Dec 10, 2011

the marvelous month that was (Part 2)

Part 1 of the post can be found here.

Even though it was just a few minutes before the scheduled (and revised) time of departure, the security check was finally announced for this (probably cursed) flight. I and Mohit rushed through the security saying we were just 15 minutes away from departure. The Guwahati airport has just four gates for departure, all visible at the same time if you take a strategic location (no need to ask, I took that location). Now, we were 2 minutes from the departure, and I went to check if the god forsaken flight had even landed. I caught hold of an Air India official, and asked him what was going on. He (very politely) said that the airplane was hovering over us and was not getting the clearance to land. It took about an hour more for us to find out a few more estranged passengers and we decided to do what the Indian public does best: wait.

Back in Silchar, my mother had left a few days earlier to help with the preparations, and my dad was still in Gujarat. Needless to say, I kept on getting phone calls every 5 minutes from them (they still believe I'm a kid). Now, in such a situation, you can understand the state of my mind. Oh, and did I mention the status updates I kept on posting from my cell in facebook!

Anyways, after an excruciating wait of nearly another half hour, the flight supposed to take us to Silchar finally landed! I checked my watch 3.00 PM. One of my co passengers, who was a regular in this route said, Silchar had no light landing facility and the scheduled sunset was at 1630 hours. For a 35 minute flight, I thought we were safe... The boarding started, well, not quite. I was in the second bus to leave for the aircraft and we stopped as soon as we started. Reason? The driver got a message that there was a "technical difficulty" in the aircraft. I saw my watch. 3.25 P.M. I prayed. We waited in that position for about 20 minutes cursing anyone and everyone related to this when the same official I had caught hold of earlier came and spoke to the driver: "Take them to the arrival terminal". The flight had been cancelled.

I can't really explain the emotions of the people then, but after quite some fighting, we decided it was time to go back as there was nothing else we could do. On the way back, we were discussing the other options we had, including going by the North East Shuttle(now, that is a 4 or 10 seater used to carry chickens from one place to another, hence, nicknamed the Murgi Plane). However, just before I reached home, I got a call from Air India saying the flight had been rescheduled to 0700 the next morning. And I said, Silchar, I am coming.

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