I was to board the Kolkata bound flight from Jaipur at around 7pm in the evening. But by 6 pm it was announced that the flight has been delayed to almost 9pm at night. Being the impatient person I am, I started doing lots of things. I took out a book, read few pages and lost interest in it. After putting it down I went to the windows to see if there was any trace of the plane which was to take me home. I was not very lucky with this stance either. I took out a hat which I had recently bought and planned to sleep on the chair like Indiana Jones. But this too was a flop. I started walking around the waiting area. Probably this was the best thing that I had done. I saw people , expressions and colours all around me and they reflected more than books or plane spotting.
There were people of all ages. Right from babies to those who were above eighty years old, all travelling to Kolkata. There was a distinct identity that I could form by just looking at their attires. A businessman all dressed with proper suit and tie; students dressed in casuals -returning from a vacation or going for a vacation; housewives dressed in pretty floral salwars travelling with their children. A variety of languages and dialects were being spoken by all . Right from Bangla, Hindi, English to Rajasthani , Gujarati , Marwari etc. It was like the waiting room had become a mini India in itself. I was getting carried away by this sight myself when there was an announcement that the flight had been further delayed to 10:15pm.
This time the people could take no more and my mini India awoke forgetting all the diversity in its cultures and dialects to a united strength which asked for answers from the airport authorities. The situation was that due to bad weather conditions in Delhi, air traffic had been generated due to which planes were stuck in Delhi.Though they served us snacks , they could not pacify the irritation of the passengers.Every two minutes or so people were getting up to the customer care asking lots of questions- Where was the flight? Why such delay? Has the flight left Delhi? How long would it take? Will they cancel the flight ? People constantly kept in touch with their families letting them know of the current situation.
Everyone started talking to everyone due to this chaos. I made friends with some students who had just given their class twelve exams and were in Jaipur for a vacation. Another girl – an MBA student- was returning home after two years. There was a newly married couple who had already missed their connecting flight. A businessman from Chunchura was more concerned about his transport as his home was around a 100 km from the Kolkata airport. A research guy and a fashion photographer were constantly in touch with their group uncertain, whether they would be able to reach Kolkata in time for their project.
At around 10 pm we got a confirmed news that the flight had left Delhi and was on its way to Jaipur. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. However the fight was not over. Now the passengers started fighting for free food that should be given to them on board because of the caused delay. Moreover they fought for good food and not dry sandwiches. Personally I found this comical . All I wanted to do was to set foot on the ground of my dear Kolkata and not waste time fighting for good food. Hunger had evaded me a long time ago.
Finally around 11 30 pm we boarded the heavenly flight to Kolkata. I slept in the flight off course so I was oblivious to what was happening. But I was sure of one fact that there were less murmurs as everyone was exhausted and wanted to go back home and sleep.As the flight landed around 1 30 pm in Kolkata airport and everyone ran towards the baggage counter to collect their bags there was a roar of “finally” echoing throughout the airport.
This is one such incident which probably all the hundred passengers would never forget in their lives. Though we know nothing about each other but it did portray the unity that we still have among the people which comes out especially in times of crisis.After collecting their luggage’s each one went their own way knowing that we might never meet each other ever again in life but will always be connected through this incident.
I learnt two very important things in life through this incident. First, no matter how much planning we do sometimes it just goes out of our hands. In such times one needs to be calm and bear the situation with patience. Second, no matter who you are and where you are from , in times of crisis all are one . It is the popular demand with many unclear faces which stands out and to which even authorities have to bend. On a more lighter note unexpected events are bound to happen during travelling. Thus it is advisable to plan the trip with some extra time in hand so that one can cope up with such situations.
Signing off until next time . . .