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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

Conversation With The Stranger

Conversation With The Stranger

6 mins 151 6 mins 151

Anushka was traveling in a train. She was looking outside the window and thinking for the event that is to commence for the weekend. Yes, she was nervous! This was her second job in a span of 6 months and she should be doing her best. Talking about the previous job, she had to quit the job because she was told that she was not performing the level the organization wanted. She also had no idea what more performance things would come in a span of just being 3 months in the organization. Nevertheless, that’s not the point. The focus area is on the current job and she needs to place it well in her life.

Talking about the financial commitments and her personal life, she had a retired father and mother back in her hometown. Her father has just retired from the Customs Department. So technically speaking she was the only bread earner in the family although he was eligible for the central government pension scheme.

She was thinking a lot. The event mattered to her a lot. This was the chance where her work could get highlighted. She needed this. Although she was not being warned for her tenure here but the pressure of getting this job sorted out was the biggest headache she could possibly think right now in her life. She kept looking outside. The trees went by, the fields crossed, the cows grazed, and her thoughts flew beyond boundaries.

After a long time, the door of the compartment opened. A mid-aged lady walked in with a suitcase. She also carried a big vanity bag and a bird cage but with a bird captured in that. A parrot in precise. They exchanged looks. Anushka thought of getting up and helping her with her things and settling but somehow, she hesitated and didn’t make a move.

“Can you please hold this cage or the bag, I will just put the suitcase meanwhile?” – asked the lady

Anushka immediately got up. She replied “Sure”

She thought for a while. “Should she be speaking more and try to start a conversation?”

Oh, she doesn’t need to think that much.

“I am sorry, I didn’t realize to give you a helping hand, I was little occupied with some thoughts.”- Anushka spoke.

“Ah! These days are so hot, wherever you go you just sweat” And she sat finally. They were traveling in a first-class train.

“So, what is your story? Why is the frowned face on a beautiful train journey?” – The lady asked.

Anushka shifted her eyes from the window to her. She wanted to speak about it, but should she?

She stretched hands for some seconds. But then-

“I am worried about my job. I have an event which is trending to come the next weekend. This is the first project that I am going to handle very independently. My boss is not much supportive, and I need to cast my image as a good working professional so that I can earn the bread for me and my family as well.”-replied Anushka.

“I am actually working very hard on this. From budgeting to designs to event management, have been handling all these. We do have a team but at the end the team should pay off. It’s difficult. “

“Have this laddu! I have not made it. My daughter-in-law has made it. I and my daughter in law doesn’t shape much but she really makes nice food specially the fried items and the sweet dishes. “Replied the lady.

“It’s tasty, made from pure ghee!”

“Yes, I know … okay now I can have”- the lady spoke.

“So, you didn’t want to have the sweet since you don’t like her, but you also know she makes good ones,”- Anushka spoke with a straight tone.

“No, I would definitely have. It’s just I didn’t want to have the first bite”- the lady smiled and popped the sweet.

Anushka was dazzled and confused.

“Dear, it’s not that I dislike her or want to harm her, it’s just that some things I just don’t agree with her and vice versa as well. It is as simple as that. I am grateful to her in many other ways which we don’t speak to each other about and so is she! But we know we care for each other.”

“As a matter of fact, I was just playing with you with the sweet to give it a good gesture. I hope you got it now.” – She smiled and looked at Anushka.

“Similarly, my dear, you already on track and you do it. You are on the flow of achieving the right thing for your career and the commitments to your family which you are longing. The thing which is bothering you is not the work that you must do, but how perfectly you want to do it for your team and your boss at office. The work must be well organized, well designed, well marketed and a well-done job. That’s where the frown look! Is it not?

Have some patience, you will get it.”- The lady replied.

Anushka starred at her. Yes, this was the explanation. How correct!

“Can I have one more laddu?” Anushka asked with a big smile.

“Of course, no doubt” –replied the lady

“I have some biscuits in my bag, can I feed it to your bird?”- It might be hungry too seeing us- asked Anushka.

“Go ahead”- She replied.

“Do you read books?” asked the lady.

“Sometimes, some romantic or drama stuff.”- replied Anushka

By the way, I am Sarah Jones, author of the book “The Nightingale sings”


“I have never seen your photograph. You not in social media anywhere, you have a pseudo name as “Mel” and you write so beautifully.”

“Yes, yes you are absolutely right”- Sarah replied.

“I don’t believe this. I really don’t. “– sighed Anushka.

“Can I have an autograph, I know you can’t give me a photo though”- asked Anushka


“Remember the things I said. There are many battles people are fighting every day that includes you as well. Never compromise the way you are, and you want to be, that’s your identity. Take this diary as a gift from me which has my name written on it as well. Do the right things even if you feel you are alone. The good will come back to you.”

And she handed her a Sky-blue colored diary.

Anushka loved it.

“Thank you so much. I am so glad for today. I feel better”

Anushka kept having some funny talks about an hour or so till her station arrived. She waved her goodbye.

“The laddu were so tasty Sarah. See you again if we meet.”- she spoke these words and went out.

Sometimes it is so better to speak to strangers rather than known people. All strangers are not dangers in trains. But yes, we should remember the thumb rule for sure.

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