A little time changed almost everything, from a peaceful simple day to an extra adventurous one. And believe me I did not expect this much of being adventurous in less than twenty four hours of time.
So the previous night my cousin called me and asked me if I would help her with her wedding arrangements. It was more of a begging request, the way it sounded to me. And what with so little time, she has now, she really needed someone to calm her jitters and take over instead.
I said yes without even thinking, and realising the fact that she was asking for it instantly, the next day, as it happened. It is Navratri and I had no plans as yet, so I booked the next tickets, and was all set to leave right the next morning.
My packing routine was a disaster with more clothes lying on the bed than in the bag. And to top it my mom kept bringing things to carry for my brother. Yes, as it happens I might have said yes to my cousin also because I could meet my brother. So the night went by and morning brought a fresh day or so I thought. I thought now that the hassle is over; I simply have to fly there.
Oh but come on, this is me, who was I kidding, when has anything ever been so simple for me?
The basic schedule was my train would leave at 8:30, I’ll reach Howrah station by 12:30, and then I will leave for the airport and reach by 2:00 despite the traffic. Even if there was more traffic or my train got late, I could still catch the 4:40 flight that I was booked in. I had enough time in hand. Well, this was the plan!!
So I reached the station in the morning and got to know that the train was 2 hours late! There was no point in waiting there, and I live nearby so I went home, and returned at 10 only to be delayed even more. And that’s when the panic kicked in. I started to do the Math. I was hoping against all hopes. An already delayed train was only to delay even more, not over speed and make up for the lost time. There was only one other train in which I could go and that was late too. So I went to the ticket counter and asked for the timings, which she was ‘not sure’ about.
My dad had come to drop me this second time, so the good citizens that we were, had to go to another counter to buy the platform tickets for him, where the person sitting on the counter was mostly interested in drinking tea and well, gossiping. We were already so restless that we could lose it any second. Little did I know that I’d need that patience for the entire day?
The second train which I could have gone on was nowhere to be seen, and we were waiting on platform 4 where my train was supposed to come. It was almost 10:45 when it dragged along in platform 2 and they started announcing the change of platforms. I hauled my bag along again, to that place, because of course the escalator wasn’t working.
It left at 11.
The running time from my place to Howrah is 4 hours at the minimum, so even if I reached at 3, the chances were really thinning to get onto that flight.
Dragging, and walking the train reached at 2:40 to Santragachi (Right before Howrah) and I got down there. My dad had booked a car for me from there, which apparently was near from the airport, and reduced the chances of getting into traffic. (Sometimes I think so much dependent I am on my dad.) But again the cab driver kept telling that he was 5 minutes away from my place for fifteen minutes. I thought I had earned some time by getting down here, but then I had lost it in that 15 minutes wait. I lost it completely, and booked a prepaid taxi from there which was conveniently cheaper, and right in front of me. I really begged him to drive in a rush and reach the airport before 4. And after almost another 15 minutes the other cab driver called me and informed that he was there but couldn’t find me. I’ll admit here that I cut the call and pretended to not listen, and did not even care to inform him that I had left. But had I waited for him for half an hour I would have certainly missed the flight.
This taxi-man was really sweet and drove me straight to the airport and I reached sharp at 3:55. Even before I could get down, the driver jumped outside and took out my bag.
Well, the check in took 10 minutes and he really requested me to go directly to the gate, as the boarding had already started. With my laptop bag and everything, I went, only to be checked in once again, which took longer than I had anticipated. So by the time, I got in it was already 4:20 and they were announcing for the last calls!
I know, I could have gone straight, but how could I? Of course there was one last thing to do. My best friend had paid her monthly visit just minutes back, and I had things to look into.
I don’t know what I thought, but I made it at 4:25 and entered with the last warning call for boarding the flight! I had done it so many times with the train, the time ticking by, the train already leaving the station, and I’d get in in the last second, but catching a flight this way, was not on my books!
By then I had really lost it. I was exhausted running the whole day, and all I wanted was to go off to sleep. But of course I was huddled between the seats in the aisle and on the window. And the window person kept waking me for his lavatory break every 20 minute or so. Well, I also made a fool of myself, and was so drenched that I fiddled with the seat belt making it look like I was travelling for the first time, and even let a stranger help me with it. I thought then, that I didn’t care, but justly later I assumed, what a fool I made of myself!!
The next thing I knew was that they were announcing that we had arrived early and will land in another 5 minutes.
Honestly I didn’t even care if I had landed in another planet altogether.