So we were looking at faith and universal conspiracies in the back drop of my family’s return to Bangalore in the last blog. It was all about how finer points get missed while booking , looking for bargains. This later creates such a upheaval that you start becoming a philosopher. If life progresses with predictable linearity, where is the place for stories and blogs? Yet all these are good to talk afterwards. During, it is a pain filled, heart in mouth thing.
All 3 of us had checked in, got lucky with kids basketball at the Raipur airport and were then told of further delay to our flight. We had a tight connection to make, later at Bombay and now it looked hopeless. The powerful jokers playing with our lives in celestial spheres were betting on the outcomes. Score was -8 to +2 stacked against us.
This flight from Raipur to Bombay had a diversion to Vizag so was taking about 4 hours or more. Normal flight time to Bombay is 2+ hours. As I was talking about these to the steward he said, why did you not book something from Vizag itself. As if I knew or would have cared at that (booking) time. Bargain and availability was what I and Wify dear were seeking. Like so many things the ground realities are not visible while planning. Then it is about time estimates, schedule convenience and cost optimisations. Things like, a kid having check-in-alble and classified sports stuff and inter airport dashes are not considered. Only experience provides that perspective and then we will term it as risk assessment. And after that we become the experts on travels connections. Will advise all that seek similar routes this piece of mind and deprive them of a blog worthy experience.
Guess dotty dear understood that this is a ride to remember or she had faith in us. She was pretty cool. All she cared was about what was there for food (Airindia still serves food). That provided distractions enough and we landed in Vizag. There I heard another young women replaying plight similar to ours to the supervisor of the hosting staff. “It is your fault, so hold the plane for us”, she commanded. The super said if you were on my airlines I would have. Since you are on Spicejet you are on your own.
I inserted myself into the conversation and said we are three more here so what do we do ? Can she ask the pilot to fly faster ? Well she said you will reach Bombay by 4:50 pm so you have some chance still. The panic in the other passengers large eyes was clear. We pleaded a bit more and then again the karma thingy came to mind. I was thinking we will land well past time. The ETA was 4:35 with a 45 min delay thought it would be 5:10 minimum. With the Super’s assurance it looked we got another good turn. Score -8:+3.
Plane took off and we continued our worries but felt a little better since we had company, misery loves company. Despite all the confusion Dotty said she is hungry and wanted to know what will be in store now. Last time it was a tiny sandwich and juice box. I said it depends where they packed out food. If it was Raipur then we will get northy stuff like samosa, cutlet. If it were Bombay then may be wada pav and if in Vizag then upma and curd rise. I was kidding and the kid did not buy that line of thought. When food tray came she demanded to the hostess that it better be something other than Upma. Hostess laughed and gave her lunch with rice, dal and paneer and a sweet and a bun with butter. Food was ok ok, Dotty said it is like her canteen food and went about decimating it. Airline food , canteen food. I could manage to eat only half of it and gave up. She on the other hand had her fill and sought some cold coffee and was ok when the hostess smiled and said not now for that.
As the food settled and the plane droned on at the cruising altitude something stirred at the back of conscience. Not a niggle, not a worry, a small but positive stir. Tiny but a definite conviction that we will make it by skin of our teeth. Barely but will. Not sure how and where it came and why. May be mind’s self-defense. Things ( Facts i.e.) looked so hopeless that it needed a security value, if not the panic would blow it off. I saw the cool demeanor of Dotty as she finished the tray asked few more fundamental questions ( on our plan of action, why Indigo is on time and Airindia is not, what are the chances of Spicejet getting late …) and then settled down with a game, head phones hooked. Kids have their own coping strategies. These approaches ignore the grownups thinking. She is soo To The Point in asking questions, very selective in listening and then dismissive of us all with the headphones on
Soon enough we were descending and landed at 4:45 and taxi and exit happened by 4:50. Score -8:+4, point for that stir and actually making it with just 10 min delay.
Things were still in balance, we have the checked in baggage, the ride to the domestic and security and yet another check-in to be done. Slow panic was rising again. The Cosmic beings were little tense themselves. Knife edge walking is not fun.