Archive for August, 2006
to write to Air India and then post it to their office in New York. After missing a flight and spending one whole day at the airport, I catch hold of the Air India people and recite them my travails. But you should have come yesterday, they inform (in the best Latino English), we would have given you everything you would have asked for. Yes, right! first I miss my flight and then if I fail to locate Air India’s counter, that all is my mistake. It is totally different story, that I get “Information Centre of Airport” ringing Air India and not get any response, should be my mistake too. I can’t deal with this. I have no more physical and mental resources left to think about it. “Do you want hotel accomodation, food and transportation and for today? We can as well get your flight postponed further.” They ask me cheekily. “You can write us a letter. We will look in your case. Just address it to the Manager.”
I walk away from New York. I leave it before it should make me too hard.
So, after missing the flight, I get a new boarding pass (of the same flight but just 24 hours after the one I was sheduled on)with a feeling, “Don’t ask for a compensation. We are not responsible.”
And I am carrying at least 67kg worth of weight and I have no where to turn to, nowhere to go, can’t even think of which questions should I be asking and to whom. I have no coins to place a call, there are no people around, I don’t remember which elevator I came through, all I see is roads, roads that go to the city, roads having happy people in the cars they can afford or can’t. And, I am standing on the road with 67kg of luggage trying to remember where to walk to get back to the airport before getting lost in the city. Gingerly, I make my way to the airtrain’s station of the JFK airport, to find some kind officer standing there who offers me 5 quarters in place of $1. The extra quarter, I can always give to someone needy, he informs when I tell him he has given me an extra coin. I am fine till now. I make a frantic call to a friend, thinking about the extra day I could have spent with my mom and that I didn’t look in her eyes while leaving and that as soon as I entered the Delhi airport, I realized that I need to give her one more hug, that I absolutely need to do that but its too late and all that thought kills me. It strucks me if I really want all this and I want to be home. I really want to be at home. I think about Paulo Coehlo and think whether everything is going to crash. And then, I think probably I have lost my mind. Its just a flight.
After trapeezing through Air India and Delta counters with all that luggage(pushing it up the steep long ramp , ambling it down the ramp a couple of times), I realize at 11’O clock in the night, that I am on my own with no help to speak-of at all. I spend a lot of money to store my baggage at the airport and try to get some rest in the fitful bouts of sleep I get. Only, to get up in the morning, to find myself staring at the MasterCard Ad.
“Seeing the real New York.
At the airport everyone’s trolley announced “Welcome to New York”. Mine didn’t. Never thought it would really turn out to be a nightmare.
Start of the journey:
Though I have been to this place twice before, I have an uncanny feeling that something is going to go wrong.
During the journey:
Feelings of unsurity surround me. There is strange cloud of reservedness around me which does not make me respond to things that people usually would.
I am smug and quiet as if nothing has happened. Now that makes me scared. I should be feeling the transition. I don’t.
Towards the end of journey:
As a friend puts, “Of all the connection flights, you had to miss only this one. Irony…”
Ma’am you have missed the flight, she tells me. I quiet don’t know what to make of it.
Well, I kind of expected that. When truckloads of people are waiting for their immigrations before you, something starts ticking at back of you mind. And then, when you just can’t find your bags, the tick-tock gets confirmed, and when at customs the officer calls his junior and tells him, “You have not handled this form earlier. Take her case…Don’t worry young lady, it will just take a minute more”, thats creme-de-la-creme. And the labyrinth, that JFK is, you know its just very hard to get on that flight. So, when I reacheth wading through all the formalities to get my boarding pass for the 1840 flight sharp at 1840, I am turned down.
For the last 2 years I have been flying, I had seen my details being noted down(just-in-case-something-happens), or officers looking through bags, or being questioned about my luggage and I even had one lady inspector fishing out a plastic bag from my luggage to find something(I suspect, she thought I was carrying a revolver) but never had I had a missed flight. SO, it was also kind of in-store.