Friday, 16th september 2011
I am to fly to chennai from mumbai this evening. It is a 5.45pm spicejet flight. As usual i land up just in time at the airport, 4.45pm and the two queue’s for getting inside are long. Obviously i get into the shorter one. It is half the length…. i wonder why. 5 full minutes in and just 2 people are let in …so long for checking the name on the ID card!? It had to be a women guard, and a pretty one. She is obviously conscious and most certainly enjoying it with so many passengers peeping from the sides to figure why the other queue is moving so fast. And they continue peeping. The presence of pretty women does something to the longevity of Time. Mysteriously.
Suddenly i see people behind me rushing at the adjacent gate that was closed because Mumbai airport had only 2 security people thus far. The head security appears …sounded like a Haryanvi, says-
‘ajaoo bhai ajaoo, aise he bheed jama kar rakhi hai.’ (come this side people, why making a crowd?)
All behind me are now ahead of me and my queue continues to be freaking slow. Damn. This security chick is having a social interrogation with every passenger …trying to match as many words on the printed ticket with those on the ID card, however irrelevant. I decide to pull out even with just 5 people ahead of me and join the longer queue at the newly opened gate. Turns out to be a good idea. Haryanvi guard is pretty sure none of us is a terrorist.
‘Sorry sir, the counter closes 45 mins prior to departure’….this has happen to me earlier. It is already 5pm. I rush and find a queue at every spicejet counter. So many people going somewhere! I scan the rows to find a queue with least women and least luggage. Soon with one bag checked in, i whistle off with my boarding pass. At the luggage scan, the security opens up my bag to check if my camera and lenses are actually not camera bombs. Another security guy is flirting with the lady checking my camera bag. I figure from their conversation that he has hidden her phone somewhere and she is whining–pining for it. What melodrama. Basically both are having a good time. How much they miss school!
My flight is announced for boarding. It always amazes me how quickly this particular boarding queue is formed, like the last 10 passengers would have to manage sitting in the aisle or something. So there is still time and i decide to buy a sweet box from this Bikaner shop for my buddy that i’ll be staying with in chennai. He had just announced his engagement. The Bikanerwala’s accepts only cash and so i go around hunting for a machine to give me cash. This takes a while as i suddenly hear my name being announced… to be the last call for boarding. Just when i look at the the spicejet departure gate my phone rings.
“your flight to delhi is leaving, please rush for boarding”
…i see the guy whom i am talking to as i hurry towards the counter and wave at him.
“Mr Ashish? please hurry, your flight to delhi is about to depart”
What delhi? i am going to Chennai.
“sir but the flight is going to delhi”
what the F***
both of us check the boarding pass that confirms it is a mumbai-delhi flight.
“so u don’t want to go to delhi?”
Hell NO. i want to go to chennai!
Frantically on the radio this guys gives my ticket details and asks for my bag to be deplaned immediately. He cancels my boarding pass and politely assures me that my bag will be returned at the spicejet checkin counter. I hear the ‘what-a-pain’ tone in his politeness … Can’t blame him.
But what’s going on!? I gotta book a new ticket first. As i am escorted out, i cross the luggage security. Fish. I have to go through all of that again. I check the next flight to chennai on my phone. 9pm. Spicejet again.
Lots of time to kill. I sit at the coffee shop to ponder over this yet another travel goof over the last one month.
I had a chennai train ticket dated yesterday. I love hanginout at the boogie doors. Especially in the monsoon, the countryside is fresh and lush. The train would be going through the Western Ghats! But three hours before departure, irctc tells me that the chart is prepared and my ticket is WL/1. So I decided to fly today. While booking this tickets, i was also to book a november round trip for certain X guest from chennai to delhi. so i booked his tickets first, again on spicejet, and then booked my own ticket. The goof supposedly happened when spicejet chose the destination to be Delhi in both cases. freakin spicejet.
8.45pm, i get into the real plane that will take me chennai. Another queue. The plane taxi’s for the next hour before it is cleared.
I know i have short term memory problem but this is different. How can chennai look like delhi on my computer screen?
Just 20 days ago i had booked a round trip for another Mr.Y from chennai to delhi to fly on august 28th & back on 30th. I had asked him to call me from chennai airport before takeoff. He was to be our guest in punjab and so i would know when he lands in delhi.
On 28th August, his flight was at 4.45pm. He calls me at 3.30pm and very hesitently says
“Ashish, the security people are telling me i have come one month earlier”
What the …., what happened sir?
“the tickets are booked for september 28th”
obviously the the goof was taken care off with the next available flight, but the question is how could August look like september on my computer screen? visually, they aren’t even close.
During this trip, after i finished my work in chennai on 18th september, sunday, all the chennai gang hurdled at a friends house for dinner. It got pretty late. I was to take the 6am shatabdi train to mysore in the morning, the19th. As we were winding up, i decided to confirm the departure time.
shatabdi exp. check.
AC chaircar. confirmed. check
date 18.09.2011. cheec….err…. WTF …it left?
I took the volvo in the morning is a different story, but how the heck did 18 look like 19 on my computer screen?
How can this look like that? …and with such consistency! I decided to dive deeper into the shady layers of the brain that could possibly blur vision. I live in two worlds, just like everyone else – The reality that we know of and the reality that our minds create. I have always found myself roving in the by-lanes of my mind’s macrocosm and relate flimsily to the physical reality. It appears for me that only at Nature’s seduction does the mind turns off.
Now, there shouldn’t be a problem if the higher mind is aware of when and where i decide to jump between this or that reality. The trouble is when the higher mind itself is on a trip of it’s own.
The million dollar question is – is this a problem?
Whatever it is, it’s been an expensive preposition. I think i’ll jus avoid booking tickets by myself for now.