No Stranger Conversations

Posted on January 15, 2022


From R Kailasham:

Dear Readers and Well-wishers: my e-book is out, and here is my announcement as promised.

This book is a collection of short stories centred around conversations between strangers. In these imaginary conversations between fictitious characters, I explore how a dialogue stripped of “small talk” might look like. Borrowing the dictum that people open up easily under conditions of anonymity, each of these dialogues are based on the assumption that people also tend to open up to strangers when they know that they would never meet them again. Several of these characters, however, run into each other’s paths again after their initial chance encounters, by which time they are strangers no more, having already shared a deep and meaningful conversation.


Looking forward to hearing your feedback/ comments/ suggestions.

Endrum Anbudan.

EXCERPT: Highlighted in blue font below is a small excerpt from one of the stories, “Hail Me”, which is a conversation between a part-time cab driver, and a ride-hailer who doesn’t want to use the service after having ordered the cab.

‘Wretched are the inquisitive, for they suffer too often’, I surprised myself with this moment of highbrow witticism. 

She cracked a wry smile and responded, as to a tennis serve, ‘Damned are the uninquisitive, for they suffer too late’. 

‘Haha. Well said.’ 


Amidst the laughter, her last line lingered in my thoughts for a minute longer than I’d have liked it to. Then I brushed it away. 

‘Take it easy, Meena. It’s been fun chatting. I must get going now. Shall I drop you off where you need to go?’

‘No, that’s alright. I live close by.’ 

She walked away first. I seemed to have lost a spring in my step. Just a little bit slower, just a little bit more contemplative, as I ambled up to my car and slumped on the seat. 

The mood didn’t last too long. Jass pinged to check on me. He was nearby. I spurred the vehicle on to meet him. Despite returning home at 3 AM that night, I jotted down that night’s encounter. Life will be back to normal from tomorrow. 

‘Livin’ the dream, Ash’, I half-questioned, half-cheered my reflection on the mirror before I turned the lights off. Where will Meena go? What will she do? I hope she does OK. 

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