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An unavoidable phone call

How often does it happen while you are travelling using a public transport that you are compelled to over-hear a conversation not because you want to but you have to because of loud fellow-passengers. In one of my commute days, I happened to overhear a phone conversation between a Mom (my fellow passenger) and her son (which I guessed from her talks). This is how it goes. This might probably remind one of your conversations with your parents 🙂

Mom: Hello!

Son: Hello Mom, how are you?

Mom: Forget about that, first tell me why didn’t you pick up dad’s call in the morning.

Son: Aahh.. hmm..

Mom: He has been trying to reach you from last few days. Why don’t you respond?

Son: Mom, I’m so so sorry. I.. I was was just having a severe headache.  So I was taking rest.

Mom: Severe headache? Do you have a migraine or what? You should have picked up his call. He does night shift and keeps himself available before 6.30 a.m. so that he can talk to you before you leave for college. And you.. you don’t even bother to respond neither on phone calls nor his Whatsapp chats.

Son: Mom…. I… didn’t I tell you last time my net isn’t working.

Mom: Net isn’t working? Whom do you think you are trying to fool. I can see you post daily on Facebook.. Commenting on the pages of political parties.. But, why are you following these pages.. Why don’t you keep yourself away from all this? I want you to focus on your studies.

Son: Silence…

Mom: Ok, so how’s everything else? What time is your college? Are you allowed to take mobile phones? Ok then take care son. Will call you in the evening.

PC : Google

Her first travel encounter

Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign. If you haven’t already done so, please stow your carry-on luggage underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt. And also make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full upright position.

If you are seated next to an emergency exit, please read carefully the special instructions card located by your seat. If you do not wish to perform the functions described in the event of an emergency, please ask a flight attendant to reseat you.

 We remind you that this is a non-smoking flight. Smoking is prohibited on the entire aircraft, including the lavatories. Tampering with, disabling or destroying the lavatory smoke detectors is prohibited by law.

If you have any questions about our flight today, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our flight attendants. Thank you.”

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Sounds familiar, right? But for Ayesha, this was going to be her first time in a flight and that too for an International trip. As advised by her well-wishers, she ensured to secure herself a window seat, so that she can enjoy the aerial view.

She was welcomed by the flight attendants. As soon as she entered to look for her seat, she was surprised to see the crowd of Gujarati families all over and took a moment to digest that she had boarded the correct flight. Since it was the month of April, there was a huge crowd of people going on vacations to Bangkok.

She started looking for her seat, but was taken aback to see it already occupied by an old man. Perplexed, she verified if this was the correct seat but couldn’t understand why it was taken by someone else.

She stopped one of the flight attendant and asked,”Hey, can you check what’s wrong with the seat numbers? I have this seat allotted to me, but this is already occupied”. The flight attendant viewed the ticket and exchanged some talks with the old man and his family. Then she came back to Ayesha and said,” “Ma’am, would you mind if we arrange another seat for you? This family wants to sit together and  unfortunately their seats are scattered. We would appreciate if you could accommodate this request”.

How could Ayesha have denied this request? She didn’t know if arguing over this would have been a great idea and she silently accepted the request. She was taken to another seat next to two young guys. She took her seat but for some reason started feeling uncomfortable in the presence of two strangers. On the other hand, she was also blaming the attendants for depriving her of the window seat.

She started trying to fasten her seat-belt. All of a sudden, she observed a silence in the flight and an announcement began on the safety instructions. However, by the time she looked above she missed the important part, how to fasten the seat-belt. And probably asking someone was also not a good idea for that would be an embarrassing situation.   After all the struggle, she gave a helpless look to the guy sitting next to her who was already observing her attempts.

“I am sorry, this is the first time I am travelling”, said Ayesha. “No problem”, said the young guy smiling. He quickly gave her a demo. “That was so easy” – she thought to herself. Ayesha couldn’t have been more grateful for this help. She inquired to him,”What’s your destination?”. “We are going to Bangkok for a week long vacation. And you?” – came the response. “I am travelling to Manila, Philippines for work.”, said Ayesha. “That’s nice”, said the guy. After the take-off, she had her dinner and was all ready to rest.

She closed her eyes with content and got into a sound sleep.

Ayesha’s Tragedy

Just like everyday, Ayesha returned home late after a long and tiring day at work. She had dinner with her family and excused herself for bed. She could never go to sleep directly without listening to some music or reading a bit. Ayesha led a life surrounded by a lot of people but she was at peace only when she was all alone by herself with her headphones on – dreaming about accomplishing her dreams. To her, music was like the blood pumping into her heart. Her passion for music was well known to everyone in the house and was often scolded by her mom for not concentrating on her tasks because of music.

Reading through some pages of Sherlock Holmes, she fell asleep, not realizing the lights were still on. She had entered into her zone of dreams where she was once again in the midst of things she liked the most. Suddenly, she woke up to a loud thumping at her door. “Who’s there?” asked Ayesha. “It’s us!” came a shout from the other side of the door. Still in a shock and rubbing her sleepy eyes, she opened the door to find her mom and dad standing there. She stood staring at them wondering what could have compelled them to wake her up at 2:00 in the morning. “What happened? Is everything alright?” she inquired.

With a worried face, her mom replied –“No, nothing is alright. We heard you singing in sleep”.  “What! Are you out of your mind? I’ve been in deep sleep and I know for sure, I haven’t been singing.” “No” came the response from the other side. “You have been singing, we heard you singing aloud. You were singing an old Bollywood song. And since you have been singing in your sleep, it seems like evil has come over you. We observed that you haven’t been praying enough lately and now the consequences are visible.” “But mom, I…”. “No, don’t say anything. Come downstairs with us now and let’s pray for you”.

Bewildered and irritated, she accompanied them downstairs. And there she was, sitting at 2.00 a.m. in the drawing room. Her mom handed her a Bible and said “Read this and ask for forgiveness of your sins”. For almost half an hour, she sat there like a statue. Not understanding what to do, she finally submitted herself to her parents and read the Bible. Taking this step was like freeing herself from jail. She was allowed to go back to sleep.

Next day, early morning – it was again time to go to office. The previous night’s hangover forced her not to talk to her parents and leave with a gloomy face still wondering what made them act so weird and deprive her of sleep.

As soon as she reached her office, she got a call. She answered the phone to find it was her brother Roger “Ayesha dear, how are you doing?” With a grim face, she replied “I am okay”. Roger continued, “What had happened yesterday?” Ayesha sighed, “Not again! Don’t remind me about that”. “Hey, hey, hey my little sister, don’t you worry. That was me singing in the middle of the night with my headphones on because of which I didn’t realize that I was loud enough to be heard downstairs. Sorry for what happened last night! It was all because of me.”

Ayesha froze there thinking whether she should get angry with him or laugh at the silly incident.