A Woman at the Airport
It was a very busy Monday morning at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Airport Mumbai. Anandi was supposed to be at the Domestic airport Terminal T2 at 7:00 am. It was 7:15 and she was 10 mins away from Andheri . She was a frequent flyer, and Mumbai to Delhi was like from home to school, she used to say remembering her long ago childhood days. But still reaching late to the airport started making her anxious and lose patience. It would always remind her of her experience when she missed her Calcutta flight by just 5 mins. That was a terrible memory for her, as she was going to read her first novelette in Calcutta and whether the readers will like her or not, she was so unsure. The book store had to postpone the reading to the next day, and though being such a renowned self help book author and a columnist loved by so many working women, she was ashamed that day.
She insisted the taxi driver to make it fast, though she was very polite while requesting. The taxi driver asked where was she headed to. She replied calmly, thinking he should drive quickly. But within a minute, she understood that the taxi driver is a talkative person and is very keen to talk with the passenger. Anandi was very comfortable with people working for her, and everybody respected and loved her as she cared a lot for their well being. So the taxi driver, who was from North India, became very familiar with her and told about his son studying in HSC and preparing for Engineering. She praised the driver and his son. They entered the airport gate and she checked her watch, to her surprise, the driver had made it in 8 mins. She was so thankful to him that she tipped him well and conveyed best wishes to his family. The taxi left and Anandi hurried for the check-in and security procedures. To her luck, the flight was 50 mins late and finally she was sitting comfortably in the waiting area near the boarding gate.
She took out the newspaper and as per her every day routine, opened the editorial. She was about to indulge herself into the expert analysis in necessity of educational revamp in Higher education in India, when her glimpse was caught by a tall, slim girl, may be in her early 20’s. The girl had a very beautiful satin scarf covering her head and glowing hair. She was fair and indeed beautiful. Her attire and attitude was glamorous. Anandi could not take her eyes away from her. For a moment, she felt a slight jealousy or a complex arising in her mind. But she was a writer and understood her own mind quickly. She smiled and thought about her own twenties. She was no model and remembered spending her time mostly reading novels and biographies. ‘Well I did look good’, she said to herself. She complimented herself, her good skills and thanked God for all the gifts and alms. She was about to restart her newspaper journey, when she saw that the girl got up and started walking towards the boarding gate of another flight. And to no surprise, she had forgotten her handbag on the chair. Nobody seemed to notice. Anandi felt worried. She got up. Secretly she was willing to talk to that woman, and now she had got the opportunity too. She went near the chair and shouted ‘Miss, you have left your lovely handbag’. The girl was not that far, but she didn’t turn back. Anandi hesitated a bit. What a careless woman she was, walking in her own world and taking no time to pay attention towards the surroundings! Well, one more dumb damsel, Anandi thought! ‘Should I shout again?’, she was confused. Involuntarily, she did it again, but this time there was a bit roughness in her tone. And.. no response! The girl was walking slowly towards the gate. Anandi was now left with no option, she picked up the bag and hurried towards the woman. She stood behind her and hesitantly tapped her back. The woman turned back, and to God’s grace, she was indeed serene and delicate. Anandi stood still for a second watching the adorable woman, but in no time she came back to senses. Anandi smiled and put forth the handbag. The woman was joyously shocked seeing her bag and did some weird hand gestures and hugged Anandi!
It came as a shock to Anandi. The woman was really dumb, now Anandi understood… Deaf and dumb!!
Anandi felt so sorry for her, and hugged back. They shook their hands and smiled at each other. Anandi did not know the sign language, she was an illiterate writer for her now! Anandi gave her visiting card to the girl and in return the girl gave a magazine featuring her on the front page. She was a model, a deaf and dumb one!
In her complete journey towards Delhi, Anandi could not read a word from the newspaper, neither the magazine. She kept on looking at the girl’s picture on the cover and thought how wrong she was judging that girl. Rather than feeling jealous, she felt warmth towards the beautiful woman. She understood her womanly complex and fear towards superior beings, and how wrong could she understand some people. She decided not to do that again and it made her discover the beauty in her own soul which cared and pampered all the people whom she met and worked with.