What do I say? Just as i thought the year 2008 was NOt ending, well so much had occured in the last one year wanted it to end soon, it got over. The new year came and went. Till 2009 January 1, i wasn’t evne thinkin of the Rotary Peace & conflict resolution course i was selected for. How could I? There was office, ideas, bringing out sunday edition, plus so many other nitty gritties of mundane life – yes that bloody darn banks. (That’s a separate blog input i want to write soon). Tying up loose ends, leaving money for aged parents, winding up fm Cell service companies, utilities, etc etc. In all this maize i had presumed the dear Indian Airlines had got me booked a seat, ocnfirmed for the 11th night flight. Apparently i was mistaken.
I’d asked Shruti (My friend fm PTI) to request her father to upgrade me using his clout, yes being a journalist i thought i cld use this previledge. I needed to carry reading material, copies of my newspaper, etc…her father happened to tell shruti tell neeta call him as he did not see my name on the airline system. Now that is not a surprise for me, things are complicated and full of excitement in every moment of my life.
Fm then on 5.30pm to 7.30pm, i was on either the landline or cell phone. Finally after trying to convince the nerdie, moron call centre employees who were asked to tell me that i was not ‘contactable’ what english is this????? i had to use my authority as a senior journalist to get the duty manager’s telephone numb. Gosh why is it soooooooo difficult to tell an Indian look, its ur job to give me the person’s number if i am s[ending my own money to make this call for enquiring why the airline has chosen to cancel my flight without informing me. that lil chappie then told me that it was because of the fog? I was compelled to say, yeah in ur head, coz there is NO fog in Mumbai city…there was NO winter till i left….
finally after sweet talking the duty manager in our mother tongue i got a confirmed seat for that night itself…i’ve never rushed at such speed fm Fort, to Home to the airport. Here it was agonising to be on the feet for 2 and a half hours! No i am not exaggerating…its a fact. There were long winding queues, customs officials who simply unreasonable and yes the systems shut down just when our number is called out…grrrrhhhh….it happens ONLY in India sooooo very frequently.
I only could remember calling Warangkana, poor thing it was their time 11.45pm, telling her how my whole schedule had gone for a toss….well, i managed to get onto a flight, which was one of the worst flights ever. The pilot refused to inform us that the aircon had failed and that is why we were getting warm air from those ancient ducts. Instead we had a rather over bearing stewardess who curtly told passengers that the message had bee sent to the pilot and pl be seated! I’m sure in some other country (Especially in US) the stewardess and pilot would’ve been sued. But you see this is India…anything can happen at any time.