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My first digital camera, a point and shoot one, was gifted to me by the First Born, but inevitably it mostly used to be with the Second Born in the initial days. He had just joined for his animation classes and felt his need was greater than mine and I had given it up for his use with a sigh. Trivia: Those days I used to ask him to click pictures for me (and my blog). He had to leave home for college for me to come into my own as far as photography was concerned. Anyways…

One day I saw said PS camera on the Second Born’s bed half buried beneath books, paper, discarded clothes, CDs, and a zillion other things teenagers everywhere seem to think simply have to be dumped on the bed. Correction, some adults are no better. When it is time for sleep, they shove it all off the bed. On seeing the camera, I was naturally alarmed fearing he might accidentally sit on it or worse still, push all the junk aside and have it fall down and break. So I told him that he had to keep the camera on his table or some such safe place. Nothing was going to happen to the camera, he replied brusquely. In his opinion I was merely overreacting. That’s when I told him this, “When you buy a camera of your own, you are welcome to leave it anywhere you want, but as long as you want to use mine you WILL keep it safe as per my wishes. Or else I am simply going to take it away.” 

I have insisted that the children acknowledge and respect the fact that some things belonged to me. It is something I find sadly missing in many homes. Whatever belongs to the mother is considered common property. The mothers rarely assert themselves, instead let children walk all over them. After all, when you stake claim to devi-hood you have to play the part, be generous and sacrificing, and cannot actually go around marking territory and insisting things belong to you. Not being devi material I have never had any such qualms. When I look around, I see children walking into rooms without knocking, dipping into the handbags of the mothers, pulling out cell phones, (even picking up their calls and reading messages without being told!) and I break out into rashes. How will these children learn to respect space of anyone at all, leave aside a woman and/or a future spouse? But, I am digressing. I did not start this story to talk about all this.

Getting back, I prefer to be early rather than late at airports (or railway/bus stations) and go through all the formalities of checking in, in a unhurried manner. Hurry confounds me and I am liable to make mistakes, forget something important, may be leave my passport somewhere and walk away unaware. One wants to avoid such calamities from happening, so ‘early and relaxed’ goes my motto.  

There are those who get to the airport at the last minute and then rush through everything and are able to make a success of it. More power to them, I say. But when they insist that I follow their suit, my response has always been the same as in the incident quoted above of the camera, “When you are the one traveling, reach the airport whenever you wish, even if it be after the flight has left. I don’t have any issues with it at all. But when I am the one doing the travelling, let me do it my way.” You’d think it is a simple enough thing for even the dumbest of dumb to grasp? But no, they have to argue and impose their style on me.

I really don’t understand why it bothers anyone that I will have time on my hands and have a long *boring* wait ahead. Since when have I appointed anyone as Managers of Boring Times, mine? My time, to do as I please, isn’t it? I am not asking them to follow my example, so why should I follow theirs? Sometimes I have wanted to scream at people (so called friends) who are supposed to drop me at a certain time. Their delaying tactics (not to mention the laughing they do in my face) has been nothing short of being insensitive and selfish. But… what if you have such people among those you are traveling with? Then it gives rise to lot of friction and stress.

That is why I was happy when I found Sandhya and her family voicing the same opinion as mine, that we must leave early enough for the airport on the day we were to leave for Sri Lanka. (Read all about what happened the day before, here). Moreover the PM was expected in Chennai the same day which meant traffic controls and unpredictable blocks later on in the morning. It pleased me greatly that we made an early start and reached the airport practically before anyone else taking the same flight had. Excited as we were (for Sandhya and me this was our first holiday outside the country without family), this gave us enough time to calm our nerves and manage to sit still.

It was a good thing that we reached early because when the third person of our group Meena reached, we found that the fourth, her daughter, had missed her flight. Fortunately we had enough time (See, how extra time came in handy?) to make a flurry of phone calls and make alternative arrangements for her to join us late night at Kandy. Having done that we all heaved a sigh of relief, had a leisurely breakfast of iddlies and waited patiently for our flight to be announced.
Will be continued….

In the meantime, here is another post on my relationship with time: About being on time

©Shail Mohan 2015