Musings in the sky

Jayanta Madhab

A flight is perhaps the best time and place to reminisce and ruminate, when one can indulge in a solitary trip down memory lane. Nine  out of the ten occasions you fly, the guy sitting next to you invariably fits more or less into one of the following categories :

The Ostentatious  Philosopher: the highbrowed intellectual lost in search of eternal wisdom in his Dan Brown, who would  announce the greatest  mystery of earth as soon as the flight lands.

The Over pressed Statistician : the lithesome , wiry chap engrossed in the ubiquitous  Excel sheet in his laptop. Make no mistake, if he is not done with his numbers before landing , the  sky will crash to apocalypse.

The Honorary Entertainer : the blessed , complacent  soul whose nostrils spawn 40 decibel even before the flight takes off , making you curse your luck and the airline for your seat number.

And so, with anyone of the above sort sitting next to you , you are left with none else to do in your heavenly (literally) leisure except closing your eyes and musing over a thing or two of past e.g. the morning’s tiff with your boss, the previous day’s grim Mauna vrat with wife that  ended with a truce -to be broken again , or something  as recent as your lost bargain at the Shoppers Stop  minutes  before boarding.  And if your reverie breaks midway, it would be made up for by the smirks of air hostesses scuttling down the aisle.

So it was during one such musing spell aboard my recent flight to Hyderabad that gave me an occasion to realise a mundane truth that probably go unnoticed and unappreciated in the bustles of our routine ; the truth that life sometimes throws pleasant surprises at the most unexpected time and place.

What I was ruminating over in that flight (flanked this time by a type 2) was the alumni meet we organised the previous  Sunday for our AEC ’85 batch.

There used to be this petite, bob haired classmate whose dainty charm and  curvaceous body used to make my romantic bones tingle too often. But call it fear of rejection, my lack of  desirable nuances of proposing or just plain hard luck , with not even a single opportunity of speaking a word to her coming by, my scheme of courting this beauty gathered dust in its launch pad,  the four year course window at AEC probably too short for it to ignite for take- off.

With the final exams over and the batch out of college, my obsession with the girl died it’s natural death and the thought of seeing her again never ever occurred to me . Life  steered along in its chosen , destined path steadily thereafter.

The alumni meet having been organised in a rather short time, though intimations were sent to batch mates using whatever mode possible, a confirmed list of the participants was unavailable till start of the programme.

But midway through the event and right when the celebrations were in crescendo, what caught my sudden attention as I squinted through the crowd was something that made my jaw drop in sheer amazement and awe .

Sauntering piquantly into the venue was a sari clad lady – charm and elegance oozing from every part of her being. …the same winsome smile escaping her lips……..the wobbly signature bob still intact with a tinge of gray – tresses of its strands being wafted by the gentle breeze drifting from the adjacent park …. ……..Everything seemed surreal……till I recovered  from my momentary spell of daze and awe – to a disarming and sweet ‘Hi ‘ ….

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