Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho toh poori kaynaat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai....
After reading The Alchemist, I did start believing in destiny. I do look out for signs. Ever since I reached London, the thing on my mind, after (‘wat to eat for the next meal’) was when I will be invited to Amsterdam by Chech and husband, Chettan(ok I correct myself-wen i will get a 'relatively' free weekend to go-the it ws an open invitation). I wished for it ‘poore dil se’ and did have an eventful trip….
Sign 1- My visa was processed in 5 hours contrary to the regular practice of 24 hours. All thanx to over cautious approach to the documents by sister and the kind lady at the counter. (also thanks Dad for all money invested in my dental braces for my charming smile-I brushed my teeth twice that money). Although I had to spend the entire day in beautiful-in-autumn Kensington Garden without a camera and became frozen meat due to insufficient dressing, (I dressed according to central London weather!) the wait was worth it. I proudly called up Chech saying- Breakfast in London, dinner in Amsterdam.
Sign 2- Woken up at 9 for a class at 10 by Chech, I was warned to not be late for the flight. According to my calculations, to reach Heathrow at 3.15 I had to take the 2.15 tube. Reaching the platform I was reminded of Rajiv Chowk metro station!!! There was not an inch of space left all thanx to maintainece work on Picadilly Line. But 3 yrs Delhi Metro experience and a few months exposure to Mumbai Local, I was the first to get into the tube.
A journey which was to last for 50 minutes, took 90 minutes. Then the real action began. Everyone at Terminal 4 on that day would have testified that they saw a crazy Indian girl running about the terminal between 15.45 hrs to 16.15 hrs on 16 Nov 2007.
Ran out of the tube, hit a few passers-by, dropped a glove, ran back to collect it, took the lift, ran to the BA counter, looked puzzled at the boarding pass ‘vending’ machine only to be helped by a customer services member.
Running to the security line and I met an interesting man who was blocking my way while I was trying to pass him, on being asked, told him my flight takes of at 16.05! Good enough to let me ahead, we were stuck at the counter. Took out laptop, metallic things on person, jacket, i-pod, cell fone (which rang while in the X-machine-making me look suspicious to the English cop), shoes…(the next time they might just expect us to strip right there). During this entire exercise, the interesting man tells me BA will put me on the next flight and there was a huge public transport problem in central London.
Ran (again) to the BA counter to be told to run FASTER to gate #. With only Indian airport experience, I expect gates to be in one line, each at a distance of 10 baby steps apart. But run as much I did, gate # was far far away.
Reached the gate (pant huff puff!!). Sardar BA official called up the pilot and then turned to me saying Miss Jose (pronouncing it HOSSEY- I am not Hispanic plz plz) “u jus missed ur flight”. [Come on dude u can do something, u Indian, me Indian..but how wud u know I am Indian, u keep calling me HOSSEY!!]
Chech called “Are u in the flight…no…it says ‘last call’..u can still catch it”
“Chech I missed the flight”
“…………….silence…………” (Thinking- how many times have I told her to be on time)
“Well they told me go to flight connections”
“Ok..bye” (Thinking- my money!!)
Chettan- “Don’t worry..u take the next flight. If need be buy a ticket for the next flight”
“what…are u sure?...ok” (Thinking- The next flight only has business class, cheapest being GBP 385, I don’t think he checked it)
Running (yet again) to flight connections, I put up the famous ‘damsel in distress’ act- explaining to them how I was harassed by the Piccadilly line, its maintenance and Indian style tardiness. The act successful, I was put on the next flight with no extra charges but with a warning that the tube is not trustworthy and I should learn from this lesson.
Dad- “So u r on ur flight to meet chechi”
“Dad I missed my flight”
“……silence……” (Thinking- eeh kochine kondu thotu- basically this girl has crossed all limits)
“but I have been put on the next flight and that’s an hour later”
“ok…but are u in a safe place??? "
“huh??...Dad airport terminal…duty free shops..safe of course” (Thinking- its Heathow ppl ppl everywhere)
“Oh ok then, DON’T MISS UR NEXT FLIGHT” (Thinking- She in a dutyfree shop is not a safe place for me especially when her monthly bill comes)
Moral of the story: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”....Apart from this ‘want’, I also had the desire to overcome my laziness and start exercising. That was also fulfilled on this trip- in A’dam, I ran behind buses, trams, trains and even a PLANE!!
End mein sab theek ho jaata hai…Happys Endings!!!
for pics (if interested) check out-http://picasaweb.google.com/annmjose
(i am just a rookie though)