Everyone loves and lives to tell their travelogues – there is something unnatural that happens to everyone on their journeys; it could that you forgot to put locks on your check in bags or lost your luggage, missed your flight – or even leave your tickets at home and even disastrous one ‘Lost the Passport’. I for one am proud to say that I have been through all of these – not all at the same time of course- but every trip is full of stories that I would love to share here.

When I forgot to lock my bags
It was my first ever international trip – let alone that – it was the first time I was to step on any plane for that matter. Any hoo bubbling with all excitement I reached the airport said my long good byes to everyone – naturally I was to go for a year and a half for my higher studies to UK. SO sure and confident that everything is under control I walked to the desk – showed my ticket and put my bags on the weighing machine – 63 kgs exactly, well under the allowed weight of 64 kgs for students traveling. Whoosh I saw each of the bags drawn over the conveyor belt to accompany me on my flight. Proudly I collect my boarding pass and walk away to my next check post only to realise that the little locks that should have been on the bags are still in my pockets. DAMN!! No need to elaborate what happened ahead – it was a flight full of fear anxiety and excitement – big butterflies in my stomach – packed like a bomb about to blow off – luckily when i got my bags all safe and sound – it felt like my plane had actually landed
When Vandana left her tickets at home
In January 2004 Vandana was to travel to Denmark for 2 months for training through her office – she was a complete wreck as this was told to her only a week back – so there was not much time to pack etc – since she was the first of my clan to partake an abroad trip – we were clueless as to what could be in store. Her parents, my bro and mum were to drop her to the airport – for some reason i opted out and stayed at home instead. An hour and a half later i received a frantic call from my brother – I could make out there was someone yelling in the background- it was my mum!! Not quite sure what is happening I was trying hard to focus on he was saying and picked up a few keywords – ‘Vandana’, ‘Tickets’, ‘ At home’ – I almost sprung from my seat when it actually dawned on me what had happened. The lass had left without her tickets. I turned the whole house upside down looking for them; finally to find them nicely tucked away in an envelope on the bed. I wasn’t sure how it would be of any help with me finding the tickets – cause the flight was to leave in 2 hours and there was no way I could make it there on my own in the middle of the night. While I was trying to make any sense of this the door bell rang – I saw through the peep my neighbor – he knew what was going on and was ready on his scooty to drive me to the airport. Armed with our helmets and not ascertaining entirely how cold it would be outside -freezing, we drove. We made it in 45 minutes – it was a record!! All in all yes I handed over the ticket and the usual ‘rona – dhona’. Another point to be noted during your travels – check all your documents! Againnnnnnn !!!
When I lost mah luggage
Off to trip to OZZIe land, in December 2007, my flight was delayed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by 2 hours – Malaysian Airlines, to Brisbane – Via KL. I was getting a lil panicky as my transit flight from KL to Brisbane was due soon after I reach KL and I didn’t want to mess up my plans. Several enquiries and assurances later the Airline staff confirmed that arrangements for all transit passengers would be made. I landed in KL at the time when my transit flight was to take off – was rushed off directly from the runway to the waiting aircraft – like a swing airborne to airborne again. Happy that I made it I slipped into a deep slumber. Waking up at SYDNEY I was reminiscing what a flight I had – chatting up with some of my co passengers who had similarly been evicted. AS I waited for my luggage I had a weird feeling that something was wrong. And it was indeed – my bags had not arrived – they were still stuck at KL while I was being swinged away. It would take 2 more days for them to arrive and would be sent directly to my hotel – of course I was handsomely compensated for the grievance. I didn’t have much to complain as all my essentials were with me just my formals missing; but the compensation was more than enough to help me shop!! What a great trip – landed in Australia and the first thing that I do is shop.
When I missed my flight
Just as I was thinking that I have become a pro at globe trotting another disaster struck. June 2008 I was traveling to UK for a conference – I did the regular check – my flight was on time – I did a web check-in, a window seat as usual. Packed well in advance I drove to the airport sans ADI who was in Goa with his office guys. Too proud to show off that I can do things on my own without him! Just as I made a call to the Airline to check my status I could feel the sweat balls become bigger on my forehead. The departure time for my flight read 0130 hours and I had literally translated that to 1.30 pm in the afternoon. What the customer service lady on the line was informing me was that I had already missed my flight!! Tears rolling down my cheeks I informed everyone of the mishap – BABA insisted that I should still go to the airport and check. Making desperate calls to the travel desk and customer service I was a nervous freak when I reached the Airport. On reaching I went in straight to the Airline counter who very patiently heard my situation – there was no way I could cancel this trip – the booking for the conference and the hotel etc had been done in advance and there was also no way I could cough up money to buy a new ticket. The airline guys first gave me some water and then said they could put me on another flight that was to leave in an hour if I had my bags ready. I only had to pay some ‘no show’ charges for missing the earlier flight. There was nothing else that could have made me happier as I had already typed my resignation letter in my head, if the unexpected happened. I ran out with new found legs and picked my bags and was soon aboard my missed flight!! An important lesson learnt is to never back away from adversity – there is always a way out, I would have been in more trouble if I had decided not to go to the airport.
Hehehehe – when I lost my passport
This was an unbelievable event – I actually laughed my way out of it – on my flight back to London in 2006 my passport fell off my lap in the airplane. I only realised this when I had to present it at the immigration counter. I checked my bags inside out and traced my way back to the security gates near the boarding deck. I was almost embarrassed when I told the officer there that I want to go back on the flight. Very surprisingly he quipped, “Don’t you like London!!” I explained what had happened and was amazed when expression did not change. All he said was “Are you sure!!”, and all I could say was “Positive”. He took me along some doors that read “Officers Only” and I found myself in the security zone. He made a few calls on his walky talky and made me go through the Metal Detector gate and frisked my bag – then another door and I was in the lounge where all Airlines had their desks. Suddenly I realised that internally the airport is a small managing unit just feels much spaced out!!! Any hoo I ran all the way to Airline desk where there was Q. Mustering up my courage and convincing myself that this was an Emergency situation I skipped ahead of the Q. Thanks to all people ever so considerate. As I approached the lady at the desk she told me to hold on for a minute. She picked up her mike and on the Public Address System I heard, “Attention all passengers just arrived by the *** Airways Flight ** ***, Miss Trupti Mulajkar, could you please approach the closest airline counter’ – this was repeated thrice. Not sure how but involuntarily I yelped ‘That’s me!!’ and she still continued to complete the announcement. When I finally went close to her – I saw the look on her face just like my mother’s and felt that a hard smack was on its way to my cheek. Luckily she just smiled and handed my passport. “You should be more careful with these things”. I breathed a heavy sigh of relief and thanked the security officer for helping me out – He said he was glad I can see London now and didn’t have to go back – of course I could see the sarcasm. If I would have not found my passport then we would both be traveling back home on separate flights!!!.
Such have been the amazing stories behind all the beautiful pictures and memories – they would have been different if all would have not turned out to be fine. But you know what they say “In the end everything is ALRIGHT – if it is not alright then it is not the END”. Rock ON!

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