Posted in autobiographical fiction

Well, it happened to me…

(… continued)

As the story goes I had missed my flight and there was nothing I could do. I mean not quite. I found myself trying to persuade the airline officer to get the gates open. Precious minutes lapsed and I could see the plane back up onto the runway.

Nope, it was nothing like in the movies! If I had been anyone but myself ( as in a movie), I probably would have had a humorous showdown keeping the flight delayed while I miraculously hustled into it. Well, I blame the movies for letting me down, for nothing of the sort happened.

I was perplexed. The plane had gone and I was unsure of my next move. Whom was I to ask what to do? I scanned the departure hall and wondered whom to approach or worse whether I was to call my dad! I shuddered at the thought.

My dad is not a talker so perhaps I was not going to receive a ” How could you miss the flight lecture”. However, I sure could picture his face when I told him what happened. And that was not good.

To me, it seemed like my brain needed more time to digest the information. I finally got myself talking to an airline official who felt bad for me. She volunteered to help, or so I thought.

She made a few calls at first and then guess what? She wanted to speak with my father! There was no escape for me now. I swallowed the lump in my throat. My heartbeat quickened. This was it.

First I miss my flight in a most bizarre manner and then now, I have to speak to my dad about it. I figured it was a day in Abaddon.

I dialled my dad’s number and handed my phone to the lady. She spoke with him and then said the words I had been dreading, ” your dad wants to speak with you.” My hands trembled. All my energy draining, I managed to mutter ” Hello”. I was preparing to encounter a poltergeist.

I heard a soft, cool and calm voice on the other end. Was that my father? Yes, it was. He was quick to give me instructions. He asked me to stay alert until he figured out how to help me. His voice was especially firm when he said, ” Don’t daydream.” He asked me to hold on until he called back and cut the line.

Talk about being surprised! That was not what I had expected.

The kind official who called dad led me to their staff quarters and asked me to wait outside. She was talking to a man who had a stark resemblance to Rowan Atkinson. He lifted his eyebrow and gave me a sideglance. He would perfectly fit the role of the Indian movie comedians who often became sidekicks to the hero. The lady kept referring to him as Peter, and Peter was not interested in ‘funny’. Apparently, he was her boss.

The lady came out and said, ” No seats dear”. They were out of seats on every other flight. There was no flight for me not only that day but every day for the rest of the week. It was, after all, the holiday season.

My luck could not go drier. Like everyone else at the airport, I wanted to reach home too. I glanced at my watch and it was already five hours since the time I missed the flight.

My dad called and I filled him in on the bad news. He said he has arranged for my uncle to pick me up. I was to spend the night at my uncle’s. There was no point anymore in staying back at the airport. It was another hour and a half before I could stretch myself on a bed.

As I lay there, I thought to myself, ” When was I going home and how?” Just then dad called again. He had arranged a car to transport me from my uncle’s house in Bangalore to my grandmother’s house in Kerala. I looked up the route on the GPS. It was going to be nine long hours to my destination.

The plan was that my mom and sister would join me by the time I got to grandma’s house. When I did get there, my sister was the first to receive me. She immediately said I looked like a walking zombie.

Well, I don’t blame her because the bumpy ride had turned my stomach into soup. My facial expression must have amply reflected how I felt.

It really was quite something that happened to me but then, in the end, I did learn something.

There may have been bad roads, but the scenic beauty was almost worth the journey.

What could have been a fifteen-minute flight, became a journey of gigantic proportions. It was fateful but could have been avoided if I had been more careful.

If anyone was to ask me about a memorable experience, this one could truly be called ‘the king.’

Posted in autobiographical fiction

Well, it happened to me…

Our world has come a long way in the past 20 to 30 years. Railways, metros and aviation have taken huge leaps in the realms of transportation. This advancement may be thanks to the human traffic that needs to get to places FAST and without any HULLABALOO. But,… mainly FAST. The problem is that the whole system hasn’t been perfected yet. There are still bad times when chaos and mayhem take control of centres such as airports and railway stations, where the crowd and crew go completely nuts. You would never to know why a flight delay would cause so much discomfort and distress unless you happen to be in such a scenario, also only proving to be making the place a lot more packed. Such bad times are extremely evident around times of worldwide celebrated holidays like Christmas and the time of the new year. And there is nothing more frustrating and sad than having to have missed a flight because of times just like these. And believe me, because that is exactly what had happened to me this Christmas.

It all started on the 21 of December. I was to take a flight from Cochin to Bangalore. As I had mentioned, it is one of the busiest times of the whole year. The airport was so crowded, that I’m pretty sure, that no one had seen it that jam-packed in the past two to three years. Well, I was sure to anticipate that it would be something like this at this time of year, and I had arrived at the airport way ahead of time. In fact, I was so early that I still had about two hours or so even after I had dropped all my luggage. I walked through security without any rush as if I had all the time in the world, and strolled through the duty-free and looked for something that I could gift my friends and family as if I had all the time in the world , and once it was time for the gates to open, I looked for a seat and sat by the gates.

Once the gates had opened, people rushed to the queue like an angry mob and I was pretty much left at the very end. At that point in time, it pretty much seemed like a good idea to stay seated until the queue got smaller because the queue looked a lot longer than the actual length of the plane itself. Well, I should have kept an eye on the queue at all times because when I did, I had no clue as to what had happened. There wasn’t a plane-sized queue any more. Nor were any flight officials at the gates. Was I dreaming? No, not really. Did I magically move to another gate? No, I didn’t. then where did the queue go? I was confused. There was no way that I could have missed a flight. Or so I thought. I asked a few people who were sitting next to me and they said the gate had closed three minutes ago.

The story after that has a lot of sad bitter feelings involved and wouldn’t have been the way I would have wanted that to have ended. But that’s not the important part. Its the thing that I learnt from such an experience, like on a day such as this, you must be alert and assess the situation properly. And it is ALWAYS a good idea to join a queue no matter how long it may be. And most important of all, now that it had happened, never let it happen again.

(… to be continued)