The Great Indian Travel Extravaganza
The turn of events that took place?
8th April :
The sis-in-law walks into the ‘pensive’ living room after the packing ..Everybody looks at her.
Me : (Do I have to?) ..Umm.. (Looking at highly expectant eyes)… I will come along to see Ani off at the airport.. (Eyes easing out)
** I swear I heard unsynchronized claps cheering at a distance **
The poor sis-in-law calls for a hired SUV.. Tambi at the other end, promises AC car for 6 people next morning.
Oh, btw, the flight was at 13.30 hours. Technically, the check-in should’ve been around 10.30-11 am.
9th April :
06.30 am : Dad knocking on my room door..”Wake up, Dada has to leave.We would not want to delay him”.
Me : (in an oh-shut-up tone) – We won’t Dad. Later. Zzzz.
06.45 am : Wake up, Dada has to leave.We would not want to delay him
Me : (in an oh-come-on tone) – We won’t Dad. Later. Zzzz.
07.00 am : Wake up, Dada has to leave.We would not want to delay him”.
Me : (in a dude-what-the-fuck tone) – Naaaaaaaaaa. 10 mins.
The cruelty somehow made me feel guilty and I crawled out of bed and walked out of the door at 7.15 am to drink some water. From the corner of my eye, I see my mother scorning at me while beating vigorously at something, the noise of which, irritated the pleasant ‘morning’ feeling in my head. She was beating an egg. I thought it would be a good Saturday morning..
No it wasnt.
Turns out she was making different types of sandwiches for breakfast. What was worse was that they were to be devoured on our journey to the airport. I smirked. She scorned. I broke into a laughter which was uncontrollable. And I asked her sarcastically.. “Are these for the trip to the airport?” ..She mentions, “Don’t you feel even one wee bit sad that your brother will be away for a good 3-4 months?” ..I roll my eyes while Dad hurries me to the washroom.
As my pre-fooled destiny would have it, we did infact, leave for the airport at 8 am, much to the chagrin of the sis-in-law. The car in question was a non-AC, car for 5, Toyota Qualis..and as usual, I was dumped along with the luggage. One look at me and the sis-in-law went into a giggle loop.
As for me..I just thought…”What a picnic this is“
Continuing with my pre-fooled destiny, we reach at 9 am..The beckoning begins as everybody starts crowding next to the traveller to give him their advice, both solicited and unsolicited. Everything..right from “Do not have bacon, beef steak,etc..” to “Wash your underwear properly” was showered onto the airplane slave for the next hour or so. Unbelievable as it was, the parents even asked me to take a picture of the couple, for fond memories. As if, it was almost spelt out, that he wouldn’t return. Damn.
And then the poor guy left. With hands waving, tears rolling, hearts heaving .. And me laughing.
When I returned home that day, I thought what I just did. I lived a 19th century travelogue! With the brother being the first passenger in Boeing’s umpteenth invention to meet his Uncle Sam , who would offer him a job. A fairy tale of the middle class Indian family bidding adieu to their only son, who would earn his daily wages and Western-Union-Money-Transfer it into their dying bank accounts. The only thing missing was a thermos flask with filter coffee in it..or a mini-van with some more relatives in it, singing songs of ‘pardes’ for the dear traveller.. The parting notes of which looked like this
And it would have been Ekta Kapoor’s next big idea. Jeez.
It can only happen in India.
PS : The highlight of the day was a message at 1300 hours that afternoon..while i sat at a local restaurant hogging on some Pav Bhaji.. “You be good, kid.” ..Enough to make it through the next 70 days 🙂