Thursday, November 30, 2006

Two + Two = Five

The Mumbai airport was abuzz with passengers. The indicator glistened,” Air Sahara-Delhi-0700". She checked her watch and mumbled,” Still 40 minutes to go! Why did I come so early?” She found some staring male eyes.” Am I still so attractive or is it something else?” she took out a napkin and wiped the sweat. She was a petite woman in her late twenties. Certainly a head-turner in her college days, but the undulating work had taken toll of her. Sauntering at the airport, she checked herself in the mirror, "This pink top is not suiting me anymore. Maybe it's time to shed some weight". But on an afterthought, she gasped,” Or is it too late to diet?”
Just round a corner, she saw a man who had lost both the legs in conversation with a man who had lost his right leg. Eavesdropped she and deduced that both of them had lost their legs in the war. And they were going to receive ParamVeerChakra at Delhi on the Republic Day. One soldier was telling the other one,” You know what drives me to live even after I had retired 5 years ago. Iss duniya ki khoobsurati!” And both of them gave a hearty laugh!
She saw a cute little girl dressed in not so nice clothes, clinging to her emaciated Father. Both of them didn't look wealthy but looked really happy. She wondered for a while, how are they going to afford the fare of the flight? The child was going to receive the Red and White bravery award from the President. The feelings in the eyes of her Father said it all. She felt really proud of that little girl. Her heart filled with the sense of maternity something she was always going to be devoid of.
The whole lounge at the airport was jostling with enthusiasm."Life is beautiful!” she said. Every person she came across had a smile on his/her face. Even she tried to smile but somehow she didn’t manage!
The indicator showed” Security Check". She scurried to the gate. But already there were a number of people in the line. She saw the little cute girl, the man without the legs in the line few meters ahead of her.” So many good people in this plane!" She thought. The plasma TV nearby exploded into life," Today is the 100th Republic day of India. It is really heartening to note that India is the biggest economy in the world…”
She couldn't hear anymore. Her heart was filled with gratitude and eyes with water. The national anthem started in a jiffy. Each and every person in the line stood silently, honoring the flag. The words of the national anthem seemed to bang her. "Daddy, how will the parade at red Fort be like?" she heard the cute little girl asking her Father in the background. She felt like losing consciousness. The nervousness started gripping her.
Trembling with fear, she went to the ladies' toilet. She gasped a sigh once she was in and locked the door from inside. Her clothes were drenched; her face was full of tears. She checked that the door was tightly closed, took out some gadgets from her pockets, and took out a rope and "Thud". The final boarding announcement for the Delhi-bound plane was heard in background.
The headlines in the next day's papers read, "Drama at Mumbai Airport: A suicide bomber commits suicide "
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