Planet Earth has witnessed histories. Plenty. Murders of leaders, murder of gods and demigods, mass massacres, wars, bombs and axes. It has seen men, machine and madness. It has seen man’s rage over food, cult wars fought over women, big brothers fighting over borders, and beasts tamed over beauty.
And the Earth has also witnessed, Love.
“Window or aisle, Sir?”
“Window.. please!”, I exclaimed, screening the nervousness over my first plane journey. Little did I know then that this round trip of mine would change my life dramatically. And also romantically. I made sure I check in like a pro-traveler not like a first timer.
“You can collect your baggage at the Hy..”, the woman extended her habitual monologues, I stood there cautious and also unbothered on what she uttered, I just pretended to be a regular folk and I know all the stroke.
Soon after she is done, I smiled with shoulders lose, “Thanks an’ Bye!”, in a ridiculous fake accent I was trying to master, also with faked up Pan-Am smile that irked my face. As I walked away, I strolled my eyeballs north-east-and-west to know whats next, also while making sure I looked pro. I somehow managed to get in the queue, frisked at the security check, they asked me to take of my suit, “Oh, yeah – sure..”, I missed to notice this, while the frisker has clearly identified me a first timer.
I made sure again that I stay alert in style like the british spy. I always preferred Daniel Craig over Pierce Brosnan and trust me when I say ‘Quantum of Solace’ was the best 007 movie of all time. That inspiration has in some such way made me wear this business suit for travel, Pros don’t do that actually, they travel in casual or semi formal attires, unless they have a very serious business hour right at the other end of the same day. So, I pretended to have got one.
My purpose is business, which is scheduled the next day, but my prime purpose of trip is to fly my first. So, I did something extreme to have my flying experience great. Instead of having my ticket booked straight from Coimbatore to Hyderabad, I chose to transit at Chennai, so I can fly two flights, can experience two take offs, which is totally four flights in this one round trip.
And thats is why I should have listened more carefully to the woman who was telling me something important about the transit that morning. After landing at the Chennai Airport, I walked straight to baggage claim area with my wayfarers on, it was indoor, and I still had my coolers on, ‘travel in style’ was the motto of that trip. I waited patiently, in style, for my maroon VIP ultra light weight trolley luggage to come, it’s just a 3 day stay and I had packed for a week’s supply of suits, deos, perfumes, accessories, binoculars (who takes binoculars to a business trip? James Bond does!), and another pair of shoes, all packed as per the instruction by a traveler-tips video from Youtube.
My baggage has not come yet. Since its Chennai, literally I never felt like I’m in new place, I called for the assistance, I said, “Excuse me, I think there’s a problem! My baggage has not arrived yet!” And the courteous young man asked me wait for a while and sent for the higher airport authorities to deal with the same. They handled it in top priority, one SpiceJet employee used his radios to communicate the missing baggage issue to his team in baggage handling, another airport authority asked me the colour, size and labels or any vital information that can make my baggage unique. I told them all I know off. All the while, I tried to act and react like a pro, calm and collected.
“Please make sure I get it sooner, I’ve a connecting flight to catch!”, I said, just to hear them reassure me how important this is being handled.
“Do you have a connecting flight sir?”, the SpiceJet employee politely asked.
“Yes, that’s why I’m nervous. It has valuables inside and I cant wait for it.”
“Can you please hand me your ticket? Just to check..”, in immediate reflex, I pulled the ticket out towards him from my jacket pocket, in style, and he noticed something printed on the ticket and sighed instantly, in his own stlye.
“Sir, unga bag ah Hyderabad airport la vaangikalaam..”, he solved the case and turned my, but I could see him make a chuckle. The baggage was supposed to be collected at the Hyderabad airport, it’s now getting transferred from the plane 1 to plane 2.
Having insulted with my own dogma, I had to leave the baggage claim, with my eyes hiding behind the wayfarer. And my mind stuck with my mission, to travel in style. And not to get embarrassed again.
And, thats where I saw her. At the baggage claim 3. Waiting for her baggage to come or perhaps for someone to come from the restroom. She stood there like a monument. All eyes on her. She should be 5 foot 4″ or 5 foot 5′, I thought. Young so young, that she graced the entire Arrival bay by her beauty. She was wearing a red saree, carrying a big black leather bag on her side, probably Italian. I was 20 feet away from her when I realised I stood in the middle of the bay watching or literally drooling over her beauty for the past 20 seconds. Embarrassed again, I, by hook or crook managed to look at the banner falling from the walls above. This is why I wear wayfarers.
It was hard for me to leave the bay. See how perilous life is, I just met her, no I just saw her from far, I know it is impossible for me to meet her ever again or to have a closer look at the majestic beauty again. I had a choice to walk away or still spend sometime looking at her until its late for my next flight.
So, I decided to walk towards baggage claim 3, pretended to wait for my baggage to come, I walked closer to her, style on, stomach tucked in, shoulders lose and foot firm. I just stood 3 foot behind her, and noticed that she was nervously waiting for her baggage to appear. Beautifully nervous. And suddenly, she turned around to call for assistance, while I was like two foot closer to her, and she missed to bump onto me. Ah damn god she missed. She looked at me with a lil smirk of sorry in her eyes and thats when I decided I’m never gonna let go this girl.
“I think there’s a problem here! My baggage has not arrived yet!”, she spoke to me, thinking I could help her with that, I never missed a moment to reply her, I knew there are hundred other young lads who would graciously help her even if they miss their flights. So I spontaneously asked her, “Do you have a connection flight today?”.
“Can I check your ticket? that might help!”, with a little smile in her curvy corner of her lips, she handed me over her boarding pass from her Italian made bag.
“TRIVANDRUM TO CHENNAI” “SPICEJET” “DPT 0800 HRS”
“CHENNAI TO HYDERABAD” “SPICEJET” “DPT 1100 HRS”
“Oh dear, you can collect your baggage from the hyderabad airport, the flight people will take care to load your luggage to the connecting flight!”, I spoke out like a pro, is style, with my wayfarers still on. I felt like Mr. Bond!
“Oh god, I’m sorry to have bothered, I didn’t know that.. they..”, She was in loss of words, I was in loss of thoughts, my prime priorities of the trip has aligned itself to this damsel. In gently walked her out of arrival bay, only moments later I realised that we two are flying in the same plane to hyderabad.
So excited, I was like, “Your first time?”, with my carefully spoken fake accent that actually went well. “I mean, are you flying for the first time?”
“No,” she smirked with her wide smiling face at me and continued, “I have travelled with my family and colleagues a plenty times, but.. uh this is the first time.. umm.. I’m travelling alone.”, she had a perfect accent. And I fell in love with her voice. And I also fell in love for her, she had me at her ‘umm..’
TO BE CONTINUED in part 2..