The journey back home has always been exciting. When taking a flight to or from Mumbai, I usually take KK Travels as a pickup service. They usually have Tavera or a similar four-wheel-drive and are confortable and fast.
Typically there would be 2 to 3 co passengers along with you , and is usually interesting to talk to these "strangers". Of all the time I have travelled with this pickup service, my co-passengers were largely IT professionals. Never found someone with research background or something else.
This time around, I was for some different treat :)
All started at Sydney airport when someone behind me told that my backpack zip was open. He said not worry and closed it for me. Probably he pitied on me as I was carrying 3 handbags :) After conversation with him, he told me that he is a Malayalee working with The Australian as a journalist. He and his wife were both Oz citizens and had voted for the elections just before boarding the flight. For me I was quite pleased to meet a journalist working with The Australian, which was the only sensible newspaper I found during my stay in Oz. In the end a thought crossed me: wish it was so uncomplicated to vote in India.
Next, two interesting people a seaman and jockey made the journey back to Pune fun. This time around the cab driver also did not drive like the world was coming to an end. So it turned out to be an extraordinary smooth ride.
The seaman guy seemed to have traveled the world over in the past 8 or so years he has been working with a shipping company. Being a "demanding " job, and probably pretty-highly payed (>8k $) he is fine with working 6 months or even less a year. And says will 'retire' in couple of more years. Of all the chattering he was doing one statement stood out 'I have seen the world, much closes than you have, at-times fascinating, at times pathetic, but it is only when I come to Bharat that I feel peace. There is no better place to live than India. '
The jockey was another interesting guy. I have never imagined before that a jockey was actually a sort after profession. Unlike most of the people going out of India to work, where they live in the urban world, this guy lives near a countryside stable north to London. Unlike the seaman, this guy had pretty less grab an English, and most of our conversation was in Hindi/ Marathi. This guy too had some general opinions, one that I vividly remember was 'Indians are the most cultured and caring while English are the most fit'.
Between us we had a healthy talk on wide variety of subjects during the three hour journey. At times I was stunned by the kind of questions these guys asked me. In the end thought, I felt that experience and maturity shapes a persons viewpoint towards life and others in general.