Monday, April 4, 2011

What Zinia Taught Me About “Talking To Strangers”

Imagine sitting inside a Volvo bus with me on a hot summer afternoon, from my PG room to Majestic railway station. I was going to book ticket for Bangalore to Siliguri. I simply hopped into my window seat and tried to have a snooze. After around 10 minutes the young girl sitting next to me asked, “Do you study?”

I said, “Yes, I study in Amity Global Business School.”


“Do I look so intelligent? No, BBA.”

She started laughing. “Well MBAs don’t need to be intelligent, they just need to be smart” was her immediate reply.

Well I agree MBA guys from my college are smart, but not intelligent? Why? And how can she know that MBAs need not be intelligent? Is she Sonia Gandhi or what?

“I don’t really know what you mean, but I think some of the MBAs are quite intelligent.” Her statement really left me with a little embarrassment.

“Dude,” she said, “I just wanted to talk to you! And I am happy I made you angry. Let’s be friends. Hi, I am Zinia.”

“Hi, I am Bishal, Bishal Sarkar!” I said firmly. Then we talked and traded our experiences for next 40 minutes. We exchanged our views about the land of Dosa (dosa is one of my favourite food items). Majestic wasn’t so far. We reached there and I took her an auto as she wanted to go somewhere fast. Probably I could ask her for a fresh fruit juice in a shop nearby. But by the time I realized I could, her auto vanished.

I wish I met Zinia earlier in my life, I could learn how to start talking to a stranger long ago. Believe it or not, she left me with a lesson I’ll never forget, the quickest way to connect to new faces. “Better late than never.” So now whenever I sit at a public place or if I am in a bus, I think of the girl and start talking to someone new, a new stranger, almost every day. And you know what?? I am getting more new friends, every day.

Do you want more friends?

Do you want to be friendlier?

Are you willing to be smarter(even than MBAs)?

Then try out what Zinia taught me!! And try it the very next time you’re at a bus stand or a restaurant. “Just do it.”

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