On the Way Home

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Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey

I am on my way to the airport. Upon embarking on the ferryboat to the European Side, I see a couple looking and smiling at one another on their way onto the boat. I walk past them and immediately climb up to the top deck and buy a cup of tea to drink while reading my novel. Returning back to the seat where I had left my backpack, I see the same couple in passing. They seat themselves right behind me. I sit down, carefully balance my cup of tea on the table and take out my book to read when I hear the couple’s indistinct voices.
I am always curious to know what language people speak; though in their case, I was unable to find out! They spoke at such a low voice I could barely recognize whether it was the man speaking or the woman let alone the language. I gave up and started reading my book. While reading I recognized they were speaking again. It was amazing. The woman was seated only a few inches away behind me: if I leaned back just a little bit more, the back of my head would touch her ponytail. Yet it was impossible to make out what the language they spoke was! Something struck inside me. It was amazing: a couple barely heard by anyone around them or even by one another, listened to each other, responded in time, smiled back and forth and communicated more effectively than any loud-spoken pair of people you could imagine.
Everyone knows human relationships suck! Most of us only go for friendships: friendships that barely even touch the surface of communication let alone going anywhere. Yet in this particular case, I was amazed at the level of communication & emotion reciprocated between two individuals who spoke so indistinctly they themselves, I bet, could hardly hear each other! All of a sudden, only a few minutes to the end of the journey on the boat, I recognize a couple of their words: yes! They are talking about the top deck & the beauty of the city. And as it is the case with every familiar language, once you hear a few familiar words, it is as if you are given a ticket to enter – with those words – a secret world, the ‘world of words’ you felt unfamilar to till that very moment: they, to my sheer amazement, spoke my own native tongue!
I look out the window and see a plane flying just over the Bosphorus and I’m reminded of my journey ahead. What an exotic way to start one’s journey back home.

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