One old man to another

At the check-in counter in the Delhi airport, I was carrying two very small handbags. One of them was smaller than the smallest.

There was a very long line. When I finally got to the head of the line, the man asked me where was the tag for my little grey bag.

“For such a tiny one you need a tag?” I asked him.

“Yes, you need it,” he said. So he sent me back to get a tag.

When I came back to the line, I said to the man who was second in line, “Perhaps you saw me earlier. I was already at the head of the line.”

“Yes, I saw you,” he said. “And even if you had not been here before, I would have allowed you to enter the line because you are an old man.”

I think he was about my age.

— 30 September 1984