Section 1: Days of peril

Wrath of gods?


An orange for sin


There was enough time to continue my journey to Delhi in an Airbus 300 departing at 1700 hrs when my propeller plane landed at Kolkata airport from Shillong. I had a boarding pass soon, marked 29D; and, after the announcement of boarding I was on the seat with a bag of Khasi oranges.  Hangover of my ‘murder’ by the Khasi queen and unusual attraction of Khasi women were enough to shatter and subdue me in twelve hours of strenuous journey since my starting from Isamati in morning. I wished to avail long silence and a nap in the plane journey between Kolkata and Delhi to regain my normal self.

Story of apple, serpent, Eve and Adam is from Mesopotamia. If the beguiler were in Khasi land, he would have no option but to choose an orange for inducing the first man on earth to his first sin. Apples don’t grow in Meghalaya where oranges are aplenty. There is no need either to search only males for mischief. Female devils do a better job these days.  An orange shared between a teenager and me when we were just to take off from Kolkata to Delhi in the evening flight of January 16, ’89 is the basis for altering the plot in Bible for the twentieth and later centuries!

I shrugged at the coincidence extraordinary when the passenger of 29C arrived. She was just another frame in the scene of Khasi fair – an attractive Khasi teenager. First, the Khasi queen murdered me at Isamati; then, a beauty parade of her clan was before me at Umroi; and, now, a solitary model of the same lot is sitting to my left – a   place reserved for wife in Hindu rituals.

Soon, our plane was taxing toward the runway in routine practice before taking off. In a couple of minutes we will be climbing up in the sky of Kolkata for heading towards Delhi, I thought to my relief. A very soothing feeling anointed my harassed heart and dulled mind.

Hopes of our immediate departure were dashed shortly, however, when the plane stopped within minutes of taxing, and an announcement from the cockpit followed “There is an obstruction before the plane, we will move as soon as it is removed.”

 Sitting and getting bored, I took out an orange; had a part of it myself, and passed the other to the girl on 29C. She was happy and thankful. There was plenty of time in a non-moving plane, and her autobiography was on, “I am going to Dehradun: I read in ‘---’   School; have spent long many years in its hostel; this is my twelfth and final year; my exam is over on 18th March; I like English language; my parents will send me to London for higher education after my passing out …”

There was an interruption due to a second announcement from the cockpit, “Please deplane. We will fly to Delhi after a short while.”

Out of the plane, we discovered that the giant bird was standing before a building. It had moved into a wrong and narrow parking lane. Staff members in the airport were discussing loudly about strangeness of such a foolish blunder bedeviled by claims and counterclaims. The pilot claimed that he had entered the parking lane on the instructions of the control tower. The man at the control tower of the airport was denying the story of the pilot as imaginary.

 Passengers for Delhi were to avail unlimited waiting period forcibly due to an unexpected situation. How did the pilot commit the blunder or how could he change the course of a taxing plane without instruction from the control tower was of little interest to us, anyway.

 Our dinner was in Hotel Airport Asoka around 9 O’clock. The teenager was absent. Her relatives or parents had taken her away; and, there was little chance of her availing the flight expected to leave around midnight.

 My co-passenger of 29C was back unexpectedly on her seat past mid-night.  I never imagined that the ghost of the Khasi queen was over my head after I had left Isamati. The orange   from her land was Skai-charmed and proved a potential sin-spinner. The jinxed fruit played its satanic role effectively to drive the pair of Adam and Eve to sin after the plane took off.

 I don’t know what befell my virgin co-passenger of 29C in late teens on account of the cursed orange from the  land of Malun;  but,  it surely landed me in unbelievable miseries of hell on the very  earth  for long nineteen years and odd months when my punishment was over.