“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.”

I do not know what was going through William Shakespeare’s mind when he penned these words in the play ‘As You Like It’. But I can sure as hell say that sharing a ride with strangers make these timeless words a reality. During the ride… the cab; train; bus; airplane; etc metamorphose into a stage and my fellow travelers become the actors… ready to present to me unmatched entertainment.

Here are some classic experiences which have left me wanting for more.

A very short lived experience… but I could not have ignored putting it up on the blog. I was shaken [not stirred] for more than a couple of days, after this experience.

I was returning home from office. I boarded the usual office bus. To my dismay I saw that most of the seats were taken. I finally had to squeeze myself between a lady and a guy. As usual most of the folks were enslaved by their smartphones. My neighbors were no different. Moreover we were seated so close to each other that I had an absolute clear view of what both were doing with their respective phones. The guy on the right was watching a movie and the lady on the left was on a messaging app. I did not bother to intrude into their world and tried to catch some sleep. Being sandwiched between the two did not help my cause. And so I nonchalantly, for no particular reason, looked at the ladies phone. She had typed a message “You can talk, he is not online” to some guy whose name I could not clearly see. Damn my eyesight!!! But all the other antennas and senses within me went into overdrive. For the next 30 minutes, I happened to follow the chat session. Here are the excerpts. It may not be an exact replica… but I have captured most of the content and scandal:

She: Why are you not talking?

He: Because you will be busy with him

She: You can talk, he is not online

[This is when I became super alive]

He: But I don’t want to disturb you

She: Why do you say that, I told you that he is not online.

He: OK

She: How was your day?

He: OK

[Long pause… lady types, deletes, types, deletes many times]

She: You are not talking much today.

He: Can I say something?

She: Yes

[Another long pause…]

She: Tell me, don’t hide anything

He: I think you expect privacy from me

[My eyes were popping out from my skull at this time. This was a real scoop]

She: Why do you say that? It is not true.

He: Yes, I think you expect privacy from me. That is why I do not want to disturb you.

She: No you are wrong. You can say anything.

[Maybe it was a short pause, but it was like eternity for me]

She: You don’t believe me.

He: I am not sure… but it is OK.

[Lots of typing and deleting… from both sides actually]

She: Why are you silent, say something

He: Nothing

[More confusion and pauses. I was tempted to ask her to type something quickly]

She: So you did not believe what I am saying?

He: I think so. I don’t want to disturb you. You will be busy chatting with him

She: I said no

[Gosh…. This was so damn explosive. Hellelujah. Then came the longest pause of the session]

She: Goodnight

He: Goodnight

I was in utter shock. Such an abrupt end!!! How can they decide to stop now? I still had a long way to travel in the bus. The lady kept the chat window open for about 5 minutes, but did not type anything. Finally she locked the phone. Poor me… all the fun was aborted just when it was going so good. Once she realized that there were no more messages, she dumped her phone into her bag. And therein ended my show.

I spent the rest of the journey wondering what was going on. The logical mind of mine took over. The lady should have been in her late thirties, if not early forties. What were the possibilities? Was it a jealous husband kidding her… no I don’t think so, not at this age. A sibling not willing to talk… hmm… I doubt it. Tow boyfriends… well maybe… it is 2018. Was it her children… no… that looked like a dumb hypothesis.

However much I tried, the inevitable possibility kept coming up again and again… husband and someone else??? SHUX…. It’s got to be this. I could not shake this thought out of my mind. Phew….

Since the live entertainment was over, I resorted to youtube for the rest of the journey. For the past few days, I have been seeing a lot of videos of ladies in swimsuits… and today was not different. I continued seeing more such videos. Hey… chill folks… I am learning how to swim and the videos were all about swimming techniques. Hope my actions do not appear on anyone else’s blog post.

So long…. 🙂