This is a navel-gazing post. Yes, that means I will be talking about my life, and an event which is probably the dumbest mistake that I have made! There is no wisdom or moral at the end of the story, so you might as well stop reading now … but if you want to read about absent minded-ness, then feel free to read on.
It was a good friend’s wedding reception, and he had already followed-up with me about getting the tickets for both the wedding and the reception. The wedding was in Kolkata and the reception in Delhi. I opted in for the reception. Delhi is so much easier to reach by flight, has more frequent flights and I can also work on parallel pet projects in that city. Anubhav knows how I think, so he followed up 3 months, 1 month and 1 week before I bought the tickets. A round trip ticket to Delhi cost me around INR 12000 and it was well worth it.
The interesting thing about travel is that in the past decade of my life I have done so much of it that the anticipation during the entire prelude and climax to the travel has more or less vanished for me. I remember, when I was a child, we used to be so excited on the eve of the day we depart that we hardly ever slept! These days a 2 day trip is almost a routine activity and I have a bag planned for such trips. This means that I hardly ever bother about packing. My cavalier attitude towards this is one of the reasons why my wife gets extra stressed during these times!
On the D-Day, I was all ready, packed and set to go. I met Amit at the airport and we checked in. The Kingfisher airhostess asked us to wait at Gate 8, so without even taking a discerning look at our boarding passes, off we went to the designated gate. There was still time for the flight (we were an hour early), so I went and got myself a good book to read. We had met after quite some time, so we were talking for quite a bit of time. After what seemed like ages, Amit had the good sense to look at his boarding pass … there it was written Gate 10! Horror of horrors …we were waiting at the wrong gate all this while! We rushed off to Gate 10 … only to discover that the staff was closing up there and the flight had left without us!
Kingfisher staff must be used to such mishaps, because there was a standard op that was being carried out here … we were summarily ferried out of the airport and into the main waiting room where we could either collect our luggage and go home, or get onto the next flight. The problem with getting onto the next flight is that the previous ticket was non-refundable and it meant that 2 new tickets would have to be bought.
Simple enough, buy the next flight and reach Delhi. However, the prices were all inflated to INR 9000 – INR 10000. At that point, we decided to cut our losses and cancel our trip. What saddens me the most out of this trip is missing opportunities to attend the reception … due to the colossal act of stupidity. This post is also going to serve as a humble reminder to me to double check all documents.
After reaching home, the amount of explanations that we had to do, and the tum dono se yahi expect karna chahiye remarks still sting <—this smile is the smile of weary person who just wants to put this behind him and move on.