Sunday, February 19, 2006

Air- adventure!

While all u guys had to rush along with things,I should say that among all , I was a tad lucky since my train to Chennai (erode express)was at 22.30 on the 7th of Nov.and the exam ended at 17.00, which meant that I had all the time in the world to do the necessary packing.I think ,about half the college was in my train and it ensured that I was never short of company.But I was too tired even to sit and no sooner did the train start I dozed off.Next , when my eyes opened, the train was just about to reach the destination,at 6.00.On time!My flight to mumbai was at 13.15,hence I had to find avenues to pass time.Since i was all alone and no one to talk to, I bought myself a magazine.Somehow,3 hours passed by.I took a local train and reached the airport 2 hours prior to the departure time.The chap at the departure entry, checked my ticket and cross checked it with the flight no.He pointed out that the air india flight nos were not matching .I told him that it was a staff ticket.He din't seem convinced, but he did not want to disappoint me.He advised me to sit inside and consult the air india office as soon as the air india counter opened."Sheesh! not ominuous signs , even as I enter the airport" I thought to myself.Soon ,at somewhere around 11.30, I had my bags tagged up, went to the counter ,got my boarding pass, passed thru customs check and numerous security checks and was just about 50 minutes away from boarding my flight.I Little did I know that the ticket (It was a staff ticket given to me by my father) that i heldhad 23 Aug 2003 written in it which meant that the staff ticket was valid only upto 23 Aug 2004 and it was 7th nov 2004 today.suddenly, a bearded man(the man who issued me the boarding pass at the counter)appeared from nowhere, called out my name.He asked me for my ticket and tore it apart along with the boarding pass.I was shocked for a moment. I looked at him as if to ask "Sir, please tell me wats goin on?"He told me " Young man,I m so sorry, ur ticket isn't valid any more?You see it is past its validity date."He then went on to take off all the tags of my bags and did everything necessary to "deboard" a passesnger, alerting all the checks using his walkie-talkie ."Call up ur father and ask him to issue u a new ticket" said Mr Beard(as if that was possible with precious little time on hand)I stayed cool and calm and tried to arouse s ome pity in his mind by telling him that I had few relatives in Chennai and not enough cash for issuing a new ticket(I took out out my wallet and showed him the only 100 rupee note I had.)All this happened as he was taking me back in the reverse sequence (thru all the security checks that i had passed)At last I landed up at the counter , where I had started from.I told him that father knew some ppl here and a certain Mr ramesh was one of them.Luckily , he was sitting at the counter.Mr beard took me to him.Ramesh had seen the date(23 aug 2003) on my staff ticket while checking the manifestation status in the sysyem, which no one else hadseen. But by that time I was almost thru all the checks.Interseting thing was that , no one ever saw the date at any point of time.Hence no one stopped me till the end.Funny isn't it!I guess, half the airport was shaken up! Somehow, I felt like a VIPAnyways, Ramesh had received a call from my father(mumbai airport) half a hour back,becoz my name did not appear in the list of boarding ppl(father was monitoring my status from mumbai airport).He was explained the problem and on request I was issued a new ticket (There was a series of 4 to 5 phone calls from mumbai in this process). All this happened in a space of minutes and finally I got into the aircraft at 13.00.I thanked God, becoz after all the drama, I was ultimately in!Flight reached on time.Parents received me at the airport.Adventure or Misadventure, whatever u may call it, sure was a nice experience(becoz it ended on a good note! otherwise I would hav ended up in Chennai cursing Mr beard who was the main "villan" of the whole story!)



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