‘No Cover, Great Pleasure!’

When strange flus from hell are raging everywhere.

In an Airbus packed with passengers, I was perhaps the only one wearing a mask (I didn’t catch anyone else in a mask, either at boarding or in the craft). Echoes of coughs and sneezes were sending chills down my spine. I didn’t want chills!

I was on edge.


We were taxiing. Presently, the large gentleman across the aisle from me let out a humongous ‘hachchoo!’ that felt like a bad case of air turbulence. But we were still on the ground!

Then he let out another, equally turbulent temblor. The thing that unnerved me was his strange idiosyncrasy that a sneeze is more enjoyable if you don’t cover your mouth — with mask, hand, elbow, book, newspaper, barf bag — anything! ‘No Cover, Great Pleasure!’ seemed to be his perverse credo.

That last one pushed me over the edge and I involuntarily let out a loud ‘thank you very much!’.

The large gentleman across the aisle sneezing his guts out turned to look at me. He stared at me for what felt like a minute, but I’m sure it was just a couple of seconds. I kept looking straight like ‘what? what? I didn’t say anything!’. But from the corner of my eye, I could feel his gaze.

Anyhoo! The rest of his in-flight sneezes were semi-covered. I didn’t enjoy them, and I’m sure neither did he.

Thank you very much!

Published by Anupam Choudhury

I'm a writer, editor, and blogger from New Delhi, India.

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