Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Goodbye to Saraya friends
A few months later it was time for baby and me to finally make the trip. It was the first time I would be travelling alone with my little girl and I realised that I had accumulated a whole lot of extra stuff - pram, walker, baby things, as well as my own belongings.We did the usual journey to Delhi by train from where we were to catch a connecting flight to Ahmadabad. Sandip would be there to receive us for the further three hundred kilometre drive to Jamnagar.
I arrived at the airport with baby on one arm, bags in the other and grossly overweight luggage, so I thought up a devious plot to save on excess baggage charges. I knew there were people who travelled to Ahmadabad just for a days business, so decided to latch on to one of them and request that we check in together to avoid the excess penalty.
I stared at the line of passengers and spotted an elderly man carrying only a brief case, who was just the sort of victim I was looking for. I went up to him and told him what my problem was, and he without a moments hesitation, said it would be perfectly fine for us to check in together. I gratefully thanked him and we preceded to go through the pre-flight formalities without any problem.
We stood together chatting for a while and I politely asked the kind gentleman if he was going to Ahmadabad on business or pleasure. He looked at me as if I had gone completely mad and stuttered that he was not going to Ahmadabad at all but Calcutta! I realised with equal horror that he had been standing in the wrong queue, which the stupid girl behind the counter had not realised before issuing him a boarding pass.
He immediately grabbed my arm and marched me back to where it had all begun, where he proceeded to bellow at the ground staff that they had checked him onto the wrong flight. They apologised profusely and hastened to rectify their mistake, then patiently waited for me to hand over my ticket as well. The harassed gentleman quickly declared that I was a complete stranger and that he was just helping me out with overweight baggage. I was glared at disapprovingly, then made to weigh all my suitcases again. While handing over the slip for the amount to be paid, the lady made me listen to a long lecture on how what I had done was illegal and could get me into a lot of trouble!
On landing at Ahmadabad I was indignantly telling Sandip the whole story, and he had such a hearty laugh at my amazing luck. That I would carefully choose the one idiot who was standing in the wrong queue, that the same moron would be checked in by an inexperienced counter girl and that I would eventually get caught, so would have to sheepishly pay the whole amount anyway. That's what happens when one thinks one is over smart was all he smugly said!