Stranger Ranger

Stepping beyond the walled perimeter of my humble home, onto jammed streets, crowded lanes and packed paths, everyday I start out alone, though within seconds mingling with dozens of unknown faces- unknown, but travelling to the same destination; unknown, but in a similar hurry; unknown, but walking beside me. Strange faces- some tense, some stressed, some smiling, some overjoyed. Strange shoulders, excusing themselves while banging into others, knowingly or unknowingly. Strange eyes, wandering and making fleeting contact with others, willingly or unwillingly. Strange lips, flashing emotions at others, smilingly or warning-ly.
All these faces, some strange but some just unknown. All these gazes, some unwelcome but some warranting a contact. All these people- still strangers, yet not so strange.
Losing myself in a crowd has become a habit of sorts, living where I do, and commuting as much as I do. Being a part of a crowd myself, I often wonder how many of these strangers, gazers, onlookers and passengers would remember me. Do I remember any of those faces? Or maybe the way they walked past me? Or the way they were talking over the phone? Or to other people? Do they remember that about me? Is it bad to be remembered by strangers? Not all experiences with strangers are negative encounters, some do become positive anecdotes. After all, all my friends were first strangers, most of whom are strangers again. Is it wrong to accept a few smiling strangers as friendly fellows? Are a few friendly strangers not better than those distanced, estranged friends?

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