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Story Series Part 2: Baatooni Priya

Part 1 Seat 15A

Part 2 ...
Vijay looked at Priya, she was fast asleep even before the announcement of the flight reaching its designated 36000 feet came in. She was sleeping like a child on her mother’s lap, resting her head against the window. He couldn’t believe that she was the same talkative Priya who had given him such a hard time asking silly and irritating questions. He was also feeling bad for giving her blatant answers. Sitting back Vijay looked at the navigation screen which showed 45 min to Mumbai heading west so decided to take a nap. It was 6 am and sun was scorching through the windows from the east into Vijay’s eyes. He outstretched his hand to close the blinds but soon to realized that the slight movement of the blinds and the sleeping tigress would start roaring again, so he decided against it. Sun was hitting right into his face, he shifted his head to the right to avoid the sun; Priya subconsciously shifted her head position, now again the sun was right in his eyes. He moved his head to left a bit to avoid the sun, the stinking cigarette breath of the bearded gentleman pushed him like a same charge pole magnet pushing the other. Both his seatmates were giving him a hard time subconsciously and unintentionally, imagining what would happen when they wake up, Vijay dozed off staring at the navigation screen.

‘This is your captain speaking, we well be landing in Chhatrapati Shivaji International at 6:30 am”, out came the announcement, all the lights were switched on; fasten your seat belt instruction came in. Vijay was yawning and rubbing his eyes, suddenly he heard “Where am I?”, ‘Why are some many lights ON’ Priya began her Q & A session. “Chicago, we are just landing” Vijay replied. ‘So fast we reached aa’, ‘Air India is good man’, she asked in a typical south INDIAN accent. ‘Flight AI 127 would be parked at gate 2B at Chhatrapati Shivaji International’ out came the announcement. Confused initially and a minute later she soon giggled looking at Vijay laughing at her stupidity; they both had a big laugh while picking up their bag-packs. Checked his boarding pass, ‘2 hrs stop over’, he said to his student gang when they all met at the gate 2B. Yawning and stretching their arms and legs they headed to freshen up. Restrooms at Mumbai airport were filthy, worse than Bangalore Majestic Bus Stand, stinking and wet everywhere and looking at the queue Vijay joked ‘now I know why they gave 2 hr stop over at Mumbai’.

Flight got delayed by 2 hrs as result of rain, that seemed like a build up to 2012 doomsday in Mumbai that day. Vijay stared through the windows and was wondering how the airplanes were managing to take off in that rain, when with slight rain he would go off balance on his bike, was thanking for GOD that he was not a pilot. Milk, Cereals, Oat meals, scrambled eggs were served as part of complementary breakfast by the airlines; ‘We are being prepared for the US food culture’ one them joked. Neither of them knew that those food items weren’t just breakfasts in US, but were life saviors when their experiment in the kitchen failed.

Couple of hrs later boarding began and 15 A B C were occupied by their respective seats holders. Vijay was feeling bad about the way he had spoken to Priya earlier, he was very sarcastic in his answers and she was way innocent for it. So he decided to be as patient as possible while talking to her. Plane began to gather some speed; they always say the real fun of experiencing takeoff is by actually looking at the run way and rather than sitting back and closing your eyes as he did. He had read about same AI 127 skid off the runway a week ago from the same runway. He looked at the runway it was a bit damp, water spot here and there, thoughts of his bike slip and skid over the wet road near his house lingered his mind. “Hey look, the plane is going so fast she broke the silence”, “that’s 100 Mph the speed Shoaib Akthar bowled to Craig McMillan” he said indicating her in the navigation system, she smirked at him. The bearded gentle man stared at them at asked "First time plane experience?", "Second time actually, first time was from Bangalore to Mumbai 5 hrs ago, first international take off technically", she replied which was enough to silent the bearded gentleman. "Look at the speed" she pointed at the Navigation map, "Wow Michael Schumacher drives at that speed", he said. "Who" she asked with closing her eyes.

"Do u know swimming Vijay" she asked, "yes, but why that question on a flight?" Vijay replied. "If our plane looses balance in mid air and falls into the ocean I need someone to rescue me, I don't know swimming". she said "Don't worry I will save you, plus we have the safety jackets" Vijay assured her. "What are the odds of plane falling into the ocean and then me being able to swim and save someone!" he just mumbled. "What will happen if our plane skids while taking off" she asked again. "Last week AI 127 had a small incident and all the passengers were fine, so I believe we would be good too" he assured her again. "Aren't you feeling sleepy he asked her" yawning a bit just to cut short the conversation. "No I had a good nap from Bangalore to Mumbai, plus we had a breakfast na, I can't sleep after breakfast". "OK" Vijay replied in a very low and hopeless tone. "Guys, would you please leave Shoaib Akthar and Michael Schumacher alone for a while" the frustrated bearded gentleman stared at them. Vijay replied "Sorry" and thanked him in his mind for putting a full stop their conversation.

Admist this conversation the flight began to take off, he could feel vibrations of the wheels against runway, and suddenly the vibrations stopped; and all he could hear was 'Jai Kali Ma', 'Jai Kali Ma'. Scratching his goti beard "Vijay began wondering whether this indeed was the longest conversations he had with any female". He actually started enjoying her company, and was passing through a phase where her silence was more irritating than her talks. Thinking about what to talk to her through the journey Vijay enjoyed the take off.

... to be continued ... part 3 coming soon.

NOTE: The story is purely fictional, it bears no connection with living or dead


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