your dreams coming true. Or perhaps you have done none of those things. Perhaps you have faced all those situations, but they have been so different for you that you cannot conceive the emotions I have been describing. Either way, your life is what the epics are made of, and I would so very much like to know you.


Thank you for listening


Anirban

14 comments:

suranjana said...

there are stories everywhere in this city, and in every city, every town in the world. stories on the streets, stories inside cars, inside trains, buses and on all other vehicles. there are stories in the making inside an apartment that you can see from the road, stories inside a living room or bedroom that you can see through its windows. everywhere people are making stories, ending stories, fabricating stories or simply being a part of an intricate plot, without much scope to do anything or just out of helplessness. i know about these people, i think of them all the time, i wonder what's going on in their lives and i so want to know their tales, their dreams, their hopes, their desires and their sorrows. these are the souls that make 'a people', these are the people that unknowingly, or sometimes knowingly become the inspiration for a movie, a book, a poem, a painting or a song.these are you, these are me and we are everywhere. these are the people without whom the world would seem dull, boring, lifeless. they all contribute to the greatness of mankind - each in his/her own way. thank you so much for writing this, you've actually (and unknowingly) put my thoughts into words. i love you.

Jaai Vipra said...

This is admirable, I know now that humanity exists even in the rush of our cities.

sneha said...

Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful.........

That's really all i can say.....

The Conjuror said...

I have felt like saying those exact things to so many people ... thanks for expressing these feelings to them(and us...'cause we are 'strangers' to you you too) on the behalf of a lot of us.

roudra said...

ressaphwhat do you find to be more exciting, in this journey towards a stranger?

the thrill of the unknown, unraveling and understanding that secret ingredients that makes him/her unique?

or is it the solace of being able to touch another heart and find out that we share greater degrees of connection than one thinks?


i can only guess, it must be a bit of both... wonder which one is a bit more!

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

Well, I'm really confused to write anything! I all of us have stories...but the quality that makes a great writer is present in you. It's not only your use of the language... there's something MORE! It's about humanity. It's about loving people and having a crave to hear their stories. This is what makes a good writer!!! I love it! I really really love this post!!! I think Sneha made the best comment here...it's "Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!... that's all I can say."

Ray said...

Beautiful piece. Indeed you have a beautiful mind. I might suggest that sometime as you walk those streets, as you watch people, and you see someone who might be receptive, start by saying hello to them, and if they permit, strike up a conversation.

I live in a city that tends to harden people. Many people who live here try to figure out why. Many people believe it is the weather, which is often very overcast, with rain and long snowy
winters that may be beautiful, but isolate us and in their own way make life a little more difficult.

However I'm not so sure it is all the weather. When I was younger,
I had a hard time with issues. Life was difficult and nothing came easy for me. This continued even into my married life. It bothered me that things would be so difficult and so hard to turn around. I looked at myself and realized that I often was depressed myself and that things had me down.

I decided to try a theory or saying I once heard to see if it could change things.

The saying was a simple one, that when you smile the world smiles back.

I found that when my world was very dark and difficult, and I tried to put those words to use,
and I tried it; to smile at a stranger, to hold a door, or to go out of my way to say thanks to someone, that simple statement proved true. Many people respond in kind, yet I had to make the first step. It seems that most people are too afraid to.

Granted some will balk at you. Some will return dirty looks when you try to be nice. It seems that there are some who are so lost in the misery that they no longer want to be happy, and they react with anger. All we can do is
try, and if it's hopeless walk away and try with someone else. Sooner or later we change our outlooks on the world and it helps us think of this world as a place of beauty with people who are basically good at heart.

You have a wonderful outlook on life, even though you've gone through some tough things. It's
always a refreshing and enlightening thing to read
your work!

And glad to see life appears to be being kind to you, in letting you keep such a nice outlook.

Dibyojyoti said...

Very Very well written post, Sir. Have any more letters-to-the-air lined up? Would love reading them too! ;-)

confusedyuppie said...

very nice post. these stories escape us everyday- but are so poignant!

Nirvanic said...

yeah we all have a story....liked it

Anonymous said...

Your piece describes it all.. I'm so glad I found it. Beautiful written : )
 I'm secretly in love with this guy I have been seeing in the metro on my way to the office. For the past two years I am seeing him almost everyday. I just can't take any action..don't know why. We have eye contact and I know he has been noticing me. But still.. I can't do anything but dream of him. 

Anirban Banerjee said...

If I may, never let opportunities pass you by. Please remember, years from now, you are never going to regret the things you did...

Girl with 'Warped' Thinking said...

Yes, everyone has a story. Inspiring, dull, insipid, engaging - never mind the type, there is always a story and there will always be. But, you will not find many who are willing to listen to the 'stories' of others - and even if they do, they are either being sympathetic, or overtly critical. They don't 'empathize' - something you do, and that line of thinking is reflected in this write-up. This is truly a heartwarming piece.