AN UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEY

Before I begin, let me first clarify that I am neither an author nor a traveler; I am writing this blog as a mark of appreciation.

The story is of my journey to Bangalore from Ahmadabad. I was scheduled to fly to Bangalore by a 9:00 am Air Costa flight on August 27, 2016; however, owing to some technical and operational reasons (this was the explanation I was offered by them), my flight was rescheduled to take off one hour earlier, i.e. at 8:00 am. I had to spend the entire night of 26th August at the Ahmadabad airport. It was only when I already boarded the flight and it was ready to take off, I realized that I forgot my wallet at the security counter of the Ahmadabad airport. I immediately informed the first officer of the flight who advised me to go back to my seat as nothing could be done before we reach the Bangalore airport. I followed his advice. He then offered me a meal which I declined to receive as I was carrying no cash; he told me that he knew that I wasn’t carrying any cash, yet he insisted me to have that meal, telling me that the meal was on him. I felt both embarrassed and overwhelmed. I ate that meal.

Upon reaching the Bangalore airport, that kind first officer introduced me to the Bangalore staff of Air Costa who contacted the Ahmadabad airport and informed me that my wallet was with the CISF personnel and it’s safe. They gave me an email ID and also a mobile number to proceed further to recover my wallet from the Ahmadabad airport. I followed their instructions and sent someone who received it on my behalf. I felt a sigh of relief but that was not the end of troubles.

I walked out of the airport and was about to board a bus when I realized that I am not carrying any cash. I felt helpless again. Technology came to my rescue and I requested an Uber Cab. On my way to the hotel, my Uber driver and I began talking. He was quite interested in talking about the state level politics of Karnataka which I listened to with a great interest. Then I told him how I lost my wallet at the Ahmadabad airport. I then asked him if there’s any wine shop on the way, yet again completely forgetting that I am not carrying any cash. He stopped by a wine shop. He told me to purchase anything I want, telling me that he would pay for it. I felt embarrassed but at the same time this was my first impression of the Kannadiga people and Mr. Praveen Kumar, my Uber driver, behaved like a true ambassador of his state. I purchased my liquor and got back into the car. He again asked me if I wanted some cash. I thanked him and politely said no; I invited him to have a drink with me and he agreed. When he dropped me at my hotel, I took his bank account number and promised him to pay back once I go home. Now that I have paid him back, I thought it would be appropriate to publicly appreciate his gesture.

I borrowed some cash from friend of a friend and continued enjoying my stay in Bangalore. The return journey to Ahmadabad was a break journey. I had to wait for five hours at the Pune Railway Station. The journey from Bangalore to Pune went smooth; it was the journey from Pune to Ahmadabad which did not go well. The TTE threatened me to de-board if I did not pay for the ticket and fine as I was not physically carrying a valid photo ID proof. I tweeted to the Railway Ministry and sought their help. A few friends on twitter helped me with this and I was able to complete my journey without having to pay anything.

I would like to thank all those who helped me out when I desperately needed it!