I wondered who my seatmates would be for the long flight. The older I get, the lower the tolerance anymore. Being a hermit in an ashram is not helping!
Two young people. Perhaps in their mid-twenties. Good looking. I hit the jackpot!
The guy looked like he was an Indian-American. Very fashionable at that--a jacket worn over a white shirt with the top two buttons not clasped. A hip stubbly beard. My people are eye candy, dammit! ;)
A few minutes into the flight, we exchanged the customary introductions. I made sure I stayed prim and proper--I didn't want him to think I was getting into small-talk because of the Indian connection; after all, he doesn't know how much I love small talk.
The fashionable young man decided to explore the Indian roots. "Are you originally from Gujarat?"
There's always a first for everything, I suppose.
"Nope. I grew up in the southern part. My parents live in Madras ... Chennai."
"Interesting. Because you have such a facial resemblance to Modi."
I laughed. "Every time I go to India, people tell me that. I think they are insulting me because I don't like Modi's policies."
Small talk requires lobbing the ball back. "What's your interest in Gujarat?"
"My parents are from there. I am an American, they immigrated here. I still have grandparents in Gujarat and I visit there once in a while."
He now tossed back the ball. "Do you live in California?"
"I used to. Now, Oregon is home."
"All my life has been in Chicago" he said. "If you spend that kind of time in the place, then you develop the attributes of the place."
I smiled. "In that case, I guess I should represent the stereotypical Oregon attribute of mellow and friendly."
He vigorously nodded a yes. This fellow had quite some pep in him. I wish all young folks were as energetic as he was, and so much at ease with himself.
"Mellow. Friendly. Progressive. ... All the way to Seattle."
We left it at that. Small talk ended. I dozed. Ate. Read. Dozed.
The plane started descending.
"Tell your people you met Modi" I joked to the young man by way of wrapping up our interactions.
"Maybe I should have taken a photo with you" he quipped.
I looked out. Not a mountain in sight. Not even a small little hillock. Not Oregon, indeed.
I hoped I would run into some mellow, friendly, and progressive people before I returned to my ashram.