Airport Chronicles

The airport is a wonderful place. Thronging with people who are making their way to their next destination- some of them are with hope, some with despair, and some (like me) exude passive indifference.

Sans the pat-down, till the moment I got comfy in the waiting chairs, the journey wasn’t all the bad-, my jovial cab driver, the immigration officer who wished me Eid Mubarak, and the cheery McDonalds burger (yes, you can eat in the airport during Ramadan as you are Musafirs) were all good.

While people remained glued to their phone screens, I surveyed the area to find my next characters in action.

There was this family that caught my attention. The husband, who looked just like me, paunch and all, his wife, clad in an abaya, and his 3 kids. Well, the couple were very forgettable, but the 3 kids weren’t. A mischievous bunch they were, the boys were jumping up and down as expected from their age. And then the most unexpected, the youngest girl, the teeny attention seeker she was, started licking the glass partitions between the chairs. One was just ew. She went on going around the place and licked/kissed each partition. Well, this isn’t surprising, considering she looked hardly 2. What was surprising was that her parents saw this and didn’t bat an eyelid. Another way of parenting, I guess.

A wheelchair came rolling by, and my attention waned from the partition-licking girl. She looked calm and composed. Accompanying her was her mother and two other men, one too young to be her father and one too old to be her son. The older male was ever so lovingly talking in sign language to the other guy who was deaf. The older guy looked like the guy from Mad Men. The lady in the wheelchair started talking to the men in sign language. Two of the four were definitely deaf. What caught my eye was their love and compassion for their family. It was just a few minutes, and neither do I know sign language nor did I know what was transpiring; all I could feel was the warmth of love that was there in that family.

As they proceeded to move to their respective gate, I got up and went for lunch as none of the others seemed to pique interest in me.

The burger wasn’t all bad, the fries were crisp, hot, and perfectly seasoned, and coke was at its possible best- watered down with all its majesty. Too bad, Musk hasn’t bought Coca-Cola yet.

The waiting area was getting crowded. I found a corner seat with not many people in the vicinity. The chairs opposite me were empty, and I had a nice partition next to me to fend me away from unsolicited neighbors (hopefully, the partition licker hadn’t licked it). And then they sat in front of me. A middle-aged Arab couple. The lady had a cup of coffee in her hand while the husband was on the phone talking. They sat opposite me. I was stealing glances at them. He wasn’t looking at her. But it was auto reflex that he took the coffee cup into his hands even without looking as she proceeded to check on her makeup. As he handed over the cup back, she asked him to take a sip of the coffee. He said something back to her, took a sip, and she took the coffee back, all looking at him with nothing but love in her eyes. As I was boarding the flight, I saw them a little up ahead of me in the queue, with their two sons who were well into their twenties. And that, my friends, is a testimonial that true love never ages. It just matures like fine wine.

People are intriguing. Lift your eyes 2 inches above your screen; more interesting stories await without scrolling.

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