I had been waiting at the arrival gate in Bangkok, after the Jet Airways flight that she was travelling on had landed, and most passengers including the stragglers had come out. I had checked that her flight landed at 06:49 am. I had expected her to finish immigration and customs formalities in about an hours time and be out with her baggage by 07:45 am at the latest. I had thus strategically positioned myself at arrival gate B, by 07:30 am. I had seen the early birds with only the hand baggage come out first, followed by the ones with the heavily laden checked baggages.
I was now getting a little concerned as she was nowhere on the horizon. My wi-fi was not connecting and there was no way to contact her through the opaque glass screen separating me from the baggage claim conveyor belt area.
‘I am on the third floor in front of S&P’ came the prompt response.
I had sent her detailed step by step instructions on how to navigate through the immigration queues on arrival, in Bangkok. Evidently she had followed them very efficiently and had thus reached the designated rendezvous spot before me, while I was trying to give her a surprise welcome at the arrival gate.
I was happy that she had been able to manage on her own, especially after her last message from Chandigarh that said, ‘U do know that ... I get blank, without you around’. The detailed instructions from me were in response to this rather under-confident message from her.
Going towards the elevator that would take me to the 3rd floor, my thoughts went to the time when we had decided to enter the roller coaster ride of marriage, during our journey of life. She was 18 and I was 25. She was very soft on the outside as I saw her, but very tough on the inside, as I got to discover during our journey together. I on the other hand had a very tough exterior, but a not so hard interior.
We were each an individual in our own right and had little in common, except being human - the most wondrous creation of God. Our journey blessed us with two beautiful children who gave us great joy just by being a part of our journey. Like birds they have flown away to build their own nests in faraway lands. Physically we are now distant but they are very close in our thoughts. We were blessed with our first grandchild who helped us relive our childhood, and taught us many valuable lessons in life – curiosity, wonder, joy, happiness, spontaneity, all the good things of life that we had long given up in the process that we humans mistakenly call as, ‘growing up’.
A whatsapp message I had received said that a child when asked to name the seven wonders of the world, recounted our ability to see, to think, to hear, to smell, to touch, to feel, and to communicate as the greatest wonders of this world. Only a child could be so insightful; we adults are too knowledgeable for such mundane stuff.
Without our knowledge, we have rubbed off a lot on each other in the 38 years that we have been on this life's greatest adventure together.