For memories sake and for the record.
This is a narration of how The Scientist, Chittu and I almost missied our flight from Delhi to Bangalore after this trip.
We were to fly back from Dilli on a Monday morning by the 7.15 flight. That would mean we'd be in Bangalore by 9.45 and possibly in office getting back to full time seat warming by about 11, which is a decent hour. That would mean the Scienst would take off to office from the airport and Chittu and I would take off in the opposite direction and run for our lives. Well, not really. Since my office is like 10 miutes from home, obviously I'm expected to do such things as attend when the washing machine repair man comes, when the insurance guy turns up an entire two days later than his promised time, when the gas cylinder has run out and when there is more than one mosquito in the house. Well, you get the point, no?
Oops I digressed. So coming back - the flight was advanced by 45 minutes bacause of the air show at Bangalore. All flights were to land at/ take off from Bangalore before 9 a.m. or after 6 pm during that one week of the air show. So we thought when we heard the flight was advanced - we could get back to the said seat warming an hour earlier, maybe?
The alarm was set for 4.30 a.m. The Scientist calculated that half hour would be sufficient time for him to shower and get ready, haul our heavy suitacses down three floors, pack into the car and reach the airport in about 10 minutes. Where was I in the picture? I was expected to not shower! I did not think that was a material part of time planning and nodded my head when the Scientist elaborated said time plans. Good I said. We were expecting to reach the airport by 5.45 a.m within the one hour time line.
So we woke with the alarm. The Scientist showered and so did I. We got the sleepy toddler ready. We won the case of "I shall not wear diaper. Or socks. Or shoes". It was 5.30 already. We picked up all luggage and toddler. And piled into the car. And left a bag behind. My friend, our kind host went back up three floors and collected said bag. And came back down. She was to drive. Ideally the story should have ended here.
My friend's driving may warrant a seperate post altogether. So I shall suffice to say she drove very slow. Very very slow actually and we were at the airport by 6.10 a.m. Only. Departure was at 6.45. The Jet Airways guy took our ticket print out, checked us in and the told us we were late." Too late, Sir.Gates close 45 minutes before departure." If it had been the era when the Gods actually walked the planet and my husband was Pati Parmeshwar, and had the third eye, his dirty looks would have turned me to ashes right there.
But he said to me - Do not talk. You had to pay a price for bad time discipline and this is it. " Please go to the ticketing counter, Sir. We can't help you."
So we ran- baby, bag and all. Explained we missed our flight. Flight was advanced. We have a baby. "Next flight is at 6.30 p.m, Sir.I will check for availability...Tickets are available Sir and you will have to pay a penalty of Rs.10000/-..."
"Ermmm... we missed our flight. You can't charge us full fare. Please help us..", I added, using the lady advantage trying to look as helpless as possible. "
" Please contact the manager Sir. " Finger was pointed towards a woman sitting at the far end of the check in counter. We did the the baby-bag-dash once again. The manager looked up at us from her computer screen. Yes Sir she said unhurriedly. We missed the flight, we said handing out our ticket print out.
"But passengers are already checked in ..." She exclaimed to another check in staff after typing something into the keyboard . "Get them on the flight." And then to us " But your luggage may only reach on the next flight".
Whatever, the Scientist sprinted towards Secrurity check, cleared it and sprinted right through till the boarding gate. I was carrying the toddler and some hand baggage and no in case someone's thinking, all my running practise did not really help. I could not run with the toddler fixated to my waist still refusing to wear the diaper. We were then bundled into a buggy. I jumped off on the wrong boarding gate. Was chided for doing that and was asked to remain seated until instructed. I was wondering and worrying if the Scientist actually made it or was still left behing trying to find me.
And then we were finally reunited at the boarding gate :) Whew!!!What a morning Were panting, sweating and celebrating to be on the flight. Afterall, we would be getting back to seat warming business very soon :)
Side notes: 1. This was possible only in India. From my experience, in the US you have to like keep a whole day aside for security and preferably walk through the security check naked.
2. My friend is an awesome friend. A very nice person. Just a very bad driver!
3. Hopefully the Scientist now knows that I will shower even if we are leaving thehouse at 3 a.m. I have sufficiently/satisfactorily demonstrated my standard of cleanliness.
4. As for time discipline, I hope Chittu co-operates better in the future :)