Can You Exit?

संकट काल में क्या करें?Another evening, another journey. Romanticising travel is not my forte. Sanitary solipsism of airports is the least romantic of it all. Yet, I will indulge, because that is what shallow blog posts are for.

People isolated in their little cocoons; excited people, morose people, tired people, and a single wailing child. A woman who considers the baggage scanner her fiefdom. An expressive man, a Shashi-Tharoor-lookalike, drifts about explaining the secret of his bouncy hair with neat handful of actions; definitely a pop theatre material. A woman tries to draw her kid’s attention with crispy, gluten-free corn flour crackers. A newly-wed couple eyeing me eyeing them. Yes, they have clicked the obligatory selfie; it is probably on their timeline already. Two young professionals admiring the beauty of a  half-eaten chocolate, drawing attention to the thick chocolate layer on a cuboid piece of wafer.  A pot-bellied man just rubbed his crotch. Another man checked his salt and pepper hair on the twelve inch screen of his tablet. Half finished conversations on mobile phone.

A group of men just shared a round of tulsi-rajnigandha. The air reeks of pleasant rajnigandha. The deadly air conditioning had numbed all senses but vision. A fresh air of relief. Who would have thunk‽ A suspicious lady just passed a snide remark in her head. A sudden power cut in the lounge; red fluorescent glow of a bleeding man on television matches well.

People have suddenly queued up, but attendant and security personnel is nowhere to be seen. A critical mass domino-ed this queue. A worried man is bothered about this stifling queue. Meanwhile, the lady continues to run through her timeline with metronomic flicks of thumb. Comfort of rhythmic, repetitive acts. Pattern, such beautiful patterns.

A lone lady looks to the horizon, her empty eyes focused at infinity. A man prays for their safety. A man with a trough for a cap spitted mouthful of chewed khaini. A bored lounge concierge sneaks on an unaware passenger’s phone screen, but there is nothing interesting. Migratory birds in the overcrowded lounge. Chaos, utter chaos suddenly. The most important man of the moment has opened the door to tarmac.

One uniform action unites this island of people: looking after if anyone saw them until everyone decides to unite in their actions.

Tushar was on a sabbatical. Whether the journey has shaken it off remains moot. 

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