I flopped on to the bench in the park, tired after the vigorous rounds of power walking. This was an evening routine which I looked forward to since the last few weeks. Time for myself - to ruminate and introspect, to look around and catch the beauty of the park or just do nothing. But yesterday evening was different. There was a sense of dullness in my head and a feeling of lethargy, which neither my evening cup of tea nor my power walking could address.
From the corner of my eye I could see a gentleman approach my bench. He came right up to me and said, "Mind if I join you?" I could see many other empty benches in the park and was wondering why he did not go there. Before I could speak, he made himself comfortable next to me.
"My name is Ramesh", he said.
"And I am Girish", I found myself responding.
"I live there", he said, pointing to the building right across the park. "Where do you stay?"
"I stay in the building across yours", I replied, pointing to where I stayed.
That was the beginning of an interesting conversation. He had retired from one of the public sector oil conglomerates, where he was looking after marketing and HR as an additional responsibility.
"I am a marketing man and like to meet and talk to people. Even strangers - like you", he grinned. "Some people are not so receptive. But I still like to have new acquaintances and friends."
"I know. Many would consider it an intrusion into their privacy", I smiled back.
HR and talent was a common subject for us and we exchanged our ideas and shared our experiences for some time. As it grew darker, the mosquitoes came baying for our blood. We quickly concluded our conversation and bade goodbye.
While walking back home, I noticed a spring in my step. Gone was the dull feeling and the lethargy. I knew then that it was this chance meeting with the stranger which was responsible for this change.
Connecting with people can do wonders to our psyche. It is guaranteed to uplift your mood and bring out the feel good factor. It has been known to cure problems caused due to loneliness and even varying degrees of depression.
When was the last time you chatted with a stranger? I am not talking about the cursory interaction which we have in our daily lives, but a proper introduction and conversation? If you haven't, I suggest that you try it out and experience the power of connecting.
If you have had such an experience, I would be interested in hearing about it. I am for sure, looking forward to meet Ramesh again today evening. And maybe I should introduce myself to another stranger in the park today...