The Great Indian Travel Extravaganza

So, the brother left to meet Uncle Sam, last Saturday. Now for some reason, even though it was his second visit to the place, my otherwise ‘deranged’ family gets ‘sentimental’ and decides to drop him at the airport

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.

Her : I will see Ani off at the airport
Dad : I will come along to see Ani off at the airport
Ma : I will come along to see Ani off at the airport
Dad-in-Law : I will come along to see Ani off at the airport
Luggage  : You will have to see me off along with Ani at the airport
I was looking at every single person and hearing every single voice echoing the same sentence…It felt like a chant, after all the ‘joints’.. And after everyone in the circle had spoken, the ball stopped at me.

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.

On a Saturday morning. When the grass is greener and the roads are empty (emulating Paradise City). The mother unravelled her sandwiches, making it look like a picnic to the airport. She did it with tears in her eyes, almost reminding me of the Bollywood mother. The father kept telling tales of how his only son was born.. tiny and unable to walk…and now, he is flying to fetch his dream. The father-in-law spoke about his various trips to different foreign countries (which ofcourse, would be ‘boasting/lying’ for my set of parents)..The sis-in-law texted the brother sweet nothings to save in his phone, so that he doesn’t stray while she’s away..

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 🙂


6 Comments on “The Great Indian Travel Extravaganza

  1. This was a great read. I have oft heard my aunt lament that she’s sent off with exactly such a goodbye.

    I loved reading your pov. The first few lines upto “unsynchronized laughter” made me chortle. The rest made me laugh slightly less embarrassingly.

    Loved it 😀

    • Jee thanks… Honestly, it was a strict ridicule.. The unsynchronised laughter bit was a result of a certain high, that causes such kind of visions 😉
      Thank you for the comment. Really 🙂

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