Monday, May 19, 2014

The Duty Free Shop incidence.....

During one of my trips home, after all the boring rituals, we finally boarded the aircraft and things were getting ready for the take-off. After some time we realized that something was wrong. We were well past the departure time but the aircraft door was still open. Couple of flight attendants were standing near the aircraft door peeping out as if expecting somebody.

The delay could not have been for some VIP, as such things do not happen in these parts. Most probably it could have been for some poor soul who got drunk and lost the way to the boarding lounge. Such things do happen often!

I remember, during one of my earlier trips, as I was waiting in the lounge, I saw couple of airport staff going around calling out a guy's name on their walkie-talkie. After searching the whole airport they found the missing passenger somewhere in an isolated corner of the airport fast asleep after taking a few shots from the liquor bottle he bought from the duty free shop.

Coming back to the current incidence, the clock ticked away and by now we were getting quite restless with the waiting. After what seemed like an eternity, there was a commotion at the entrance to the aircraft. A man walked in with his trolley bag and a huge duty-free bag in his hand, accompanied by two official looking men on either side of him. As they paused at the entrance of the aircraft the officials seemed to be admonishing the passenger who was apologizing profusely, almost touching the official's feet. Soon the officials left and the man was escorted to his seat by one of the flight attendants who helped him put away his luggage in the overhead storage compartment.

The man sat down and immediately was on his mobile phone and called someone and started saying "Brother you won't believe what happened! God put me to test today... I was at duty-free shop and while paying at the cash counter they found some items in my brother. I came to this place to do God's work, why will I steal...God came to my rescue...He saved me.....". The flight attendant asked the man to switch off his mobile phone as the flight was ready to take off. By then he had made another call and started repeating the whole thing again "brother, you know what happened....God saved me.....".

No one around asked him how the items got in his bag, for everyone must have assumed the obvious, including me! How judgmental! But, how can some items just get into somebody's bag! Did someone put them in his bag to set him up! Did he upset someone so much that they went to such an elaborate plan to get him trapped!

Could he have deliberately stolen the stuff , very confident that he will not be caught! Such things happen with some people who think that they are very holy and very God fearing. They consider themselves as different from others, that they have reached a level above the rest, very close to God! Such belief becomes so strong that over time, the line between righteousness and self righteousness starts becoming very thin. So thin that they start believing that whatever they do must be right! After all, with all the service and good work they are doing for God, how could they do anything wrong! If something were to go wrong, they even question God with "why Lord, what wrong have I done?".

I do not know if God had saved him that day or not but he was surely saved by the generosity of the airport officials. Otherwise surely he would have faced couple of months of jail time including deportation! Could the man have learned his lesson that day! I wonder!


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