“You’re a pain,” the words reverberated inside of her being ever since she boarded the flight. Looking out of the tiny window, Baani imagined everything she could have said while breaking up with her boyfriend of 4 years but did not.

“The window seat, please.”

Her reverie is broken by a voice that, to her clamoured mind, sounded like music. She turned around to look at the petite woman with a slightly British accent or so it sounded. Baani smiled courteously as she gave way to the woman. She swiftly buckled her seat and turned towards Baani to ask, “Is that a nice book?” pointing at the book Baani was holding but not so much as reading it.

“Yeah…no… not sure. I just bought it and I’ve not been able to get myself to read it yet.” Baani responded casually.

“Ah! The title sounds interesting- If You Could See Me Now,” the woman enunciated each word as if it were a message she was responsible for delivering. “Are you seeking something?”

Baani was taken aback to have been asked such, but she reflected if indeed she was. “Perhaps,” she said purposelessly, surprised at how comfortable she felt speaking to this stranger.

“My name’s Adien, by the way, I live in Bangalore,” the woman offered to share, involuntarily. On receiving the accustomed expression she had gotten used to by now, she continued, “I moved here a few years ago from Australia and have been studying in CKSL, since then.” Adien cleared the air, lest Baani doubted her peculiarity.

“Oh Buddhism!” Baani instantly felt ashamed at her sudden burst of mirth. “I mean, they say, it’s the most peaceful religion in the world.”

“Yes, indeed it is. And that’s why I converted about five years ago. And as life unfolded itself, I decided to become a nun. I’m ready to be ordained soon.” Adien continued as the plane took its flight. The admiration in Baani’s eyes did not faze her as she resumed, “do you live in Bangalore or visiting?”

“Traveling to Ooty for a vacation,” Jenna said. As an after-thought, she added, “alone!”

“Oh a solo trip, I see,” Adien smiled at her new companion.

“Actually I’m not even sure, anymore, if I want to go,” by now Baani was comfortable having this chat with the person she was growing fonder of. “I might not even stay there for long,” she sounded dismal.

“Well, if you are going, you might as well enjoy your time there.” Adien extended her wisdom.

“Not really sure if I’m going to enjoy as much.” The uncertainty in Baani’s voice was enough encouragement for Adien to continue. “You chose to take a vacation by yourself, didn’t you? Why not celebrate this time because you can?”

“I am only trying to ease the pain after a terrible breakup,” Baani’s reluctance spoke for itself. “Basically, just trying to engage myself.”

“But have you disengaged yet?” Adien said as her glance moved back to the book Baani was holding.


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