Just a short story about a lovely occurrence this afternoon at Dehradun Airport (it’s other name is “Jolly Grant”. Like, how happy is that?).
After a wee (I went for the squatting toilet option, careful to foot my feet; after my splashback experience in Nepal, I’m very conscious how I conduct myself in excretion arenas) I changed seats (to be as close as I could to my gate, I’m not going to lie). I walked by two little sari-swaddled ladies and gave them a big smile, to which they absolutely beamed back.
I sat down and set in for a read (Elizabeth Gilbert, of course) making sure to look up around now and again to make sure I hadn’t missed my flight (I no longer write blog posts within a half hour of a board/stop for such a reason – it has happened) and each time I did I caught either one or both of the twos’ eyes. In a mutual mirth, we met them with an upturn of our lips (that was my attempt at an alternative phrase for “we smiled at each other”).
A little so on one of the ladies approached me with a little tin. “Would you like one?” She asked in Hindlish, moving the lid aside to reveal a handful of what looked like raw baking dough balls. I was caught off guard; as always when offered food outside of my rigid rules, I was about to decline. But her dear, sweet gesture had me replying yes. And taking one.
My inner angst arose. You can’t eat that, I – or Ed? – told myself. Aside from the fact it’s an unpackaged item from a stranger (ever since I wrote that aura post my suspicion radar has been red lighting), you don’t know what it is and don’t know what it’s calorie count may be!
What to do with it? The ladies were watching me all excited that I had been pleased to partake in their mid-afternoon airport treat. I dithered a bit and pretended to take my teeth to it, all the while eyes alert beseeching for a hiding spot or way I could somehow drop it (fuck, would they offer me another? One purposeful floor throw I could get away with, but two would be both disrespectful and wasteful).
And then I had a thought (the concept almost as radical as not writing something down in a list); Why don’t you just eat it? (This time it was ME, not Ed).
So I stopped looking around for subtle bit of seat I could shove it under, lifted it up in a “cheers”-like salute to the two and took a nibble.
Fuck me it was delicious.
I don’t know what was in that thing but each bite was like a Hindu god had released the utmost of nirvana nectars in my mouth. I got tints of peanut butter with tones of some other kind of nut (I will never make it as a Masterchef judge, for more reasons than one) and each seven I managed to savour it for was the highlight of my afternoon.
I turned a delighted trance-like face to the duo and said, “Absolutely delicious”.
They clapped theirs hands and seemed oh so overjoyed.
It was the definition of a bliss ball.
(I must admit about ten minutes later I had a moment of overtaking tiredness; my immediate thought was, Those bitches drugged me up and are to rape and rob me! Then after a yawn and sip of h20 to feel refreshed, I recognised I was overreacting and felt absolutely awful). (I helped one of the pair off the transfer bus and into her wheelchair to redeem myself).
Sometimes the most beautiful things in life take place in a north-Indian airport when you least expect it.