Hey guys. I am back again to share with all you lovely people yet another travel experience.
Yesterday I was on a plane from Newark to San Antonio. It was a short 3.5 hours flight. I hate to travel on the weekend particularly when a round of 16 was going on in the soccer world. I watched the match until the very end. What a match it was, a thriller indeed. I felt bad for Argentina and jumped on a rideshare cab to head to the airport.
Being a Saturday, things were quiet at the airport. I reached the gate before time and without any hullabaloo occupied my seat. Time was around 2 PM and I thought of taking a short siesta. I sleep badly on planes but for some strange reason, I managed to doze off this time.
The plane was crawling on the runway waiting for its turn to take off. Soon I heard the jet’s sudden thrust preparing to defy the gravity and soar high somewhere up in the sky. I kept my eyes closed, half asleep half aware of the proceedings. Suddenly a loud cheer woke me up from my slumber. Before I could comprehend what struck me, I saw people cheering and whistling, celebrating as if they made their maiden flight. The noise was too much and the decibel way too high for me to go back to sleep again. I pulled out my half-finished book, Devil in the white city, to kill time. But the constant hustle made it hard for me to concentrate. People were taking across aisles, shouting, teasing and making fun of each other.
I looked around and found there were about 10 couples traveling together. They were in their late fifties and early sixties. Some had walking sticks, many had hearing aids and few were wearing thick glasses. Regardless of their age or physical conditions they were happy.
Few passengers took offense, frowning every time they screamed. But that didn’t deter their enthusiasm. The lady seating behind my seat was loud. One hour into the flight, I knew everything about the group. It seems they were traveling back home after a week-long vacation in NY. In the beginning, I was upset, for my sleep was disturbed. However, as time progressed my viewpoint changed. They may be suffering from ailments, entwined in the grime of old age but never deprived of the joys of life.
The loud cheering continued until we landed and I joined their laughter with my gleeful smile.
Copyright © Shantanu Baruah
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