I was flying to Bangalore today. The day didn’t start well for sure.. I don’t know if it was the day that didn’t start well or the night that didn’t end well. Whatever.
I missed the flight – Yes, for the first time. And you know what ? I wasn’t hassled. I was cool. For a moment I was upset though, then, I thought what the heck. I have been working like mad and this is fine. I quickly booked myself into the next flight which was a good two hours later, and was all set to enjoy my solitude in the maddening crowd in the airport. I love observing people and of course thinking.
With Dennu having exams this afternoon, mom and dad coming home to be with Dennu, Joe going on a trip, my porgramme being affected by the delay, I was a more than a little preoccupied. I decided to put all these away for sometime and go on and take life casually, atleast for a day.
With all these thoughts filling my mind I was in the queue for the security check and saw a middle aged lady in the queue. Wrong queue. She was standing confidently on the queue where the men go their public physical smothering .. the physical security check. The first thought was she will find out she is in the wrong queue when she reaches the end of the line. But the good Samaritan in me realized that she is not a frequent traveler and might need some help and so I volunteered and told her, you need to come to this line and you are in the wrong queue. She turned around and looked a little doubtful, moved out of the queue and then whatever came over her, suddenly asked me, with a tone like “ who the < bleep> are you to tell me to move out of this queue” but the words came out were a loud “ WHY?” for which I answered, this is the queue for checking your baggage and move to security check. She didn’t budge from her queue. Kept standing her ground in the wrong queue.
I realized the ladies behind me were giving a look that said ‘ you asked for it’. I continued in my queue and she is hers. The woman who by now was kind of convinced that I might be planning to con her, got input from another passenger behind her to move out of the queue, so our lady walked the opposite side and to get to some other queue and not join the queue that I was in. I knew by then, wherever she goes, she got to come back to my queue. With Chennai airport being so small, there is just one queue for ladies and other queue’s would definitely shoo her away to the ladies queue.
Right enough, she came into my queue after a little while, with a real sheepish smile.
That was when I saw a easterner ( Korean or Taiwanese) in front of me very smugly standing in front of the ladies security check. I should have by now learnt from my earlier lesson with the short fair lady, which I didn’t, so I went ahead and told him, this is for ladies and pointed to the other side saying “that is the men’s queue”. I guess he didn’t understand. He smiled, nodded his head and stood his ground. Second googly for me.. actually third. Missing the flight was the first one.
I guess it is language issue or so I consoled. But someone else from other queue told him the same and he moved to the right men’s queue.
This left me thinking. These people, both the short fair lady and the easterner had an idiot like me offering help with a smiling face, and they were not willing to take help. I am not even looking at the gratitude that they should have displayed, for a stranger who came forward to offer help. They both just didn’t take the help, continued to stand in the wrong places, and realized their folly a little later.
Was it an issue of trust diminishing in general public or is it apathy for free help coming your way. I just decided that today is not my day but that shouldn’t stop me from offering help wherever / whenever it is needed, especially so this christmas season.