My shoes reeked because of my feet. The stink diffused through the cabin, visited every neighbouring nose and made small talk. Having had it’s day’s worth of fun, it hushed down; became indistinguishable among brethren smells. I had removed my shoes and for want of space, stood them on it’s heels against the wall. My feet could finally breathe. But the guy in front of me could not. “Did you remove your shoes? It is stinking a lot” he complained.
The intercom hummed a short Quoran travel prayer. The Etihad flight treaded the airport tar for a long while. The co-pilot transmitted his boredom through the intercom. The auto-translate in my mind read his polite announcement as “The assholes at the traffic control can come suck my balls.”
When the air-host requested her to switch off her smartphone, my Tamil co-passenger unceremoniously bid goodbye to the skype version of her father. Meanwhile, the airplane thoughtfully paused on the runway and held poise. A brief interval of silence ensued. Tail-lights blinked under the supervising gaze of the moon. The pilots sprinkled fuel on the drowsy countenances of the mighty jet engines. Awakened, they roared; fuel burnt as the blades turned air to wind. With not a hint of doubt in mind, the pilots paced the plane over a strip of earth the air-traffic control granted them. Inertia pushed our spines to the seats. The child stopped crying. Flight EY 101 heaved it’s bosom into the air as it embarked on it’s climb up an invisible ramp with steadfast resolve. Down below, a city of incandescent lights departed us. The delicately positioned shoe of mine didn’t survive the ascent.
The engines hushed down and only a faint hum and rumble remained. My neighbours resumed interacting with family, catching on their sleep and watching South Park. The air-host nonchalantly unstrapped himself from his foldable seat and scurried to fetch hot towels for us. I had no clue what purpose it served. Wipe my feet perhaps? The Tamilian next to me dabbed her lips. I copied her. Moistened my moustache. My stomach moaned as it awaited my pre-ordered ‘HINDU VEG MEAL’. I was bored of tasting my saliva. The child felt like crying again. I looked out of my window. I could see but I could not look far because of the clouds.