Of brief encounters and lasting memories - Delhi airport
You know what I love the most about traveling solo? You often run into random people, share few moments of intense knowingness and then part ways most likely to never meet again. They carry with them a part of you and you a part of them.
Exactly a year ago on the same day, I was returning home from Uttarkaashi ( That's me, all tanned after a month's stay at Uttarkashi). I had taken a flight from Deheradun to Bangalore and there was a 4 hours layover at the Delhi airport.
As I had nothing else to do I chose to sit down on one of the stairs, took out my sketch book and began sketching. It took me a while to notice that there was a crowd slowly gathering a little ahead of me. They were looking at something on the floor and then at each other with pitiful faces. Intrigued by the situation, I did a quick survey of the scene to find a lady probably in her late 60s, almost in tears peeking from behind a wall. I followed her gaze. It was a little boy around 2 years old in an episode of 'Toddler Meltdown'.
The lady was his grandmother, utterly helpless about the situation, she was watching over him from a distance hoping that he would stop crying and look for her. But the boy kept crying. A while later to avoid the crowd gathering, she picked up the boy with all her strength and walked towards the stairs. I kept watching, unsure of how to help her out. But, as she walked towards me our eyes met and I instantly guestured her to sit with me. She responded with a stressed smile and sat beside me, the boy was still crying. And then I did something I am terrible at - strike a conversation!
Being a kid magnet, it was easy for me to make a connection with the boy. We sat their and talked for a while, the boy was smiling now. Since it was Christmas time, the place was beautifully decorated and we decided to take a walk. We ran around the place for hours playing 'Running and Catching'. "Didi... Star!!!" he yell pointing at a huge blue star hanging from the ceiling of a store. We quickly ran to the counter and requested the staff for a star. Initially, they refused but couldn't ignore his cuteness and handed him a star, a Santa cap and also clicked selfies with him (I too managed to click 1 with the little celebrity). His granny was so happy, we shared parathas and coffees and talked about life until it was time for our flights.
Exactly a year later, here I am at the airport waiting for my flight, looking forward for another fulfilling trip. Aayaan would have grown a year older now, wonder if he remembers his 'Didi'.