I was looking forward to this day with great eagerness. 27th February 2009, the 25th Wedding Anniversary of my parents. Due to the “rigorous” procedures, I could get a leave for 28th only and I had convinced my parents to shift the celebration to 28th Feb. As it turned out, the day started hectically. Loads of classes, a Marketing quiz and French Class. Add to it the mild fever that I was having and it made the recipe for a frustrated person.
- 7:00 PM
Happy that I was to get a break to be with my parents, I reached the airport to leave for Delhi. Well, the planning was pretty good with the flight supposed to land at 9:45 PM and then I was to catch the train at 11:55 PM. Seems destiny had much more surprise for me in store.
The turn of the events started with the flight getting delayed by 40 minutes at the Indore Airport. Add 40 minutes, the landing time becomes 10:25 PM, I thought I can comfortably reach Delhi. The flight was in air exactly after 40 minutes delay and I thought luck was on my side.
- 10:00 PM
The pilot announced that due to congesting, the speed would be reduced. I cursed Kingfisher Airlines and Delhi Airport and the stupid congestion. ETA was now 10:45 PM. Safe …eh? I was trying to be optimistic. I could reach Delhi Station ( I forgot to tell.. it takes 1 hour drive from airport to station with traffic). I tried not to think much by immersing myself in music and Khushwant Singh’s Novel.
- 10:45 PM
We are above Delhi Airport, but will be moving away from it due to congestion. ETA 11:05 PM. Sorry for the inconvenience
Screwed !..The man sitting next to me sensed my frustration and asked. After hearing he couldn’t help much except words of comfort. Slowly he started irritating me whenever he saw me by saying
“Bete… touch and go case hai… waise to bahut mushkil hai..”
Arrrrgghhh !! I know…! 😦
- 11:05 PM
The flight lands and bad luck again follows. It had landed on the international runway and would take another 15 minutes to reach domestic airport. Why the hell do they not increase the capacity of airports??
- 11:20 PM
Finally I reached the domestic airport and made a rush for the baggage area. Took another 10 minutes to collect my luggage and rushed outside to find the cab driver I had hired beforehand. It was 11:30 PM and I asked him if I could make it to the station in time. What could he say.. He wanted to shake his head in a denial but preferred not to. I started coming to terms that my train would miss, so I called up my friend to search for next trains which I can take. It turned out that the next train was due at 4:55 AM.
- 11:50 PM
Cab driver told me that we are just near the station. I looked at the watch. Maybe I would be able to make it. I tried optimistically to be less pessimistic. Just when I saw the station, the metro barricade met us. The driver had to take a U turn and go through a longer route. I could only sit and watch..
- 11:55 PM
I rushed out of the taxi immediately after reaching the station. With luggage in both hands, I was running and the scene was similar to the one in the movie “Jab We Met”. I reached platform 8 only to find that there was no train. A chaiwala sensed that and called out
Gaadi nikal gayi 2 minute pehle…thoda der kar di aapne
- 12:00 AM
I came out and asked the cab driver (whom I had asked to wait) to take me to old Delhi railway station so that I can catch the next train. He got me there and I decided to get some food first. Then I went to the ticket counter and got myself a reservation on the next train. While waiting I met a person(ha had also missed the same train and was going by the same next train I was taking… what coincidence) who was my company for the next 5 hours. With the chilly wind blowing and me having no woolen clothes, the wait was unbearable. However, we two got along well..chatted.. had tea and finally the train arrived.
- 5:00 AM
With me inside the train, I went to sleep immediately. It was a good 8 hours sleep. The train again was late by two hours and I reached home at 6:00 PM on Saturday ! As they say, Just In Time for the celebrations !