Strangers of the week.

One week. 4 strangers. Intriguing?


Auto driver

Context: I had to travel to xxx late at night, couldn’t find any share cab/auto, So decided to take a “normal” auto. After bargaining for over 20 mins, we both agreed on a particular price (because I am cheap like that.)

Me: Why is there no share ca/auto available right now?

Him: Rain na madam, that’s why , plus a lot of traffic

Me: Hmm. Okay.

Him: I was an “a share auto” driver before.

Me: So why did you quit?

Him: To be very honest, it was mainly because of the way the customers treated me.

Me: Oh. Like?

Him: They don’t even want to cross a road, it’s okay for them if I had to make a long U-turn and reach right at the pick up point. I just got tired of it.

Me: (Wondering if I had done that. Not really) Hmm.

Him: and it’s not even that we get paid like 30 bucks for attaining arrogant customers who travel long distance and pay meagerly. I used to pay over 1000s for petrol itself. I didn’t find the business worth it.

Me: (Questioning my decision of starting the conversation)

Him: Sorry madam, didn’t mean to offend you or something

Me: Ah. It’s okay. I never realised that side of the story.

Him: Arey madam, these people even fool you customers, they take like twice more than what I am charging you right now at peak timings for no apparent reasons.

In the morning they increase the price because people are in a hurry to reach office and so do they in the evening

Me: Realising the monopoly of the business, “what about the cab drivers who cancel your ride because you aren’t paying cash”.

Him: Madam. We are also looking for making money every day. It’s just that people have different work ethics.

Me: Hmm

I had reached my destination by then.

(This conversation kind of pissed me of for some reason, I realise their problems but at the same time drivers cancelling your ride for not paying in cash is not justified)

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Co-worker

Context: I was working late at office (for me late is post 6.30. Hehe.) There was another person who had to go to the same place so we decided a share a cab. After a brief introduction we had a little chat.

Me: So is this your first job?

Her: No. I was interning at xxx before this.

Me: Okay, then why did you not continue there? I suppose it’s a great company to work for.

Her: Yeah. That’s what everyone thinks.

Me: Oh, so was it the work or did these people promise you a better pay?

Her: Nah. It’s almost the same. The problem was with the work culture. I was interning there for over 6 months and I saw only a little progress. I was just working, wasn’t learning anything.

Me: Oh.

Her: Actually, there were a bunch of FTEs(Full time employee) I knew. One of them after an year of working in his team got 4% hike and the other person who had joined at the same time was to get 14% hike in a few months. That kind of scared me.

Me: Well that’s a chance you would have to take , right?

Her: I don’t know. I thought there was a lot of pressure. I kinda didn’t like it.

Me: How about here. Good enough?

Her: I think I took the right decision, maybe this organization isn’t as big as xxx but they are paying me well and people I work with seem to be great. Can’t complain.

Me: That’s great. I guess bigger the organization, bigger the problems?

Her: You know what, you can’t say anything about what might happen to you. If you are in a good team, good for you. If you’re not, suck it up and show up everyday.

Me: What about startups? They pay you well and it’s a small group, so it could be different right ?

Her: Yeah, it could be. But they pay you like an insane amount

Me: Even more than what a person’s skills are worth?

Her: Yep. That’s right. One of my friend has somehow ended up into managerial positions within just 2 years without a degree in management.

Me: What could go wrong with that?

Her: Anyone outside of his org. would never pay him that good without a legitimate management degree.

Me: Wow. That’s crazy. Interesting how educational degrees have become a means of employability.

Her: I am not sure what would have I done with my degree either if it weren’t for a job

Me: Yeah. Same.

The ride was finished by then.

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Burger King (Yes, I skip healthy food and resort to junk)

Context: I was late from work, didn’t want to have amazingly mediocre food from pg. Hence, Burger King.

Him: Can I sit here?

Me: Um. Yeah sure.

After munching like a cow for quite a while(I hate people who don’t know how to eat)

Him: Hi, XXX.

Me: Jyoti.

Him: Engineer?

Me: Yep. You guessed it right.

Him: Haha. Same.

Me: Looking at the sister who just walked by

Him: Don’t fancy religion?

Me: Not a fan

Him: Great

Me: Hmm.

Him: So do you believe in the spirit living inside your body ?

Me: um. Imagine meeting a stranger and the very first he asks you is about spirits .

Him: haha. I am sorry. Perhaps I should you some ID to prove my legitimacy.

Me: Not really. But I think there’s someone there outside guiding and looking over me.

Him: Okay. That’s interesting.

Me: Yeah. I built that belief when I was going through a rough part of life.

Him: Sorry to bring that up.

Me: Nah. It’s long gone. I am doing better.

Him: so let’s say, you are creating a human from the very beginning.

You’ve taken out all his skin and bone, what would remain?

Me: organs

Him: let’s say I take that out too

Me: oh. We forgot the muscles.

Him: Haha okay. And then?

Me: Probably nothing.

Him: Then what about the spirit? Aatma is what we like to call it.

Me: Hmm. (Actual trying to process all the things I have read about aatmas so far, yeah I read weird things. Hehe)

Him: I know right.

Me: Maybe it’s a hypothetical concept which has been passed on to generations and so on, maybe now people think of conscience as their spirit’s call

Him: you really think so? How can a thing exist and not be in a physical form?

Me: Just human feelings do. They are expressed, you can believe that they exist but there’s no physical existence to it. You can’t touch but it’s there.

Him: That’s a different way of looking at it.

Me: Yep.

Him: Well, btw I am a freelance writer and took up the task of writing about the human body spirit

Me: Oh so you’re looking for content and you generate it with human interactions?

Him: um. Not really. You make it sound really shallow.

Me: No. No. That’s not what I meant. I mean. Yeah. Whatever.

Him: actually people don’t answer your question if you ask them in a straightforward manner. They become reclusive

Me: Maybe. Yeah.

Him: I stop if I sense a bit of sentimental hurt in their response but your response actually would be something putting down.

Me: Okay. This is going to make me sleep like a baby tonight.

Him: You can stop too.

Me: Haha. Gotta go.

I just left.

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Gym

Context: I was in the locker room, changing up to leave. So one of the girl comes by and starts talking.

Her:Hey

Me:Hey

Her: You work?

Me: Yep

Her: Same. It’s kinda hectic right? Gym after work

Me: Not really, I am kind of relaxed after Gym. It’s refreshing to be honest.

Her: Yeah. Especially when you have back to back reviews.

Me: LOL. Been there!

Her: Haha. How long have you been coming here for?

Me: Approx. 2 months.

Her: Great. Any progress?

Me: Mentally? Yeah. Physically? I am trying. Hehe

Her: Yeah that’s great.

Me: Hmm. (slowly walking out)

Her: Hey so where do you live?

Me: just around the corner near so and so place

Her: Ah I live there too. We can go together, if you don’t mind.

Me: yeah sure!

Her: So I am kinda new here. You?

Me: Same. Just about 4 months.

Her: Okay. It kinda gets boring sometimes so I thought maybe I could go to gym

Me: Yeah. That’s a good reason to go to gym.

Her: and I kinda wanted to move on too

Me: oh

Her: Yeah. You know people don’t realize the kind of effect exercise has on your brain. Like you said right, mentally you’ve made progress. Gym is sometimes the only good thing I do in a day.

Me: I know. I don’t skip gym on my not so good days!

Her: I wish they had an outdoor gym sort of thing here. Would’ve loved that.

Me: In a weather like this, wouldn’t have mind.

Her: I wish to go swimming classes though

Me: Oh my God. The primary reason I go to gym is to lose weight so I can go swimming

Her: hahaha! Same girl. Same.

Her: wait do you take any protein or supplements for that matter?

Me: I don’t. But I have realized that I should. I recently got a chance to meet a health consultant. She helped me figure that out.

Her: oh that’s great. But aren’t these proteins and supplements for that matter synthetic and harmful in the longer run

Me: I don’t really have the exact knowledge to justify my answer but I don’t really believe so. I have started reading this book by a renowned physician, what your doctor doesn’t know might be killing you and it has been quite informative and has actually changed my views on supplements too.

Her: oh is it.

Me: I could actually forward you that book

Her: yes you should

Me: okay, see ya! Nice to meet you!

Her: Yeah! See you tomorrow!