Microstory – 61
In the aircraft, we were seated, belted and grounded. People were sharing their life stories. I enjoyed overhearing all the stories as they were coming thick and fast. My co-passenger was extolling the virtues of his home town and was narrating some of the tales of that city. Suddenly the voice from the cockpit announced that because of low visibility we are changing our destination. The destination was my passenger’s home town! I told him, ” Looks like your description of the city was too good to be true and we will land there shortly.”
I was resigned to the situation and pulled out my copy of “Unlimited power” and started reading but the effect of the announcement was electric on the other passengers. I was amazed at the ensuing scenes in the next 30 minutes as people were making calls to their relatives and updating the cause of the delay. There were some people who were blaming it on the day and there were some cynics who criticized the crew for not giving enough information on time. It was my first experience of poor visibility and change of destination. It gave me a window to the world of experience of how different people reacted differently to the exact same situation.
Micro-story — 62
I was in the hotel room that day and I woke up really late. My driver for the morning drop to the airport also missed his alarm. As I ran to the reception and asked for my bill settlement, they did not have my company GST details for generating the bills. It was a jarring experience. It was just one of those days…
I quickly got a hotel cab. I was furious and decided to give a piece of my mind to the original driver as I had already prepaid him for the airport drop. I called him with that intention. As I was about to blurt out my emotions, something happened to me and I contained myself and spoke to him in a low voice to be punctual in the future. Instead of blaming it on him, the hotel person and myself, I took solace in Murphy:
Microstory – 63
It was a bright day and I loved it. I went into the airport and it was pleasing to see the sight of a new service desk for doing a self drop off your luggage. I took the boarding pass along with the baggage tag which I got from the same machine and headed towards the counter for dropping my bag. The young enthusiastic guy in his 20’s displayed his warmth and requested me to place the luggage on the belt. He punched some keys and fed the information. Then I saw that his facial expression changed. One who was visibly bubbling with enthusiasm was anguished at the sight of a machine not reading his instructions. He admitted that he was new on the job. I liked his humility only to hear a voice from behind, ” In India, everything is hodgepodge”. Being a RICH Indian, I decided to have a short conversation with him. I asked him, ” what happened” without showing any embarrassment. He was visibly shaken to see my unshakeable faith in our system. My careful response was, ” we are catching up with automation” and as I finished speaking to him, the machine sensor caught the RFID tag and pushed my luggage inside. I thanked the young guy and smiled at the next passenger. His luggage rolled over and fell close to my leg. I sensed that he is going to have a tough time now. That particular counter was only for perfectly sized luggage and I smiled inside, for him it was going to be one of those days…
Microstory – 64
One evening my mother along with my grandmother’s sister visited some bereaved families. I was touched when I saw the sight of a 92-year-old lady as she had seen so many deaths in her family. It was shocking to see the number of deaths arising because of the emperor of maladies. I was then reminded of a WhatsApp group being formed by our engineering batch to discuss and share and how we as a community can be of support for the same. Now I understood why one of my grand mother’s sisters ( who is 88 and has lost many family members) and cannot hear very well, told someone, “why should I hear more”?
Microstory – 65
In the night, she opened her laptop and told me to help her fix the transfer of payment for the utilities. I was a little cagey, as at home my wife usually takes care of these chores. So I mustered some enthusiasm and opened the site and proposed that we can do net banking. My mother stuck to her favorite home page options. She wanted to do it only through the Paytm site. I told her I will do net banking, it was easy and I was quite accustomed to it. She insisted that I quickly learn, adapt and transfer. I had to silence my ego and had to figure that out at 11pm in the night and it was done. During that process of figuring out, I was vulnerable as I haven’t done it before and when the payment was successful I was happy for being an obedient son.
Microstory – 66
My mother is 70 and my grandmother is 95. In my recent visit to my hometown, this particular scene is etched in my memory. My mother was standing in the line at the hospital counter and waiting for 30 minutes with a token in her hands. In my younger days, I used to dread that place around the hospital as it was very crowded and the smell of the medicines used to depress me. I was taken aback this time when my mother had to stand in that line and get diapers for my grandmother. That was a big life lesson. During your childhood your mother changes your diaper and when you are old…