One Day i n Purgatory

For very long there has been 1 question that has challenged every single individual who has ever walked on Earth, and is still challenging those breathing the very air in our atmosphere, ‘Have I made the right decision?’, even when Steve Jobs decided to quit Reed University after attending classes for first 6 months, he questioned this to himself, but his instincts questioned his everyday life and so he trusted his instincts. When Chanakya went to King Dhanand to warn him of the approaching threat from the west, that was Alexander the great, he knew he would be insulted and humiliated, and so he had questioned, ‘is it the right thing to directly talk to king?’, at that time his diffident attitude forced him to follow his instincts, and so he did. A very similar situation was faced by me around 17 days back on 6th Dec 2015, when I was asked if I would like to work with national committee of AIESEC Malaysia in the area of Information Management, it was a challenging role, something that always grabs my attention, but I took time to rationalize the entire situation in my mind and make a conscious decision based on reality. The existing reality suggested that I should go for it, and so I made a choice to gear up and prepare myself mentally. My conviction and my instincts however, still questioned and warned me that this might not turn out good. But I decided to trust the reality and go ahead with it.

And 15 days later it was actually happening, I took a early morning train to Mumbai, from Ahmedabad to catch a flight to Kuala Lumpur later that night. The morning was cold and my city was still in the arms of sleep, with everyone possibly hiding under their cozy blanket, but I rushed to the station boldly facing the cold breeze brushing through my body. It was a 7 hour train journey, and most of the time I compensated with sleep that I had to give up in order to catch the train. Finally I had reached, I got down at Borivalli station and took a local to Andheri. I knew that airport is in Andheri so it would be best to stay there for a while till time for check in arrives, I spent 3 hours in a cafe, reading book and had a good afternoon meal. After 3 long hours, I marched to international terminal with lot of excitement and nervousness running through my blood. It all seemed very simple because this was not the first time I was travelling abroad, I had checked in and was waiting to board the flight at gate 69A. I had a smooth flight, luckily I got a window sit, and soon fell asleep as soon as the flight took off, After 6 hours of flight I finally arrived at the destination, and I felt the wait is over and I’m finally here. But it wasn’t…….

While going through the immigration check the officer looked at me with a suspicion and took to a room, where I was questioned from top to bottom. Soon I had realized that these people think I’m a criminal. And they used every single technique they possibly could in order to make confess that I have ulterior motives from this trip. The officers tortured me physically and mentally, but I did not lose patience and absorbed and digested everything. After 2 hours of torture when they realised that I might not be a criminal, they decided to put me in a cell confiscating all my belongings. I was told that I will be going back to Mumbai by an evening flight. I was ripped off any sort of communication from the outer world, the only world I had was my cell with my isolation. I had to kill time in order to survive that situation, because there was no possible activity, to keep me engaged. Finally 12 hours later I was escorted to flight back to Mumbai, and everyone around looked at me as if I was a potential threat to their life. This preposterous inhumane act based on meaningless assumptions ruined my day.

To add fuel to fire, the immigration at Mumbai airport further questioned my intentions. I explained them everything and upto some extent tried to make them understand. Finally after spending 26 hours in what was equivalent to purgatory, I went back to Borivalli station where I met a guy who was going back to Surat, he told me that he had faced a situation similar to mine earlier, and that it was nothing but a way of getting money from tourists. I seemed to me like a reasonable explanation because all they did was take my money and torture me. And all the time only 1 thing that kept pinching my brain was that my instincts and conviction never were in favour of this trip.

Apart from that I realized that we are living in a world filled to parsimonious and obstinate people, who have their minds filled with stereotypes about certain set of people. I will never forget this experience that goes without saying, but further I pledge to sort this situation just so that in future other innocent people do not go through what I had gone through. This act of inhumane treatment of people will stop, this cannot go on, no person has a right to treat another person in the way I was treated, even animals shouldn’t be treated like that. Looking at the positive side of this experience, I just got a very cool story to share with my kids and my friends. And all life does is try to give you stories that decide your future journey.

Also I realized that no matter how sensible the reality might be, your conviction and instinct always will be much more sensible than anything else. And there is never a wrong choice there is always a choice, and you learn from the consequences of the choice.

Like what you read? Give Mahir Bhatt a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.