#TravelDiaries : Women and Airport Prayer rooms

To enjoy travel within budget it helps if one is tiny like me. Leg space is never an issue be it buses, trains, airplanes or even autos. And if Nidradevi is on your side too, phir to kya kehna. Seat pe paanv chadao, cosy ho ke so jao. (Well I can doze off standing in a Mumbai local or even as a pillion on a motorbike, so a seat is luxury). But even then a nine hour flight followed by a 7 hour layover (over night) with another 7 hour flight to go isn’t the best for your back, tiny or not. And add to that the refrigerated temperatures of the airports! Even if one manages to find an empty stretch-out chair, the temperature scares Nidradevi away.

So after trying to sleep, turning about in a super hard airport chair and four more hours to go I decide to make some good use of my time and stretch my muscles. Remembered reading a tweet where a person used the “prayer room” typically for muslim namaaz to meditate. So off I went to find one to stretch my back and do some asanas.

As I tried to enter the room, a lady standing at the door stopped me and said “Masjid hai ye, toilet nahi hai”. Yeah in Hindi and No Main desh mein nahi hoon. I was like “ji auntyji mujhe yahin jaana hai, meditate karna hai, aur dharm ke log jaa to sakte hain na” ( meditation bolne mein kya jaata hai, will be more convincing i thought :d) . She said with much authority “thik hai jao”.
So in I go expecting some serene prayer room. What I see is a Gupshup Kendra. Those who have seen railway ka second class waiting rooms, the atmosphere wasn’t very different. Ladies were maaroing gappa, some were changing and getting ready for their flight , few were snoring away to glory using the namaaz carpets as their sleeping mats. Of course I didn’t go unnoticed, as I was doing my pranayam heard one aunty whisper to another “kya kar rahi hai ye ladki”, the wiser aunty answered “Yoga kar rahi hai shayad. Karne do koi baat nahi” . The wiser aunty was the one who had pointed out to me that the room was a masjid and not a toilet. Turns out her daughter was one amongst the sleeping gang!

If only I had checked out these multipurpose prayer rooms before. Neend bhi ho jaati aur thand bhi nahi lagti !

Have to say our Pakistani ladies log are as resourceful as us desis, as resourceful and as jugaadu. Real estate ka full fayda uthao. Yes those Hindi speaking women were all Pakistanis.

So next time you are having to spend a night at an airport, You know where to get cosy and stretch your way to sleep without freezing away in the air conditioned cold. Thank me later folks 😃


ॐ शान्ति |



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