Delhi December fog coupled with widespread smog often blankets the city. That day wasn’t different. The only feeling keeping me warm was the internal rage building up within me.
This was the third time they had announced that the flight was delayed by an hour.
“Please! Understand, I need to get to Lucknow as soon as possible.” I begged.
“Madam, the airport is filled to capacity with passengers with some emergency or other. It’s the wedding season, I can understand, but our aircraft can’t fly in this dense fog.” Was her taut reply walking away with an air of nonchalance.
“Wedding… no not a wedding.” My voice trailed off laden with thoughts soaked with emotions.
Amidst the surrounding cacophony at the airport, it was a lonely moment. Cheerful glances, jovial candour, and children prancing around with ice-cream cones, what beautiful memories they were creating; I smiled as memories of ice-cream cones flooded me, crouched in a corner on the humanity swamped floor, I fell prey to slumber.
Shweta! Come soon my child.
I woke up with a start, “Dr Shweta Mathur, is that you?” A crew member asked.
“Yes!” I jumped hopefully.
“Ma’am, please proceed for lunch hosted by the airlines,”
“No!… thanks, when shall the flight leave?”
“Ma’am, I have told you innumerable times, the fog is too thick for our flights to take off, please be patient. Give us some time.”
TIME. What if I don’t have it, to give!
I saw vegetarian and nonvegetarian sections demarcated and automatically moved towards vegetarian, promising to be like him if I get another chance.
Hunger pangs started gnawing. Living is such a folly, feeding our body to live, just to experience the pain of going away. I dispensed away such ominous thoughts, as I thrust the morsels in hope of life again.
“Aunty, can I go ahead?” Asked a doe eyed angel, dressed in frills and laces.
I just nodded and recollected, “Papa, I want a pink skirt with four layered frills. Won’t go to the party without it.”
“Yes, my princess, right now. But what do I get in return my dear?”
“Will always do as you say.” Sealed the bond, my eight-year-old self. Hope I am able to fulfil this promise too…
I prayed with complete submission. At last the fog lifted by evening. I chanted on the flight, made promises to almighty and waited. My apprehensions rose as I knew I would be off contact for an hour.
“God! Please be kind.”
The flight landed. My phone started buzzing, I couldn’t conjure courage to receive the call.
“Ma…!” I stammered.
“Beta! Reach home, not the hospital. It’s all over. I am taking him home.”
“No! Papa!… No! Why couldn’t you wait? “
I had lost my last chance to tell my father how much I loved him.
“Oh God!… grant me a second chance, just to hold him and bid him goodbye.”
Life is a bouquet of flowers, most fragrant captivating ones you may want to smell again and again, but the shrivelled, thorny ones tug at your heart, just to remind you that you are alive.
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