Yet again one is on a writing spree that too on my erstwhile make shifts object-Air Sickness Bag. Flight SG 887 from Bagdogra to Delhi at 8.20 hrs on 17/06/14 propels or impels me to revert to pen down stray thoughts at an altitude of 36,000 feet. It is a kind of contemplation in isolation situation.
It happens to be Jaya’s Birthday today but I am forced to leave her alone in the wee hours due to an important if not urgent meeting in Delhi. Could not bestow her with a gift either. She did, however, wear a nice, attractive and green & yellow silk sari, presented by her affectionate and caring Bhabhi, a month ago. As she often utters, there has to be interest and inclination to carry forward the journey of life. Slowly, subsequent to sad demise of her "Mama", her ‘cloth contact’ with the family of orientation is getting eroded and with the premature and painful departure of our only child three years ago ,the association with the family of procreation (if one comprehends well), too is bereft of the usual and expected excitement or charm.
To quote from a song of "Mother India"-'If one has arrived in the world, one has to live on and on.' The unforgettable heroine of the Magnum Opus with her remarkable acting prowess had left an indelible mark on the audience. She was subjected to struggle even when her husband was very much alive. She had to linger on when her two sons were growing. She had to get the wrath of the scrupulous populace of the village when her younger son would indulge in nuisance as a grown up teenager and what not she had to bear and tolerate. A day comes when he turns into a dacoit due to the nature of circumstances and kidnaps his lady love. She was none other than the pupil of the eye of the most notorious money lender of the village who systematically exploited and tortured his mother to the hilt. One day he even dared to outrage her modesty.
Those of us, who wish to know the dark reality of rural India and sacrifices of motherhood, should see Mother India. It should be a must for the budding and trainee Civil Servants, apart from the 'pro-active' NGO types.
From the pains and perils of motherhood, let us return to the exciting experiences of sky life. We are half an hour into the pleasant flight and then suddenly are confronted with the turbulent weather. At least the Captain makes us believe so. Pretti, the bubbly and slim Air Hostess religiously reminds the passengers to see "fasten the seat belt "sign and act accordingly.
Soon one of the most sumptuous and gourmet breakfasts I ever had, follows. Two Vadas, Upma, somewhat sweet and sour but thick Sambhar, two glasses of water plus a 'Maha' Coffee are on offer. I am supposed to be the only ‘VIP’ on the flight, other 5 seats being unoccupied. So I am worthy of all the attention (?). Credit should go to Dips. Who else?
When the weather stabilises and the movement of travellers and the crew resumes on the aisle, I am tempted to look through the tiny windows. It is a pitch white scenario. No traces of blue or grey or white cloud formations altogether. The blazing June Sun appears to have been mellowed down, if not, covered completely. After 10 minutes or so I sneak through the thin clouds. A streak of Mother Earth is now visible. The recurrent cries of a tiny tot and never ending pleasant queries of a two year old keep their mothers on their toes.
Then a five year old boy has an urge to relieve himself. Again the valuable services of a mother are sought. He does not succeed as easily as there is a queue for the Rest room. A tall handsome old man and a good looking jeans clad college girl too are seen queuing up for fulfilling a biological need we often tend to postpone or suppress. A foreigner together with his companion on a neighbouring seat is oblivious to these developments. They are simply sleeping to glory. Another corporate group, close by, is deeply engrossed in comparing styles of functioning of the present Central Government vis-a-vis the previous one.
Meanwhile, another Hostess emerges to clear the cups, plates, and the empty coffee glasses. I do not fail to thank her profusely for the nice eatables coupled with service with a smile. Incidentally, smile is something which comes naturally if not instantly to a mother or a would be mother. It may not cost anything but carries a sizeable meaning and substance. All of us need to inculcate it in everyday life to win friends and admirers if life, per se, has to be lived gracefully, with a purpose.
O, weather becomes turbulent again. One has to face it. In the next ten minutes very soothing blue and white clouds appear on the horizon. We seem to have covered more than half of the scheduled journey, by now. Descent will take place after 20 minutes or so. We would, thereby, get entry into the fast and furious world of the Nation’s capital, enjoying a temporary respite from the scorching and sweltering heat, less than a week ago.
At this juncture, two of the would be mothers seem to be relishing their delayed Break Fast on the corner seats. Two young and would be Fathers enter the scene to clear the leftovers into the black poly bags. I get some semblance of sleep in no time. Also prior to close of the journey, flick through the colourful pages of the Spice Route. Plenty of material to ponder over but limited time to read.
In the ultimate analysis, nothing pleases me more than the 20 minutes ahead arrival of the aircraft. The temperature in Delhi is reported to be tolerable 38 degree Celsius. One can, therefore, perform tasks and take on /face the assignments without a pinch of salt. The day is wide open for the cognitive interactions under the apparent, challenging, if not, negative circumstances. One, therefore, needs to have a positive bent of mind apart from willing to unwind at the right moment.
Was it an air journey with an extra edge?