Not long ago, engaging in talks with a fellow traveler on common interests usually made my journey memorable. An interesting conversation, however, is a rarity these days, owing to the perverse social media.
Fortunately, a two hour flight to Mumbai last week gifted me a wonderful interaction.
My seat was 10A, Window.
The girl on the aisle seat adorned minimalism with grace – a royal blue cardigan pulled over a white shirt, subtle features and an exceptionally warm smile. The one next to her, however, seemed a bit eccentric with her fancy wine red overcoat, wide rimmed spectacles and specifically, her Luna Lovegood earrings.
Dewarists, that’s how the conversation started. As soon as the aircraft moved, she began whining about why people did not know the series. I interrupted and asked whether she meant the music series produced by Dewar’s. Although she seemed surprised, she nonchalantly corrected my pronunciation. This set up an exciting connect instantly.
I asked them whether they were college students. The one next to me gave a stern gaze and said,
‘Let me guess, you’ve already judged us based on our appearances.’
‘At least, I asked you whatever I thought?’
‘Now you expect a reply on your Verdict, your honor?’
Her disgusted expression actually made me laugh.
They were indeed students, albeit from another generation. The eccentric livewire, Anahita turned out be an avid reader, a grammar Nazi and an amateur musician while her charming friend Sana was a classical dancer. It was an unique bond; contradictory personas with competing ideas yet the closest of friends. At instances where Anahita went paradoxical, Sana subtly corrected; when my opinions attacked theirs, they sternly defended themselves together.
We spoke earnestly about our favorite authors, books, genres- murder mystery and thrillers among others. Together, we derided a famous Indian Author for his boorish stories and with much ridicule, recollected his frequent usage of the phrase ‘one thing led to another.’
We debated over the popularity of classics and self help books. From the latter, we diverged into Spirituality which ultimately transcended into discussions on Atheism and Occult.
Soon enough, Harry Potter became our topic of dissection. We defended our beloved characters vigorously, rediscovered finer sub-plots and relished our favorite passages from the series. Before we could conclude the loud argument on Voldemort and Sirius, we were rudely interrupted by the Air Hostess, who brought us back from the parallel Universe we had been traversing.
We could relate to movie dialogues and even random passages from books. The connect forged inside an airplane could have easily been mistaken for a decade old friendship.
As we neared our destination, the sudden death of an interesting conversation and the uncertainty of meeting these two enlightened souls ever again loomed large. I wondered if they would keep in touch, and much to my delight, I received a contact card tied with a promise of a brief letter in the near future.
Even while parting, we found ourselves reminiscing a wonderful quote from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi
The whole of life is an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.