Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Airport @ AHD

This post was written on 4th Feb 2007, in a Jet airways flight while fighting nausea and flying back home from Ahmedabad

35 – Number of days in this year so far
15 – Number of days I’ve stayed out of home this year so far

Generally, 15 would be the number of days I spend out of home in the whole year. And this time, it’s in just about one month! So you can imagine what it does to a homebody like me. Add to that the air sickness while traveling and there you go – ho gayaa kaam!

All my sleeping hours apart, I think I’ve spent less time at home and more time at airports and in planes this year. I hate it – the air travel – but sometimes it does give us some interesting experiences. Like the one I had while returning from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. We (that’s me and my colleague S) checked out of the hotel around noon and went for a little shopping spree in the city. We had no clue what sorta markets to visit so we’d both picked up a bottle of mineral water each from the hotel before leaving and put them in our handbags. While shopping we forgot all about them. We landed at the airport and dropped in for the security check, deposited our bags for the x-ray scanning and moved to the enclosure for our body scan. When we were thru with the frisking and scanning, we went ahead to pick our handbags. An old rustic gentleman picks our bags and beckons us to a table on the side there and asks us, “You have water in your bags?”
We were like, “Yes. Should we take it out?” Apparently, that’s what he wanted. So he nods and looks on while S and I pull out the bottles from our bags. We placed the bottles on the counter. Now, these were sealed bottles of a well known mineral water brand. So we expected the old man to nod and say, “Theek hai. Aap ja sakte hain”

But guess what, he tells us “Madam, aap aadha paani pee lo, aur baaki ka le jao saath mein!”
“What?”
we asked slightly amused. This man actually wanted to check if the liquid we were carrying was really water or something else altogether! Can you guys believe it? Nothing like this had ever happened to either me or S and were really amused at the man’s request. Anyways, we opened our bottles, had a sip each and only then was the old man satisfied. Then, he coolly let us go and tended to the next bag that apparently had a knife.

Two thoughts came to my mind as I thought about this incident in the plane. One that the whole thing was highly amusing and his request seemed bizarre. What else could we have been carrying in the bottles??? The second was that the old man was dedicated to his job. He could’ve just seen the bottles and let us go, but he didn’t. He was taking his job really seriously. Small little thing it was, but he was cautious. Because sometimes, it’s these small little things that make a BIG difference.