Life

The surprising kindness of strangers

At some point a year or so ago, I learnt that the quality of kindness, like the quality of mercy is not strained…

You may not know this, but I’m a pessimist and a misanthrope…

A few days ago at the gym I was on the treadmill, and my jacket fell off and got tangled at my feet. Luckily as I was making the treadmill stop, a fellow gymmer picked it up for me.

And then I went shopping for art materials…

And a stranger in passing gave me a discount coupon: “Here you take this 20% off coupon, I’m not going to use it.”

All this happened within a few hours of each other. Enough to shake my foundation of pessimism and misanthropy. So worrying. How strange are these people? Totally confused now.

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People, sketchbook

Encounters of the human kind

When I was younger I was dead scared of talking to people. I used to be terribly quiet and painfully awkward in social situations – but over the last few years circumstances have made me more open to human contact. Here are a few such encounters worth recording.

“I would love to see your blog! Can I meet you in Noida?” said a beautiful stranger in a lovely blue dress at the airport. But of course we didn’t.
stranger

One day in the office cafeteria I ate sandwiches with Jabba the Hut who I used to be scared of, years ago when I’d joined Adobe. And promptly remembered the quotation
jabba

Some days every encounter is unique enough to remember.
social encounters

But there are some that really stand out and I make sure to draw them before I forget.

Here’s a lovely conversation I had with Ripul, in Bangalore last year, which was interesting though we had crossed paths decades ago, we had never really “met” in person! Among other things, we talked about design and business, the power of networks, our graduate studies, and our respective employers.
ripul

Then, a few months ago I spent a day with dear friends Mishta and Anirudh, who influence me greatly, then and now, and I had to quickly catch that time on paper before it was lost.
mishtaanirudh

But the best encounters, conversations, meals have been with these people, around this mythical table…even if some of them are not in my life anymore…dinner

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