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Story Series Part 1: Seat 15A

Vijay checked his wrist watch it read 10:10; he had a 3 am AI flight to the Chicago; accompanying him were his parents, sister, two uncles and their spouses and their kids to see him off. Red tilak was drawn on his forehead, followed by a flower garland and a small arthi, all wishing for his safe trip. Vijay felt like either a soldier on his way to KARGIL or a goat being offered as a Bali to goddess durgra. This was soon followed by moist eyes and dripping tears. Vijay was in a mixed and confused state of mind; was sad that he was leaving his parents but at the same time was happy that he was pursuing his Masters his parents dream.
  
He entered the airport dragging three 70 lbs suite cases, 30 lbs as his carryon; it looked like a bullock cart in motion. Walked towards the luggage check in counter where he met a fellow student who was incidentally traveling to the same school. That dude was carrying same amount of luggage along with his 10 lbs leather jacket and 3 enormous medical books. Checked in the luggage and cleared the security before heading towards the lounge where he met 5 more student/co-passengers. At 2 am there was an announcement for a delay of 2 hrs. For the next 2 hrs Vijay got acquainted with others and had a good time chatting and expressing their fears and excitement about their future in an unknown country. Vijay had an emotion of a brick, so neither had fears nor any excitement, which was the reason why he could maintain his cool and calm till then.   
Boarding began and Vijay walked towards his designated seat 15B middle seat, put his carryon luggage in the designated area and rested his arse and began staring at people moving in. Vijay always played this weird game of mapping people’s face and the seat numbers. He would guess their seat numbers looking at their facial expression as they approach their seats. A bearded gentleman walked towards his seat, Vijay was hoping that he wouldn’t be his neighbor even though his facial expression told the true story. He sat on the aisle beside Vijay 15C, trying to stay calm n compose was a bit difficult now. Such a narrow minded person some would say, but he was travelling in his first International flight.
The sight of a good looking lady in red top and blue jeans approaching his seat increased his heart beat to 100. He began his the facial expression mapping game with her, mapping it to 15A right next to his. He was sure that she would be 15A seatmate reading her facial expression; so he stood and made a gesture for helping her. She approached seat 15 and went past him, his heart beat went below 50 as he sat down in despair. He was about to pass out when he saw a stout elderly lady walk towards his seat, but she sat in 15D, the adjacent aisle.
‘Excuse me’, Vijay was woken by a soft sweet sound, he opened his eyes to see the same lady in red standing right next to the aisle, she indeed was 15A. After helping her placing her carryon in the designated area Vijay moved out allowing her to sit in her seat, Vijay sat down and smiled.  ‘I saw you with your family doing all that pooja and arti’, she broke the silence. ‘You are lucky to be born in such a religious family’, she continued. ‘YES’ Vijay spoke hesitantly. Vijay had this problem of speaking with pretty females in the first instant, let alone looking into her eyes.       
‘I am Priyadarshani Venkatasubramanian, she broke the silence again. ‘Vijay’ he replied.
Priya: ‘Are you going to Chicago?’, Vijay: ‘Yes the Flight is heading Chicago’ 
Priya: "You know this is my first international flight", Vijay: ‘Mine too’ 
Priya: "First time I am leaving my parents you know", Vijay: ’So am I’ 
Priya: "What if our luggage gets lost?”, Vijay: ‘May be baggage claim’.
Priya: ‘Are we going via London or Germany?’ Vijay: ‘Via Mumbai and Frankfurt.
Priya:" Did u read about Mumbai rains?” Vijay: ‘yea dam match might get canceled due to wet outfield’ she had no clue what Vijay was talking about; it was evident in her tone.
She was irritating him and the bearded dude was scaring him, he felt like he was in a torture room. Plane began to gather speed, ‘I am getting scared’ she mumbled, ‘Close your eyes and chant “Jai Kali ma” it might help Vijay assured. Couple of mins later the flight began to take off, she got so scared that see stopped speaking for next hr and dozed off finally. The sorrow of leaving his parents and the fear of landing in an alien country was over shadowed by Ms 15A.

... to be continued ...

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