It is five-thirty. Time to get out of office. You shut down your computer and clear your table of papers. Then you put that water-bottle in your bag, check if you have your wallet and your phone, say bye to the only colleague who is still working and get out of the air-conditioned room. You step out into the warm evening, put on your iPod and start walking towards home.
At the first crossing, you see the girl. She’s dressed casually. Maybe she just got free from her work. Maybe she stays at home full time. No body knows. You don’t care. You hardly even notice her. You are listening to your music. Your eyes meet each other for what seems like a nanosecond. Then you both look away, and carry on, each busy in their own thoughts. You walk towards your home.
This happens everyday but neither of you acknowledge each other or say hi to each other. You just vaguely know of each other’s existence because of your nanosecond encounter everyday. One day, when you reach the crossing, you don’t see her there. You feel uncomfortable. Why do you feel uncomfortable? That person was no one to you. You knew nothing about her. Then why do you slow down your steps in the hope that she is late that day? That day, do not enjoy your music as you walk towards home. You experience discomfort over not seeing a stranger that you know nothing about.
Has this ever happened to you? It’s like missing a useless piece of furniture from home. You hardly ever notice some things lying around in corners at you home, and one day when you finally spot it, notice its uselessness and throw it out, your house suddenly looks empty. When I used to go for lunch during my first few weeks here, I used to see a beautiful woman taking her kid out in a stroller. She used to pass by me and we used to smile at each other everyday. And then one day she stopped coming. Or maybe I stopped going that way. I can’t remember. Would she have noticed that I don’t meet her everyday?
Isn’t it strange, how a small part of our life is affected by things that we don’t even notice? And I do think about people who I only vaguely know or hardly know. And I wonder whether they think about me too.