Never did I find so much satisfaction in buying a cup of coffee for a girl at the airport, and adding a pack of lies and sugar to go with it…Aren’t these the little sweet memories, life and travels are all about? Before you let your imaginations run wild, read on !
Nature of my business and work keep me on the road quite a bit. Airport terminals are just another work space for me….I rarely let it get in the way of managing my mood…the plane delays, the airport food. Matter of fact, I use it to as a means to do what I do best – interact with complete strangers, learn and share from them….but I digress – let us get back to the short and sweet story of my travel experience.
“How long is the wait time for the flight?”… she was asking her husband (in Telugu). He was busy checking the boarding card and comparing it to the time posted at the check in counter, probably for the 15th time.
“I think another 2 hours. Its an international flight, so to start will take some time…” he was explaining to her patiently.
“Do they serve coffee in the aeroplane?”
“Yes, and also I think they serve snacks every few hours, and multiple meals, I heard.”
“Why don’t they serve coffee at this waiting place too ?”
(BTW, I think that idea makes total sense – will keep passengers super happy).
“There is a nice shop there, is that the airline shop ? Why don’t they serve some as they keep us waiting…” she persisted.
“No, the shop is not the airline company’s. We need to pay for coffee here, and I heard it’s VERY expensive….more than 20 rupees. We can wait and drink coffee once we board the plane”…he was getting impatient with the non stop volley of questions.
I was hearing everything and putting my book aside, I took a dive into their conversation.
“I think they do serve coffee. Let me go check and see if the airlines did open this option for passengers. Infact, I need one too, so let me get two” my lies began.
I went ahead and walked over to the coffee place, ordered a cappuccino and gave a 100 rupee note. He gave back 10. (Oh yes, coffee at airports don’t come cheap). I walked back to her.
“Here ya go” I got the coffee for her. He was a bit startled but just nodded thankfully.
“Arere, no, no. She’s ok. Thats totally fine. You should not have taken the trouble.”
“No worries, totally fine. After all, these are the things that make travel fun”.
” Thank you” She beamed a big smile. As she was busy mixing sugar in her coffee, I went to look for a cell phone charging area. He followed right along.
“Where’s your coffee?”
“Oh, I just got some water. I am fine”
“You are such a wonderful person”, he said. “I know that coffee is not free, please tell me if it was 10 or 20 rupees.
” Oh yeah, it’s 10 rupees” another lie. He handed me 10 rupees.
“Thank you so much”
We were both walking back to the waiting area. I could see her sipping away the coffee happily, relaxed and content.
The airline announcement just came in time…”boarding to start now, children and elder passengers can now board…”
“I think you guys can board now. You both will be allowed to board now. I just need to do one thing” . I walked by her and touched her feet. “Nanamma (grandma), you will have a great time in the flight. Don’t forget to see all the movies. Its a lot of fun. BTW, you look very beautiful in this green saree. Tata”
“Bless you nanna. I have a grandson who is 15 years old. I hope he grows up to be a excellent person like you…” she was beaming.
I had earned my blessings. As I was getting up, I managed to gently slip the 10 rupees he gave me, back into her handbag.
“Ok thathayya (grandpa), you take care. And enjoy the flight. Its a long one. I will be boarding last, so please go ahead”.
“Thank you nanna, nee lanti kodukunu kannnanduku, mee parents chaala garva padali. (Thank you, dear. Your parents must be proud to have a son like you). Those who respect elders and the old, know what true culture and true love is…tata”
As he was walking to board, I couldn’t miss seeing that he had a tear in his eye…I waved them a good bye and got back to reading, I couldn’t help notice that I was slightly smiling, but the pages was blurry, I think I had a tear or two myself….
Ah, the magic of travels never cease to leave their little sweet impressions. I think we can never spread honey without sticking some of it to our own fingers. And I highly recommend that the next time when you want to grab a coffee with someone special, look around…real well. There’s many people just there to share love….and leave a lasting memory ! Never miss a chance to make someone smile….even better, touch their heart…its not a lot of effort, Its just a lot of initiative.