Delhi to Vadorara.
When Noorie announced the safety rules, they were fighting. She seemed aggressive; he was sober, sophisticated, in control. Noorie knew how an injured soul looks like.
For one and half hours of flight they kept arguing, softly. Noorie instructed the flight attendant to serve water. Her colleague did no more than interfering.
When the flight landed, he simply left. She kept there at her aisle seat, covering her face with her palms. When she was the only one left to leave, Noorie walked up to her.
“Are you fine, Ma’m?” She asked.
She lifted her head to look sadly at her in the eyes, then at the badge disclosing her name and back at her eyes, nodded and got up. “Noorie D’souza,” she said. “Maybe someday I will occupy nothing that isn’t rightfully mine. My body, my husband or a mere airlines seat.”
They met again after a year. Their eyes locked as she occupied the same aisle, her eyes playfully greeting Noorie as she rattled the safety rules.
“How have you been, Ma’m?” Noorie asked, when she approached with refreshments.
“Noorie Dsouza, finally.” She looked at Noorie’s badge again. “God knows how many hopeless flights I have taken to go nowhere and how many hours I stood at the arrival gate, expecting to find you.” She smiled. Embarrassed, Noorie looked around.
“I wanted to fly again, free by myself…” She whispered. Her fingers wrapped over Noorie’s, as she served coffee, her voice seductive. “And here we are, flying together.”.
She asked for her number. Noorie was reluctant as airlines crews are not allowed to share personal numbers. She moved on with the trolley.
She came calling at her again in the airport. Noorie looked at her brightly. “What’s your name?”
They both burst into laughter. The woman composed. “Firoza Ismail, I’m a painter. I earn enough to invite an airhostess for coffee.”
Noorie was shy, she smiled as softly as she could. “Next Saturday.”
“Give me the number now. Or take mine.” Firoza pleaded.
Noorie looked at her and extended her hand.
Firoza wrote her number calligraphically on her wrist as if it was a bangle.
She watched from behind as Noorie walked away from her. Just before she’d take the right to disappear, she turned to smile at her.
They both walked their separate ways, celebrating the start. Firoza was excited, extrovert and expressive. She flirted with people on the way as she walked; there was a flight in her steps.
Noorie tried to keep her happiness under wraps, but adventures seldom stay hidden. She forgot things on the way and embarrassed herself.
As the car pulled off, she kept inspecting the calligraphy on her wrist, as if it was diamond!
Every human being is the most beautiful, when they are… themselves.