The husband and I were planning our annual trip home. I was busy packing the house and myself.
I have never been able to travel light, it’s a problem I’m well aware of. I carry the most (un)important things with me: hair dryer (I’ve used it once in the last year), a sweater, which I have not worn in a million years (the tag is still intact), shampoo and conditioner (this may sound important but it’s not. All my houses now have a backup stash), a random saree (knowing I can rob ma’s wardrobe), running shoes (I don’t run, not unless chased by a dog. The last time I wore those shoes was when I was trying to crawl to lose some weight).
“Main nahin carry karunga tera bag. Yaatri apne saamaan ke liye khud zimmedaar hai”, the husband declared.
I sulked while he repacked for me. And now, I was traveling with only a purse (I am not exaggerating).
The moment we stepped foot at the airport, I could see “Delayed” written all over everyone’s faces. Our aircraft was lost somewhere over Ludhiana/Jalandhar/Pathankot due to bad weather (so they said).
A five year old boy was running unsupervised with a car-shaped bag and a box of Pringles. We sighted a couple exclaiming, “So cute!” at the little boy. The husband was trying to locate the “unruly” child’s parents and I was busy scheming on how to rob the child of his quirky car bag and his box of Pringles.
Tired of the boy’s antics, we buried our faces in our phones.
Everyone was leaving except for us, so, we ate to kill time; we stared at our phones to kill some more time, and finally, I got a long lecture on how I should travel only with bare minimum like one toothbrush, one change of clothes, and one multi-purpose cream that must work as a mosquito repellent, moisturizer, anti-pimple cream, hand sanitizer, and anti-human cream (I was convinced I wasn’t going home).
After what seemed like three decades, the airline unapologetically announced how sorry they were for the inconvenience caused and that it was time to drag ourselves to the aircraft.
We waited impatiently for the bus to carry us to the aircraft, while Mr. Airline Crew scribbled something on our boarding passes. Our seats were changed from 1A and 1B to 11A and 11B. I was beyond disgusted. As a mark of protest, I decided to sit in the aisle.
The husband boarded the bus and waved at me, while I was asked to stay back because the bus was overflowing with displeased travellers.
A few others and I were waiting forever in the second bus (the husband called to check if I had left the airport), when a certain Mr. Dashing Cricketer marched in. Even before my pea brain could get his name correct, I was smiling at him, smitten and starstruck. He smiled back and before I realized, I had crashed into another person (the bus started abruptly and I didn’t think it was necessary to hold onto something). Apologies and embarrassment followed.
Mr. Dashing Cricketer and his wife were seated in 1A and 1B. I pestered the husband to come along and take pictures and also mention that they have our seats. He slept off while I eavesdropped on a conversation.
Mr. Airline Crew was telling Ms. Airline Crew to make sure nobody disturbed Mr. Dashing Cricketer, his wife, and their child.
I wanted to sneak up to them but I was scared of the consequences. What if they put me in jail? No one wants to go to jail.
Our journey wasn’t over. We were to take a connecting flight from the capital. My ultimate plan was to go up to Mr. Dashing Cricketer, while everyone else disembarked, to exchange pleasantries and pictures.
However, fate has always had outrageous plans for us. The moment we landed, Ms. Airline Crew rushed (pretty much threw) us outside.
“This is the last and final call for Ms. Not-so-famous Blogger and Mr. Husband travelling by one of the most punctual airlines to the City of Joy. Please sprint your way to gate number infinity or we’ll leave you here”.