Psychology of an innocent teen,grown in closed colony environs who flies abroad for study
Fear of The Unknown(R1)
As I arrived at the airport departure lounge, my mother's been advising, "Take care my child, do not stir out alone in the new place, don't believe strangers, keep contact with us always"; a volley of advises pouring on.
It' natural concern of a mother over her darling daughter! But am I attentive to her? Why am I so nervous? What's wrong with me? Asks one side of my mind.
Other side of my mind is scaring "What if I get hooked up to a deceiving cab driver on my arrival at the destination airport?, No I shouldn't fall trap, pray God, I get a reliable taxi" " I have heard of news item in that country, cases of violence on foreigners", ........... "recent case of a french student got outraged of her modesty........." "What to do if the roommate herself becomes one with the seniors in ragging? "I have read recent news of a junior committing suicide unable to bear the onslaught of ragging........"
"Hey, have you kept your travel papers safe and handy?" Dad's mellow voice pulls me out of that turmoil in my mind with a thud! "Did you keep on top your invitation letter? I mean, one that's required to be shown at reception? Have you checked all papers required for admission? ......again a shower of questions pouring in. I noticed the pain of losing my company, even if momentary, in his dull eyes.
"It's all done dad, rechecked also" I confirmed, putting up courage, on my face.
Yes it's my friends waiting at the lounge to send me off. I rush to drop of my luggage at the counter. After a wait for my turn, I return to friends and parents at lounge.
Overwhelmed with all these interactions my mind was slowly becoming numb and unreactive, not able to concentrate on anything! I felt sad for the state of my mind, I was unable to even say a few good words before leaving parents and friends. I finally bid good bye to them, got a warm hug of mom and dad, walked to board the flight.
I was heavy with feeling of separation loved ones. Apprehensions of unexpected troubles on alighting took a back seat for a moment. Activities, introductory announcements of pilot, and safety demonstrations were strange to me as it was first time I took to air flight. I was attentive, anxious to know, earnestly hearing and knowing about each one of them. Co travellers sported a casual air making me feel slighted in their presence. Frequent announcements alerting about the plane passing through rough weather asking passengers to be seated with seatbelts tied, kept me on my nerves. People rushing back to their seats in response to alerts was frightening. Supply of food and beverages by flight attendants, kept me wide awake, though I was starving for sleep. After a long ordeal a welcome announcement gave me relief. The flight was about to land at my destination!
It was vee hours of early morning we alight into arrival terminal of the airport on the foreign land. A strong rumour was spreading in the destination airport that they have received a call of terror about the airport being one of many places bombs are planted. People were talking of bomb blast any time anywhere. Passengers were being subject to stringent security checks. Baggage were waiting for scrutiny before loading to conveyors at luggage delivery place causing delay. Dog squads were seen everywhere sniffing unusual items and people here and there. An air of suspicion and fear in the minds of all in the airport makes them hurry up clearance to reach their destination to safety. A loud sound of siren blasted over mike system. Within minutes a large battalion of security appears at one corner, Dog squad were seen cordoning off a small area , red alert sounded asking people to keep off from that area. A strong chill went down my spine. I was frightened to the core. My body was shivering with fear. People were surreptitiously discussing how to run to safety at the earliest.
Unexpectedly I met a friend who travelled in the same flight as I did.He was also going to the same university campus as I had to go , a new entrant like herself. I was in no better in mind set, frightened to core and shivering due to the rumour.
After a series of security hurdles we stood in que for a prepaid taxi. Waited for taxi for hours and the fear of bomb scare continued . People talked all types of possible attacks and their past experiences in a hush hush wisper. After a long wait we got into a cab, started commute to the destination. The cab zooms through the fast lane. An ambulance rushes past our cab continuously ringing alert bell to seek its right of way. An army convoy of identical bluegreen trucks, one behind the other were moving in a parallel line. All civilian traffic including our cab suddenly come to halt making way to the convoy. Unable bear all the happenings we were trying hard to muster courage, keep our cool.
On arrival at the university reception lounge we waited for the guide to take us to our rooms after registering in. It was early morning dawn sunrise time atmosphere was calm and quiet in contrast to the rush and hubbub we underwent. Still the fear and bomb scare was lurking in my mind all along, the rumour of terror attack made it further intense. As the morning sun appeared the TV in the lounge came to life. A few minutes on, a breaking news item flashed. The city police chief appears on the monitor. We suddenly became alert to hear with attention the announcement. As our guide walks in , the police chief congratulated the entire security personnel for their excellent demonstration of security alertness to the mock rumour purposely floated to check their alertness! We felt a huge relief from the fear and trauma we underwent. It was a further relief from the fear and suspicion lurking in our mind as we were received by the guide courteously and led us to our pre decided hostel rooms custom designed with all facilities and comforts expected for a student.
On a reflection of the happenings in the immediate past we laughed for ourselves over our weakness of overdoing the "Fear of the Unknown!"
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