On a cloudy evening, I stepped out of the hostel in Ljubljana for a stroll by the Ljubljanica river. It had become my favorite pastime during my week-long stay in the capital of Slovenia. The sky was overcast and the usually busy place didn’t have much crowd that evening. Smiling at some faces that I’d seen around for more than once, I crossed the triple bridge that was just a 2-minute walking distance from my hostel and walked in the direction of the sound of an instrument. It was a sound different from any musical instruments I’d heard. On a street just a little ahead of the bridge, a man, perhaps in his mid-forties, was playing an instrument that resembled a huge Santoor, a string instrument that I’m more familiar with. His smile was incredibly infectious, the kind of smile that reflects genuine happiness. He was engrossed in playing some song and he occasionally looked up at the only lady who was dancing in front of him. She requested him to play another song and he obliged. The lady danced to her heart’s content and then walked away.

I continued to stand there, waiting for him to start playing a new song, waiting to record him while he played it.

“I’ll play Despacito,” he said.

“Sure!” I responded.

He started playing the song and then stopped almost immediately.

“Where are you from?” he asked.

“I’m from India,” I informed.

“India! Then I’ll play this one for you!” he said and started playing a song from an old Bollywood film.

“Wait!! I want to sing along!” I almost screamed in excitement. A few days prior to going to Ljubljana, I’d told my friends through a post on Facebook that I was dying to sing my heart out on a street during my trip to Europe. I couldn’t believe when I met a man in Ljubljana in Slovenia, who knew a Bollywood song. This was my opportunity to fulfil my wish! Haha!

“Uh.. ok!” he sounded apprehensive, but agreed nevertheless…

And then this happened!!

We laughed, talked and hugged and said goodbye. I am usually awkward when I meet strangers, but when I talked to this person, I felt no awkwardness. Only an instant connection through music. I must’ve had the silliest grin when I walked around for the rest of the evening. After all, my wish/dream to sing my heart out on a street in Europe (Yeah, I have the weirdest of wishes and dreams!) had gotten fulfilled and the evening had given me one of my most favorite travel memories.


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