Monday, 7 September 2009

Kindness of strangers

All that remains is two glasses on a vacant table. One half full and the other empty. And the echo of parting words, “Enjoy the best years of your life.” They are gone. Poof. They almost vanish in thin air and you wonder did it really happen, where they even there. And then you see the two glasses on the vacant table. By and by the entire interaction, even the minutest gestures walk in to firmly establish their place among the memories of people you meet for a few minutes in some obscure corner of the world never to forget again.

They travel in the bus with you. Or occupy the seat next to yours in the airplane. And sometimes they are just people whose conversation you eavesdrop upon as the train whistles past vast blue skies filled with fat cotton ball like clouds while the hay bales roll by. They could be talking about the trenches of the first world war revisited and the horrors relived while the border collie travelling along struggles to get up onto the girl’s lap to press his nose against the window pane. Or they could be debating the finer points of theoretical physics in a village pub only to pause for the young waitress to serve them their pints. And sometimes you meet them as you struggle for breath at the end of a long trek to the top. With a smile, a laugh and a nod they admit you into the communal experience of shared emotions and exhilaration.

So you stare at the two glasses, one half full and the other empty and recollect a man amused by his struggles with his memory and a woman joking about warmer climes and appreciate a life fulfilled. The culmination of all tribulations and happiness. That elusive secret passed onto two complete strangers who wait for dinner to be served. Invoking a blessing. May they enjoy the best years of their life.

This random kindness of strangers and moments of bliss shared with people unknown. This sudden uplifting of spirits and the calm light that enters the eyes. Hope makes an elegant entrance and chooses to grace us with its presence, even if it is only for a while.

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