I am a chatter-box to say the least. I can talk to a stranger without qualms if they are receptive. Fortunately, I live in a city which is a melting pot of various nationalities. That makes it even more interesting to talk to a stranger. I recently hailed a cab and most of the times I surprise the driver when I wish him…good morning evening or whenever. This time within 5mins we hit a traffic jam. Now that’s an ice-breaker. How come traffic at this hour I stated and he replied may be some accident ahead…I didnt want to leave the thread and continued… so have you been vaccinated. He surprised me by giving the name of the vaccine he took and why this was his choice and not the others. He added he hails Bangladesh and that his old parents and wife and two children live in a village far away from the capital Dhaka. The conversation then veered towards politics.. his erudition on his country’s politics astounded me. we spoke about Ms Sheikh Haseena, Mr Mujibur Rehman and Mr Modi’s visit to Dhaka…also about the army in his country. As we got acquainted he switched from his basic English to fluent Hindi. Very smoothly our chat moved to South Asian cuisines and his favourite he said was Hyderabadi Dum Biryani. He said he had worked briefly in Karachi and Muscat. Karachi folks are hospitable he enlightened me. Back to the gourmet topic, he opined..madam nothing to beat Hyd Biryani. He listed the places in the city with approximate prices of good biryanis. Ah a foodie too I thought!!  Which led to our next discussion on ‘good health’…he requested me to avoid oily food and that one should walk every day;   in between his routes when it’s not very hot he stops the car and goes for a brisk walk for 10mins. His gyaan was money is important so is one’s health…what’s the point of earning madam when I am not healthy for my family.  I am not judging him dear readers but I was pleasantly flummoxed. His knowledge on politics , geography, food, lifestyle and health stumped me. As I got out he thanked me and said ‘good customer’. I jokingly replied please give me a 5star rating and thus we parted with big smile on our faces.

It was such an interactive ride and I was glad I made the move to break the ice. Try it friends…..a good, interesting and knowledgeable chat can emanate from unassuming and humble corners.