Its rare to overhear an interesting conversation on the tube. Most people either look preoccupied with the days business ahead or glum at the days business behind them. Or, of course, they read.
I wasn’t paying attention to the two women seated opposite me on the tube till they started saying something about marriage and babies. This sounded interesting. With my curiosity thus piqued, I fixed my eyes on the bottom half of page 92 in ‘The Age of Kali’ and began listening really hard.
The woman speaking, did so with tremendous authority; almost as if she was a marriage counsellor, operating a mobile service on the London Underground, dispensing little gems of advise to anyone in distress. The woman listening seemed to hang on to every word.
The marriage counsellor, and we'll just call her that, was a trim older woman in a printed skirt, red blouse and big black beads around her neck. She said, “Too many people live entirely for their children.”
(This was when, I stopped reading and started shamelessly eavesdropping.)
“Yes… yes…..”, said the younger one, a little uncertain but in agreement nonetheless.
“The women start living for the children and ignore their relationship with their husbands. The kids… they grow up and leave home and then the parents find that their relationship has a big gaping hole. Its suffered because they stopped paying attention to each other when in fact that is the most important relationship in your life!”
“Yes!”, said the younger woman, much more certain now.
“Don’t get me wrong. You obviously love your kids, but you actually spend most of your life with your husband.”
“And the kids are watching your relationship. They can see when it is strong and secure…. that you have your own life. And they take it forward into their relationships,” she continued.
“Children are a gift. You bring them into this world but you shouldn’t stop living your life.”
With that, unfortunately, we reached the last stop and the two walked off with the marriage counsellor still going strong.
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Holy Shit! Theres actually a project on, encouraging writers to eavesdrop!