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A scene at the airport:

An airport terminal is a very busy place. With many passengers coming in and
many others leaving, there is a constant movement of both people and planes. After
clearing the security check the passengers head to the waiting area. It is this area of
the airport that allows a clear picture of the runway. Many enjoy looking through
the glass, to watch planes land and take off. It is almost a magical experience
especially for children.
The aircraft belonging to Lufthansa Airlines had just landed. Though it was quite
fast, and the sun was setting, the company insignia was clearly visible. Then parts
of its wings were raised to slow it down. As the Boeing slowed down considerably,
it glided from one end of the runway to the other.
With so many planes landing, it was difficult to keep track of that one plane
continuously. Sometimes it disappeared and then appeared from a fleet of
aeroplanes. Many maneuvers later, it took that one final turn and started moving
towards the airport terminal, towards the departures side. By now, the speed had
reduced to a crawl. A man dressed in an orange work vest guided the plane to its
rightful spot, vigorously signaling with the lighted batons he held in his hands.
In the meanwhile, even before the aircraft was visible from the building, an
announcement had already been made, about its arrival. There was a sudden hustle
and bustle. Many who were asleep were woken up by their family members. Those
who were reading quickly put their reading material away. Parents broke the news
of the aircraft’s arrival to children. There was a lot of excitement in the air. Those
travelling by that plane got up from their seats and gathered their belongings.
By the time the aircraft had reached the building, people had formed a long queue
near the designated boarding gate. Everyone had their hand baggage with them and
their boarding passes in their hand, ready to show it to the officials. Another
announcement was made, to allow senior citizens, expecting mothers and ladies
with children, to board the plane. Everyone made way for them.
As the staff at the counter checked the boarding passes, one mobile staircase each
was attached to the front and the rear doors of the plane. Soon enough, three buses
rolled in. People got into the buses. Some sat, while others stood, holding on the
handles and bars for support. The buses drove right up to the airplane. The
passengers disembarked from the buses and boarded the flight.
In the distant, many more flights were seen landing while inside the airport
building, a multitude of people were waiting for their journey to begin.

An interesting old person you have met

Each person, young or old, is “unique” and “interesting” in his/her own rights since
we all are different from each other in the ways we think, we talk, we feel and we
behave. However, I try to avoid using the word “old” in isolation at all costs if it is
not followed by some fine “adjectives” such as “interesting”, “intriguing” or
“versatile”, since it could end up in meaning something derogative. Anyway, thank
you for offering me the opportunity to talk about an interesting old person whom I
met in a waiting room while waiting to catch my train at a railway station, about a
year ago.

He was probably in his early 70’s. I didn’t really feel like talking to him or
anybody, even though I was sitting very close to him because I was really exhausted
after finishing a long and tiring day at work. All I needed was some quiet and
relaxing time. But, unfortunately, that was not supposed to happen because I needed
to go out in order to grab some snacks to please my “growling” stomach. I was very
hungry. So, I requested the “aged” gentleman, sitting next to me, to watch my
luggage just for a little while I was gone for buying something to eat. In response,
he opened his little bag and offered me some cookies that were kept in it. I chose to
oblige because I wasn’t really in a mood to talk or argue with anybody.

Eating cookies and thinking if I would make another attempt to go out because
those cookies were just not enough for me, and just then he asked me for how long I
was starving. I said “not more than 10 hours” in response. He smiled and then asked
me again, “do you know how many people go to bed hungry every night?” I said
that I had no idea. He said, “Almost 10% of the world population goes to bed
hungry every night without knowing what they are going to eat the next day.” He
also told me that he hardly ate more than twice a day, and his rather “thin” shape
bears testimony to his “limited food consumption”. Suddenly, the train arrived, and
we were ready to go. So, we just parted after greeting each other.

The conversation was brief, and I never really met that senior citizen before. But
what was really interesting that I felt like he had some “authority” on me, and that I
needed to listen to him even if I was not really in a mood to follow. In fact, up until
I met that interesting senior gentleman, I had no idea that a person could be so
passionate about learning the plights of other people in this world. But, the most
fascinating thing about that “aged” person was he actually thought that he could
make a difference in the world at his “not-so-young” age, and he surely proved it in
his action by trying to feed a hungry person like me even though I didn’t ask for it.

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