I still remember him fairly well. Don't remember completely what we talked about but I know I enjoyed our conversation. Before you start thinking in the lines of an ex-romance tell... I have to tell you I am talking about this guy I met on the plane once. He's married with two children :)
I met him on the plane coming to US. He was returning from Iraq, he was an American soldier. Well not somebody who would be at the front fighting, but somebody in the Army and close to the war anyway.
Strangely enough we didn't talk much about the war. Mostly we talked about our lives. I had an amazingly long interesting conversation with a complete stranger. We are probably same age, but thats about all we might have had in common. He was probably talking to a civilian who spoke English after a long time and I was just bored from travelling alone for the hundreth time. All this speculation still doesn't explain the connection. Especially since I go around saying how reserved I am :) Like all these friendships, we exchanged email addresses, I lost his and am sure he lost mine!
Made me remember all the strangers who turned into friends only to change back to strangers, all in the span of 24 hr journey from Bombay to Bangalore. There were no surprises on the route. Perhaps a rare stop at Monkey Hill. Maybe ate an idli at Vadi. Failed to count the tunnels right inspite of being on that train so many times. Most of those journeys have faded in my memory. The ones I remember are thanks to the people I met on the way.
I remember this Gujju couple who fed me all the way to Bangalore once. The guy was extremely talkative. He was taking his pregnant wife to his in-laws for her delivery. With him was his ever-so shy friend who was going back to meet and probably to bring back his wife to Bangalore with him. This guy kept on and on about everything, he even made a comment on South Indians leaving their daughters unwed for too long. This was much to my amusement, probably 23 then, single and travelling alone. He told me that it was no surprise that they ran with some random guy with all the freedom their parents gave them. As I guessed this would be father was a year younger to me. But all in all they were extremely nice. It was fun to listen to him tease and trouble his giggly wife.
Then there was a Marathi family travelling to Tirupathi. There was this elderly man, his wife and his son. I remember that they were going for their son's wedding or something of that sort.
They taught me to play Judgement, a card game. Sadly for me, they got off much before Bangalore. It was still 'course a whole lotta fun playing cards all the way.
There have been other notable strangers on the way. Some I forget, others I vaguely remember. All made their mark. I have to wonder though if any ever remember me?