Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Conversations with random strangers 2017 by Ritu Bhathal

This is the second post from the wonderfully varied archives of poet and author Ritu Bhathal. This week I have selected a post dear to heart. I love people watching and having spent considerable time in airports for work and pleasure, I will talk to anyone who dares to sit next to me. I do try to behave myself on long haul flights, but it is amazing what you can find out about someone in 10 hours!

Conversations with random strangers 2017 by Ritu Bhathal


Anyone who knows me will willingly confirm the following fact… I can talk for England!

And, though not verbal, once I start a comment rally , even on here, I find it hard to stop!

So it stands to reason, where there’s an opportunity to talk to someone, anyone, I will happily take it!

You can end up having lovely conversations with older people, who are sometimes boggled by the technology and communications nowadays, almost starved of regular ‘normal’ conversation.

The kids hate doing the weekly shop with me, apparently I ALWAYS stop to talk to someone and I take AGES… Hubby Dearest says the same… Hmmm, maybe there’s some truth to it then! 😜

Example 1.

I was shopping, sans kids or hubby, and went to the game section. Its Lil Princess’s birthday next month, so I need new present suggestions.. Too soon after Christmas! But, I digress.

I picked up Just Dance 2015 and went to pay… She loves these games.

An elderly lady was at the till. She looked at the game, then at me. I smiled and for no reason whatsoever explained it was a ‘getting ready for daughter’s birthday’ present. She said “Good choice my dear, at least it’s active!” We then went on to talk about the youngsters nowadays being addicted to console games, and lack of fresh air and exercise. This led to her saying she has no internet, no interest in getting it, and on to how her grand daughter insists on getting a text from them if they wanted to talk to her, not just a simple phone call! Her husband arrived and we parted company, with me getting a pat on the back for keeping my kids active, and for having a chat!

Yes, it does add 5-10 minutes to a trip out but it’s fun! I just can’t help it!

Example 2.

Yup, just today, I was in Primark and buying a couple of jumpers, which I had bought previously, but managed to shrink in the wash! 😳 Again, a lovely older lady was perusing the knitwear and happened upon one of the jumpers I’d also picked up. Eye contact occurred, then a smile, followed by a discussion about the jumpers being great, how I’m cr*p at laundry, and what on earth is up with Primark sizing!

Example 3

No, why would I stop there! The lady at the till was next. And after talking about the now infamous jumpers, we were discussing their practicality in my job, comfort and stuff, and I came away from this conversation with a ‘well done with doing the job you love!’
(And a queue of customers behind me!)

I have come to the conclusion its all about the eye contact…and smile.

So if you ever see me and don’t want to chat, whatever you do, don’t let me see you!!! If I smile, that’s 10 minutes of your life GONE! If, however, you fancy a chat, smile away!!!

Just don’t wink… That’s just weird!

©Ritu Bhathal 2017

What was your latest encounter with a stranger?  Please share in the comments….

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh. She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.

A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the reviews for the collection

This book contains about 120 pages of poems celebrating family and its joyfulness. Most of the poems are metrical and many of these rhyme. This book, for the most part, provides the reader with a traditional poetic, sound experience. The book also contains haiku and other such forms. These are also witty and enjoyable.

Although this is a book of poetry, you should be able to understand every page and find lines and stanzas that make you smile–or at least make you want to highlight them so you can find them again quickly.

Read all the reviews and buy the collection:

and other reviews on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads:

Connect to Ritu

Facebook page:

My thanks to Ritu for permitting me to dive into her archives to share with you. I hope you will head over and check them out for yourselves. Thanks Sally

57 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Conversations with random strangers 2017 by Ritu Bhathal

  1. Ritu, if the world had more people who can just have friendly interactions such as these, the world would be a lot happier place. Regardless of what someone’s political views are, we still should be able to communicate in a civilized manner. Besides that, children are watching and learning from us all the time. What better example to set than to demonstrate common decency to one another.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I wish people we’re more approachable. I met an old man once, because we smiled at each other as we crossed aisles in the supermarket. He stopped me and said ‘thank you. People are far too grumpy and in their own works nowadays.’ We met regularly every weekend at the supermarket as we shopped at the same time, having a joke, until his wife’s health took a turn for the worse. We are still Facebook friends!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Are you familiar with the term “people person,” Ritu? It is someone who enjoys and is good at interacting with others. That description sounds like it might fit you. I think it is pretty cool that you made friends with the older gentleman at the supermarket.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, Ritu, it’s the best way to spend time when we’re in line, or on the plane or train. I can find out the people’s ‘life story’ with conversations like that. Thank you for the post and thank you, Sally for the good choice of Ritu’s archives.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round UP – | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round UP – July 29th to August 4th 2019 | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.