Moments of introspection
It was during the walk to the hawker that we got talking about each other’s lives. Lives. So dissimilar. So divergent. Poles apart. Yet, so similar. She asked me about my work, and I went on and on about my abhorrent manager and my sufferings at his hands. She smiled through it maternally. She inquired about my family and was quite amused to listen about my brother whose ambitions changed faster than the speed of light, the current one being the desire to see himself as a cricket commentator. I mustered some courage and asked her about her family and work. She looked around thirty-five, married, and having at least one child, though I don’t know which bias led to this belief.
I am recently divorced and traveling all over India.
I gulped. The impact of that statement took some time to settle on me. I did not know how to react. I tried hard not to show the impact of her statement on my face. But the truth was that I really did not expect such a reaction. Despite being an urban educated so called modern woman, suddenly I realized I had lots of biases of my own.
“My husband was an absolute workaholic. I cannot remember a time when we sat down to talk like a normal couple. The distance was increasing and I just could not do anything about it. Then one day he ran after his boss who was some power hungry super-woman promising a promising future in the company. I did not know what to do, so shocked I was. Then I collected my pieces and moved out. We got divorced in three months.”
I nodded. By now the impact had lessened and I had begun to appreciate her honesty. She could have been very uncomfortable, and she probably was from inside, but she had obviously taken the decision to get used to the idea as soon as possible. She may have been less candid with somebody who looked more old school than me, so she may have decided to speak to me about her recent relationship status change. Whatever be the reason, I felt that this was an experience in my own growing.
There were obviously people of all kinds in the world and I could not sit around judging them for their choices. I looked at her again. She was smiling at me. Would you like to have coffee somewhere, she asked me. Surely, I replied. I was so happy to have met her today, so randomly in a shopping street, buying random things, not knowing what was ahead for both of us. We paid the hawker and started walking to the nearby coffee shop. I was excited to have a cappuccino and a muffin. But most of all I was excited about the company I had and the conversations that would follow.
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