The 22nd bead

A quiet lounge at the Delhi airport, Terminal 2. I was strolling around waiting for GoAir to open their counters for check in. I was in a contemplative state. When the counters opened, I checked in and proceeded to the security check points.

Here I had to remove my irrationality bracelet and keep it in the tray. The bracelet is not only a piece of jewellery, but also a very exciting teaching tool for me. It sparks curiosity in whomever I show it to and gives me immense pleasure in explaining the Maths behind it. Just a couple of hours ago I had adjusted the hook to sit slightly tighter on my hand so that it could stop moving up and down.

The security check was hassle free and the contents in the tray and my bag came out of the X-Ray scanner without any alarm, not that I was hoping for any noise. 🙂 I put the laptop in my bag and the wallet back to its rightful place. As I was slipping on the bracelet, all of a sudden, the chain broke, and all the 22 beads flew about everywhere on the airport floor. It wasn’t a Gaussian distribution.

That’s when all the security guards and some passengers suddenly noticed me running behind the beads. Very thoughtful of them, some of the onlookers picked the beads nearby and once I had collected the ones I had eyes on, very politely gave them to me. Then came the chief of security, a bit concerned and doubtful about the nature of the beads, carefully picked one near him, examined it and after being satisfied asked “did you get all of them?”.

I thanked everyone for their help and counted the beads. There were 21, there should have been 22. Disappointed and disturbed on not being able to find the 22nd bead, I walked toward the boarding gate. As I walked, I made a mental note to ask my mother-in-law to use a stronger string next time for the bracelet. Right, she is the one who made it in the first place.

On my way, I charged my mobile at the kiosk and recharged myself at Subway with a Mexican sandwich. Meanwhile, I also sketched a face in my diary and was successful in arousing the curiosity of my fellow passenger who wanted to know who the hero was. I politely said “No one, just my imagination.”

Well then, I headed toward Gate 26 that was on the floor below. Out of habit, I took the stairs instead of the escalator. After a couple of hard and heavy steps, I heard the sound of a stone bead jumping on the steps. Watched in awe and utter surprise at first, then followed it to the end of its journey to the bottom of the steps.

Then the light bulb glowed, my mind’s Sherlock woke up. The jeans I wore were long and I had folded them at the bottom. This 22nd bead had fallen into that fold and nestled there happily until it experienced a strong reaction force from my heavy steps down the stairs.

Happy at the return of the prodigal bead, I put it back into my bag along with the others and gladly boarded my flight to Bengaluru.

That’s when I thought that I should pen down the experience, because in the matter of a few seconds, the routine and boring activity of going through the security check had turned into an adventure. These unexpected moments of deviation from routine are what make life interesting.

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Sriraghavan S M

Sriraghavan (Raghu) is an Astronomer by qualification (MSc, Astronomy, Bangalore University) and a teacher by passion. He is a trained counsellor and psychotherapist. His firm belief and conviction to transform the education system in India led him to be an entrepreneur through NumberNagar®. His core work at NumberNagar® revolves around product presentations, academic content, and training. He teaches Maths and Science to young students, rubbing off his passion to them. He trains teachers as well, inspiring them to better themselves. He has taught Physics in educational institutes, during his early career days. He has travelled extensively all over Karnataka, training teachers and popularising Astronomy. He advocates multiple intelligence and is constantly on the lookout for new things to learn. He is ambidextrous and enjoys sketching. He was an avid cricket player in his younger days. He is an enthusiastic biker and uses long solo motorcycle rides as means of reflection and rejuvenation.

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