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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Curious Case For Delays!


I made a discovery of sorts recently! You know, we have certain likes and dislikes, and we have been traditionally used to the reactions concomitant on these. However, I found out that such likes and dislikes are specific to the prevailing situation or circumstances. Depending on the prevailing situation or circumstances our traditional likes could very well convert into unconventional dislikes or our traditional irritation could translate into new-found pleasure. I do of course run the risk of suffering from naiveté as you all may know this or be experiencing such deferential distinctions. But somehow I am hell-bent on propagating my discovery to one and all.

Our crucial keyword here is ‘delay’.  Almost always, delays cause irritation or dislikes, and fury in extreme cases. You hate when your train or flight is delayed; you hate waiting when somebody’s train or flight is delayed; you hate to be kept waiting for a meeting; you wholeheartedly dislike late comers in office; you get furious when your spouse is late for an important occasion and so on. These are all traditional and accepted reactions. Now, I will proceed to my discovery straightway without saying anything more in this context which could be revealing prematurely.

That evening I landed up with a lot of time to kill. I had to receive a friend at the airport at a bit late hour and after office I had nothing important to do. I didn’t consider it wise to go home all the way and then come back again all the way and more. Going for a movie was ruled out because theatres were not in the vicinity of the airport and I didn’t have that much of time. And then, I was ravenously hungry too. In my earlier trips to the airport I had observed a cosy nice little restaurant right opposite to the arrival gates. Therefore, I decided on that; took a little bite, boarded a bus and went to the airport.

Surprisingly, the traffic that evening was not heavy, and when I arrived at the airport I still had at least two hours to kill. I started thinking about what courses of food and beverages should be taken so that the time killing got done appropriately as I entered the restaurant.

Meantime I decided on a drink as the first course. I took a good seat and looked around the restaurant. There were not many customers at that point of time and none of them belonged to the noisy variety. With the air conditioners working fine it was cool and comfortable. I was in.

I waited, and waited with the menu wide open on my table. The waiters were moving around on errands not exactly related to the few customers available. However, I didn’t even feel an itch of irritation as I relaxed and settled comfortably in my chair.

Finally when the waiter came I ordered my drink, but was told that was not available. After that whatever item I fixed my taste buds on was either not available or not with the appropriate flavour I wanted. But I was not at all angry or irritated. I rather smiled at him, and tried again with menu. Eventually I had to cancel my drink and settle for a snack of the waiter’s choice.

After the delightful delay in placing an order now I was in for a more appetising delay in serving the order. I was too happy watching the people eating or drinking or idling or loitering around and also the television screen where a local news channel was trying to burst out of the mute mode. Curiously, everything seemed interesting to me despite now a vehemently protesting stomach. I sat there—bemused, but contented and happy as the minutes ticked by.

I enjoyed my dish immensely when it finally arrived, and then ordered for a tea. There was another juicy delay till the hot beverage came. After I finished my tea relishing it with lingeringly tender and deliciously spaced out sips I asked for the bill. I never thought that it would be the longest regurgitating delay of all the delays. The waiters as usual moved around busily with their errands never bothering about me. If I moved out of the place quietly nobody would have noticed, such was the business that was going on. However, I did not at all dislike the restaurant or was irritated with the boys. Instead, I was beaming and merry.

As I finally settled my bill I got a call from my friend. Yes, he had just landed. I congratulated myself, wow...what a perfectly timed time killing! However, somehow I couldn’t give a healthy tip to the boys, although I was not at all irritated or angry!

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