It was a 10 hour flight, of which 5 were spent in conversation to the man beside me.
With India in mind, he told me about his life and aspirations as we sat through the Brazil-South Africa route, and he was quick to point out Ringo Starr’s role in his beliefs, I guess The Beatles really were quite the thing.
2 hours into our conversation, he finally pops the question, to which I answer:
I’m a Christian.
And we began unraveling the wonderful twists of spirituality, from creation theories to the current state of humanity, and to our collective future. Impressive, I was, to be at my age and engaging in such a conversation. Our roles were ambiguous, we’d go from protagonists to observes, to spectators of our unexpected epiphanies.
I remember with clarity when we were briefly distracted by ‘coffee and tea’, at which he nodded thank you and surprised the air hostess with his own carefully packed tea set. A delicate cup emerged from his neatly tied bag, and with it, a limited edition of raw leaves and a tea spoon.
The air hostess looked at me, as if rhetorically, and I, like Atlas, shrugged.
Amused, he laughed, and explained that he would navigate the entire world for the mere scent of this tea, and that when he arrived in India, that would be the first thing he would do.
At the ring of the 5th hour, lights shut, he asked, “you want to sleep, right?“
I felt guilty for confirming his suspicions, I guess it’s 5 hours I need to compensate.
CC: Daniel Mennerich