So you can realize what a nervous wreck I was, when I was walking to the podium. I was invariably gonna be pitted against this stalwart speaker, but as Randy Pausch says in "The Last Lecture"- "Brick walls are not there to stop you. They are there for you to climb over". I took a deep breath and delivered my P3 to much applause and appreciation.
Here is my P3 speech for those interested. As always any and all reviews are more than welcome -
The Aero - Drama
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players”
One fine day while I was reading Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” on board a flight, I was intrigued by what Mr. Shakespeare had just proposed and decided to test his hypothesis and try to identify what characters do people play. But due to the humble origins of my brain and my limited access to the vast resource called “Intelligence” very much unlike Mr. Shakespeare, I had to settle for a much smaller sample of available test subjects – the people on the airport. On that fateful day my friends, I created, consolidated and coined the “Aero Drama”.
Good Afternoon my fellow Toast Masters and guests.
“Aero-Drama” is the drama that enfolds everyday at the major airports in this case the Bangalore International airport. As with all stage productions “Aero Drama” has its set of props and the backstage crew. But what makes “Aero Drama” really special are the various complex characters and the stellar cast that gives life to those characters with perfection and such élan. Trust me they will pique your interest as soon as you see them.
So without further ado let me introduce you to these characters or rather categories of characters due to the sheer number of people playing them.
1) The New Born: This category was inspired by Mr. Shakespeare. Not that these people retch and howl like newborn babies, but because they look at everything with wide eyed wonder. It’s as if they are seeing everything for the first time. I once saw a woman pointing out the Café Coffee Day counter to her companion with such wondrous excitement as if she had never seen a Café Coffee Day before in her life, that too in Bangalore where you find a Café Coffee Day at a stone’s throw away at every nook and cranny. And God forbid you sit next to one in a flight. I once had the misfortune of sitting next to one and the poor fellow kept bending over to my side of the window so much that I offered him my window seat, for the fear that he may cramp his back out of his sheer curiosity. And once the airhostess brought the trolley it was the other way round.
There is a nervous energy around these people and they are either at the verge of tears or are ready to snap back because they are either too late or too early.
2) The Young Adults: These are the people who are now accustomed to the general routine of the airport. You will see them going around the airport as if it is their daily business and with a perpetual smirk on their faces. What is really noticeable though is the way their faces contort in disdain when they see the newborns uh! Despicable species them newborns. So to avoid any such confrontation these people are mostly seen spending their time at the various shops at the airport. Nothing seems to ruffle their feathers except a flight delay/cancellation announcement, a foreigner or the rumor of a celebrity landing on the airport. On one occasion I had just arrived at the airport, and found the entire place in mayhem. Rumor was that Priyanka Chopra had landed on the Bangalore airport for a hush-hush soiree with her friends. Poor Newborns were just left crying as the Young Adults went berserk.
3) The Old Observer: In my opinion this is the classiest and the most dangerous category of characters at the airport. These are experienced veterans having earned their fare share of King Fisher miles, though of what use they are now only they can tell. Nothing seems to have any effect on them as they have seen it all and then some more. You will mostly find them carefully observing each and every nuance of people on the airport from behind their laptops, their Victorian classic romances or while pretending to doze off. Nothing misses their eye, talk about taking a leaf out of Sherlock Holmes. This is the category that is the most interesting and terrifying at the same time. They give you that creepy feeling on the back of your neck when you are being watched.
If you look at them closely enough, the characters of “Aero Drama” though specific to the airport bear a more than general resemblance to the characters we encounter in our everyday lives. We can all identify some aspects of “The NewBorns”, “The Young Adults” and “The Old Observer” in people we meet everyday. Well -“All men and woman merely players”, Mr. Shakespeare rightly said. Hypothesis hence proved.
So the next time you are at the airport try identifying these characters for yourself and see which one are you. And for those of you trying to guess which character am I? well I wrote the speech, go figure.
P.S. - I got a video recorded. Will post the link here as soon as I have it. I added a lot of anecdotes at the spur of the moment and changed the order of a few of the ones mentioned here.