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15 Feb 2012

Chapter 7: Sunset and Sunrise

I am going to start writing in small print now. This is the last sheet of paper I've got. I have some more in my suitcase in the overhead compartment but I don't think I will bother with that. It would break my monotony and Elle's writing too. I've already lost a few precious moments pondering over it. Writing in small print has reminded me of the time my friends and I decided to do that for fun, in college. One of our professors used to dictate endless pages of notes in his excruciatingly boring class. We came up with unique ways of amusing ourselves, one of which was to write in really small print and see who would use the least number of pages. Some students even wrote on the margins of the page. Our argument that we were trying to save paper did not quite save us from the professor's wrath, when he got wind of our secret game!

I am trying to slow down but my fingers are trapped in a rhythm. It is going to be hard reading small print that I write at this speed. The words in my head are still flying past, so that is not helping either. Now, I'm going back and forth trying to pick up words that I missed. This is not looking good.

The pilot has just announced that we are "440 miles, that is 750 kilometres, north of Melbourne, coming up over the west of New South Wales". He is saying that we are ahead of schedule by 20 minutes and will arrive in Melbourne at 10 past nine by the local clock. He is now reminding us that we need to move our watches forward by an hour. I would love to pull out my mobile and do that now but I think that might be frowned upon. I don't think I'll change the time on my iPad. It doesn't matter.

The sun is shining bright outside. It is strange to look out and see the sun shining so bright at half past 8 in the night. Even if there is daylight till late in summers, I doubt that the sun is this bright at this hour. The time on clocks and watches is redundant up here in space, isn't it? 

The clouds are a beautiful combination of white, light and dark grey, with shades of pink and orange in the mix. The horizon is layers of blue, green, yellow and orange, just like the pictures in our Physics text books when we learnt about refraction. I should stop writing and take a few pictures of this. Yeah, I do that a lot. The pictures I take on my mobile during flights look alright on the mobile but they never look the same when I put them on the computer. I hate it when that happens but it hasn't stopped me from taking pictures on the mobile anyway. "I can edit them on Picasa", I say to myself each time. It has not happened once.

I'm still dogged by the curiosity as to what Elle's thinking about what I am doing. Surely, it is not usual for the person next to you to be scribing non-stop on a flight? She has switched on her ipod and is listening to music quite loudly. I can hear the beats, even though I can't make out the songs. Oh, she has the flight manual on her lap. I didn't see her pick it up. It must have been when I was admiring the clouds outside. That reminds me. I haven't read the flight safety manual on this flight myself. I must do it as soon as I can. I can't do it right now because if she has picked up the manual in the last few minutes, it will look creepy that I do the same. She will suspect that I am watching her, if she already hasn't.

Hopefully Murphy and his law won't come into play in the next few minutes. The one flight on which I forgot to read the manual (because I was busy writing, may I clarify?), is the one where I hadn't flown in a long time and couldn't remember what to do. What are the odds of that happening? I have spooked myself out now, I had better read the manual. It doesn't matter if she thinks I'm copying her. It is a question of my life. If the plane decides to take a nosedive and I die on this plane, they might find my notes and know what Elle is doing. They will know my last few words but I doubt that I want anyone to read this. Even if I die.

There, I've done it. Relief, at last. Knowing Murphy, he will stay away today. I have no problems with that whatsoever. As far as I am concerned, I can brace myself and do a couple of life-saving manoeuvres if push comes to shove. 

Outside, the sun is setting. On the right side of my view, the sky and clouds are a shade of pinkish grey. Up  ahead, it is a bright yellow shine of the sun, not quite ready to set yet. In some part of the world, people must be beginning to wake up to that light. On my left, it is a dull and depressing grey. The sun has set and night has crept upon the cities there. Come to think of it, I am sitting at the right window seat, which means that I am heading towards that darkness. Of course! It will be night time when we land in Melbourne. It makes perfect sense. Did I just see the sunset and sunrise at the same time? Wow!!

The little sojourn I took to read the manual has dulled my excitement to write. My fingers are hurting more than I am happy about. These must be signs. I had better stop writing once I reach the end of this sheet. I will.

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