It is always much fun to meet new people. Gather their stories, their thoughts, their experience. And who would have more experiences to share than the elderly! And contrary to the common belief that these wobbly wrinkly fellows are grumpy rude oldies, I realized for at least the ones I met - they get younger at heart and cheerful to their soul as they close in on eventuality.
One such experience was a recent one. As I waited for my Bangalore flight at the Mumbai airport, another gate change announcement was made. As I reached the new gate, I heard someone talk to me.
"Any idea what the hell is going on" said this little old man standing with crossed legs and one elbow resting on a tall flower pot. One cigar in hand, and he would look more like an old Italian mafia.
I just smiled vaguely, taking off my earphones to be a little respectful.
"Can they decide one gate so these old legs don't have to walk! Are these people lining up for a flight which was just announced as delayed?" he said pointing to a long queue. "Won't they all reach at the same time?" he looked at me, expecting an answer.
"If you think this is bad, wait till flight lands" I said with a chuckle, thinking of the battle of getting off the fight first that awaited me.
"Oh, I don't have to face that any more. I just did a trip from Hong Kong to Bangkok and these places have such long airports. My wife, she is very naive by the way, booked me a wheelchair. No waiting in queues, on to the flight with the first class!
You know what was better? On landing the air hostess asked if I could walk a little. She was so charming that I manned up! 'Of course', I said.
So this beautiful young girl held my hand and put one hand around me to help me walk, while another girl carried my bag. BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!"
There was this sweet and naughty smile on his face, wide as it could be, probably reminiscing the best day of his life.
"I asked her", he continued, "can you help me walk home!"
It was something incredibly funny coming from an 80 year old and he wasn't done.
"I told you my wife is naive, she just didn't see it through! Never would she book a wheelchair for me since I told her this story" he quirked.
"You Sir, are living a life" I said bursting into a laughter.
"It's just one right, gotta live this one. See the world, make people happy, make yourself happy" he said with such definiteness, still smiling, still probably reminiscing the best day of his life.
"Let me ask that one if she'll help me, good talking to you kid" he said as he made his move towards an air hostess.
It is then that I realised, most of us are cognizant of this fact - 'It's just one, gotta live this one'. It is a choice in our hands whether we act upon it now, or close to eventuality.