The plane ride

When I arrived at the airport for the flight to Florida, I entered into the plane and sat down quite comfortably. O God, right behind me two young men and their girlfriend were talking so loudly about the dates they had been on and all that. The girl's name was Jill and one of the boys' names was Michael. The girl kept speaking to Michael only to annoy the other boy.

It was ruining my concentration, but what could I do? After twenty minutes I got disgusted, saying to myself, "I won't be able to write anything." So I moved to another seat.

Then I saw that one row in front of me a baby was sleeping. I said, "At least let him sleep. I will be able to finish my writing." The baby remained fast asleep, so I was happy. Suddenly his mother started shaking him. I said, "O God, only in Indian villages do they do this kind of thing — showing their affection this way." Then, finally, she pulled away a pacifier that was in his mouth. As soon as the pacifier was taken away, the child started screaming. The hostile forces were acting through the mother.

She gave the child a toy and the child kicked it. Of all places, it fell at my feet. The mother said to me, "Can you hand it over?"

I gave back the toy, but I said in silence: "You want to show your possession to the world at the cost of others' suffering. You have got a child, but why do you have to ruin our peace?"

Her husband was sitting beside her. He got mad at her and said, "Had I known that you were so ugly I would not have married you. You are inwardly so ugly."

Then she said, "Had I known that you were outwardly so ugly, I would not have married you."

The husband left his seat and sat some other place, four or five seats ahead. I said, "Here is God speaking on earth. The wife is a hostile force, and the husband is God." I took his side.

After an hour the two boys and their girlfriend came and sat right behind me again. But this time they did not talk at all. All three were absolutely peaceful. But why did they have to come and sit behind me? There were only forty or fifty people on the plane; it was totally empty. I thought they would again start their business, but they were quiet.