We were going on for our Annual Vacation in the summer of 2005. The trip originally planned for August had been rescheduled for June end. That year was the first time post surgery and we were apprehensive. I was due for a complete overhaul 😀
The only tickets that were available to Hyderabad were in the Air India Express. And we took it. I don’t remember much about the happenings at the Bahrain Airport; we were that tense. The flight reached Mumbai around 11.30 p.m. and our connecting flight was at 2a.m By 4 we were supposed to reach Hyderabad. Around 1.30 a.m we boarded the flight to Hyd. and waited and waited. It was raining outside and freezing inside.. Because fo the difference in temperatures, tiny droplets of moisture started forming on the ‘walls’ and eventually started falling on us. The crew was busy with themselves. Neither the heater was put on nor any blankets were given.
We waited like that till 6 am.
The flight was like a pick up. The passengers of Air India who were coming from different parts of the world and traveling to Hyderabad were hauled into our flight. The flight eventually was full and then it took off.
My neurosurgeon had kept the day free for me. You know how busy these super-specialists are. I had to meet him that day itself and already our flight had been delayed. My brother had come for the day from Vizag to tide things over for us. He was waiting for us at the airport..
The flight eventually reached at 8a.m. By the time we cleared customs and immigration, we expected our baggage to arrive. The baggage had indeed arrived but it was the baggage of travelers bound for Chennai. (Our flight had proceeded to Chennai) Yes. our baggage was bound for Chennai.
I just had my handbag and another small bag containing magazines, sweater etc. The bag containing my lab reports, medical file, MRI had all left for Chennai. We did not even have a change of clothes.
My brother called up the Doctor and explained our predicament. He asked us to report to the hospital immediately, make a new file and proceed for MRI, as the Lab had been kept free for me. So I went ahead for my check ups.
We had given our contact details to Air India and they were supposed to call us as soon as the luggage arrived. But when there was no call till 2p.m, we proceeded to the Airport. We came to know that the baggage had arrived but the guard would not allow us to go inside. We pleaded, we showed him our tickets, the baggage claim form but no, he would not allow us inside.Obviously he needed some ‘chai paani’.
That was it; we went to the Officer In-charge of the Airport Authority of India, (barged actually) and told him about what all happened. Other passengers too came and stood with us. Observing the crowd he got up and escorted us to the Carousel where our baggage was thrown. Our bags were wet and dirty but at-least we had got back our bags.
From that moment on, I always carry my valuables with me.
After two days of check ups and being told that allz well,we boarded the tain to Vizag. My brother had already left the previous night. That night we slept peacefully, without bothering for food or comforts.
I was awakened by a phone call by my brother the next morning, ‘I can see your train’, he said. We were supposed to get down at a station called Duvvada, a small station where the train stops for just 2 minutes, a stop which is quite close to the Steel township of Vizag.
I shook my husband awake, removed the chain. As soon as the train chugged in to the station, He threw the bags onto the platform, pushed me out and then jumped out himself. My father standing some steps away could not understand what had actually happened 😛