I feel the heat surging through my body, culminating at my forehead and banging against the walls of my skull. From behind the speakers, comes the reassuring voice of a lady whose words, however, hit me like nails drilling a wall. I feel stressed as I’m unable to comprehend any of the messages conveyed to me. Arabic. I wish I’d known some Arabic so that I would know exactly what each announcement was about. Word for word. Beyond a general framework of assumptions. Security, emergency exits, some more exits, cabin pressure. Take off. Terms that I’m familiar with due to frequent international travelling. And there comes the turbulent air spaces. Oh never mind, it’s false alarm.
I sense an inexplicable synergy of different forces congregated at my fingertips as I slowly uncap the slightly tarnished pen at the edges of my fingers. As strange as it sounds, I think of all the passengers, including myself, on the plane as books like the ones that I shelve on every Thursday for my work-duty. All of us come in varying sizes, shapes, and colors. Some of us are young, some of us still continue to endure the relentless tides of time despite our torn, wrinkled, and withering pages. For some it might mean the beginning. The innocent cries of a toddler echoing through the cabin. A page clean and blank. For some others, the book might be nearing the end. Old bodies trudging under the weight of all those years.
Searches, losses, smiles and tears, falls and triumphs, crowds and labyrinthine cities, letters that may have never reached their destinations, loved ones and not so loved ones, words that were said. And words left unsaid. Stories of people wanting to leave, can’t leave, and already leaving. At this joint intersection of our stories, we all share this short, sleep-deprived, and turbulent chapter that’s set between the metal wings of a mechanic bird weighing tons. Our means of transportation serves as a tunnel into the wild. Our forage into the unknown. Trying to shake off my nervousness in the face of turbulences, I closed my eyes and dreamed about myself as the captain of a pirate ship, trying to find a treasure despite the unyielding stretches of the ocean beneath me. Then came the realization that this was not the right idea to dream about. There is no plundering in our mission, but only the teachings of non-violence. There are no leaders or commanders. We are each other; we are one. There is no personal prize to claim at the end. We have satyagraha. Regardless of wherever this path will lead us to, we will stay together as one body of life. Like a symphony, in the harmonic mesh of our individualities, each of our voices turns into something else. The product is the voice of humanity. With this trip, I will be putting a leash on my personal ambitions and selfish desires. I will be take off my helmet of individuality to break down the barriers between my exposed selflessness and the external world. I have to set aside my material needs to wash myself clean of the stains of selfishness. I will forge myself into one with my externalities. Within, without, and beyond.