' Do the Angels Live Here?

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Do the Angels Live Here?
By Edwin J F D'Souza

April 2, 2014

Although I nurse a dormant fear of flying, I really did look forward to this trip of ours, a short hop to Bengaluru with my Wife and Grandchild.

Our bundle of joy, a zipped file of  mischief and smart talk, my Grandchild had her way even at the age of seven. I am not flattering her because she is my Grandchild but this flattery coupled with amazement could be applied to the entire present generation which has replaced the slate with a tablet and text books with a laptop or a PC.

Yes, she had her way with the charming airhostess who took her up to the cockpit and returned her to us as the plane was about to take off. We were flying back to Bengaluru from Mangalore to deposit this little package of naughtiness with her parents, my Daughter and my Son-in-law. This little pixie had come to Mangalore to spend her summer holidays with us.

Window seat she demanded and she did get one.

As the powerful Airbus engines swelled and roared with energy, she had her face glued to the reinforced window glass pane. I was watching her intently, amused. The aircraft gathered take-off speed and the landing gear of the plane buckled and curled itself up, we could feel that we have left our beloved Mangalore earth. There was a tight feeling in my throat which appears every time I take a flight and watch through the window, Mangalore landscape shrinking and vanishing into the skyline.

I do get sentimental.

The landscape, seen from the top, if the skies are clear, is a patchwork of green handkerchiefs spread out on a flat table and coconut palms standing erect like candles on a birthday cake. Soon, they would vanish.

The Airbus took to its scheduled height and the Captain switched off the 'fasten seat belts' sign. No one bothered to get up to stretch their legs or ease themselves as the flight was was already halfway through to Bengaluru.

There was strange but venerable silence in the fuselage and looking through the window I could see soft, white clouds in various formations.

Suddenly, my Grandchild turned away from the window and asked me. ‘Aba, do the Angels live here?’

It took me sometime seconds to grasp her question and as if to substantiate my possible answer and brace for the next one, I too looked through the window.

It was an amazing sight, none too unfamiliar but awesome by any degree. The scattered clouds looked so beautiful, carefree and tranquil – far up up from the madding crowd down below. My Grandchild’s question was apt and even mind blowing to us, grown ups. What world we have left down there, about 36 or 37 thousand feet is very well known to us. The struggles, the tensions and the vagaries of life...uh. But what we have up here, the peace, tranquility and the sublime beauty has gone or is going unnoticed?  One cannot afford to fly as and when desired to delight in this beauty, right?

Totally out of control I turned into an emotional bundle of nerves and tears welled up in my eyes.
She noticed them.

‘Mai,’ she called the Grandmother who was sitting to my left. ‘This silly Aba is crying!’

Mai gave her a warm smile and said. “Yes, he is sad to leave you in Bangalore with your Mom and Dada!’

‘Mai, it is not Bangalore but it is Bengaluru!’ she corrected the Grandmother sternly. I looked at my wife and nodded.

The aircraft had already begun its descent and the Bengaluru lights were visible like those fixed on to a Christmas Crib. The dusk was settling in.

Collecting myself, I hugged my Grandchild and said. ‘There comes your Bengaluru!’

‘Yes, Aba,’ she said sounding serious and composed. ‘I think that is that lake near our house in Jayanagar!’

I could see nothing but a oval-shaped cloud formation.

‘Yes!’ I humored her. ‘And I can see your friend, that naughty devil, Niketh playing in that dirty water.’

The aircraft touched down and the passengers, in whichever world they were in for a good 25 minutes, were jolted back to reality, reality of being alive!



Comments on this article
Jean Nazareth, Mlore/ U.S.Monday, April 07, 2014
I enjoyed reading your article Edwin...reminded me of a very recent early morning 6.30am flight to Mumbai on Jet Airways felt like being in Heaven for an hour surrounded by white endless clouds and the beautiful Sun slowly peeps out at Dawn.
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Prabhu, MloreSunday, April 06, 2014
A narration is a false input is by the parents and the glory is shared by the kids.
All of us when kids are small tend to tell them fairy tales of heaven limbo earth and hell.
The abode of the gods with his angels is always described as above up in the clouds.
Now the output of the child is the input of the parents/ grandparents.and not from their imagination.
Ghosts/ Gongo' s live in dark corners
Comment on this message     

William Rodrigues, Milagres, MangaloreFriday, April 04, 2014
Edwin Sir,it is a beautiful article and very well narrated. I too had a similar experience during a long trip from Bangkok to Melbourne. It is true that when you get out of this ugly world one will see angles and that too through the eyes of little children. And it is a lovely lake in Jayanagar..Yediuyoor lake.
Keep it up Sir.
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Edwin JFD, MangaloreFriday, April 04, 2014
No harm done Mike, no offense taken. Thank you for your comments.
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Ash Rosh, DubaiThursday, April 03, 2014
Beautifully narrated,,, a simple incident converted to a wonderful piece of literature....
Good job Edwin baab, Would love to read more from you.....
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Mike, KSAThursday, April 03, 2014
Mr. D'Souza, maybe it is a mistaken identity, as the novel was running in one of the Konkani weekly almost 4 decades ago. When I read your article I suddenly remembered that novel. Anyway, dear Edwin,the narration in "Do the Angel live Here" is very lovely. It is not important what you said but how you said it. Keep it up. We await more and more articles from you.
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Edwin JFD, MangaloreThursday, April 03, 2014
No, I was not the translator.
Thanks for the information, Geoffrey.
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geoffrey, hat hillThursday, April 03, 2014
EJFD, If I'm not mistaken, 'Nisralyak lotun ghalo' was a Konkani translation of some Hadley Chase thriller in 80's. You weren't the translator of course!
Comment on this message     

Molly Noronha, KulshekarThursday, April 03, 2014
Nice article, enjoyed reading it, especially about the kid who is sweet, smart, intelligent and keen observant.
Comment on this message     

Edwin JF DSouza, MangaloreThursday, April 03, 2014
Which article and which DSouza you are referring to Mr.Mike, KSA?
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Vivian Kamath, Mangalore/USAThursday, April 03, 2014
God Bless.Warm wishes from the Kamaths.
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Mike, KSAThursday, April 03, 2014
Vivid and lovely presentation,that Mr. D'souza is always famous for. Remember the presentation and the style of "Nisrallyak Lotun Galo" ? Very interesting to read.
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Roshan Suvarna, Mangalore, Lower BendoreWednesday, April 02, 2014
Good One Sir!!!! God Bless your grand daughter who herself is a Little Angel!!!!
Comment on this message     

Mervin Thomas Pinto, Dubai/MangaloreWednesday, April 02, 2014
Dear Edwin,
Good one, enjoyed reading, especially about the little one, she is too smart for her age. God bless her.
Comment on this message     

geoffrey, hat hillWednesday, April 02, 2014
I guess it’s quite obvious for a 7 years old to ask this question as we normally gesticulate skywards whenever when refer to heaven, angels and Him. No wonder, it’s said 55 % communication is through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc) and kids are very quick to pick up signals emanating from body language.
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CGS, MangaluruWednesday, April 02, 2014
Aba,Mai and the little but very smart and intelligent Grand Child
flying from Mangaluru to Bengaluru! Beautiful piece of writing by Edwin in his exclusive style!
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