Written by Nandini Sethi
I couldn’t believe it! I had overslept. Again!
I couldn’t afford to miss another flight, especially not this one. There was a function back home, and I had booked the tickets to be with my family two whole months ago.
I didn’t waste a single second in bed, I zoomed right out to get washed up and ready for the day. Scratch that, I was as ready as I needed to be; I didn’t have time to bathe.
I scrambled about the house, stuffed all my clothes in a bag, didn’t zip it up all the way, wore my sneakers, didn’t tie the laces completely, and dashed out of the house.
I must have broken about 5 traffic laws on my way to the airport. I parked like a madman, tripping over my own two feet to get through the gates and towards security. In my hurry, I forgot to pack all my clothes, so I just stuffed them in a handbag to save myself the time of checking in.
The lines at the security terminal were bizarre. There was no way I would make my flight. I thought of an idea. I ran toward the nearest washroom and made sure no one was watching me. Passing by the men’s room, then the women, I slipped into the washroom designated to the handicapped, and made my way out on a wheelchair. No one had to know.
On seeing me trudge along in a wheelchair, people made way for me to go first. With a calm demeanour, I thanked everyone and plastered on a smile. I went a little ahead, just enough to ensure that nobody in the queues could see me, then I got up and ran my way ahead.
I must have bumped into 8 men, 2 children, and God knows how many janitors, but nothing could stop me. Except for the fact that I needed to catch my breath. I only gave myself a second, and then I was zooming past once again.
I could see a single attendant waiting at the gates of the terminal. I sensed dwindling hope. I was so wound up, I knew I would start crying, irrespective of whether I made the flight or not.
I ran to the woman, fell to her knees. She gasped, trying to lift me up, but I was begging, “please! Let me through, I need to make this flight!”
She was saying something, still trying her best to lift me up, but it all fell to deaf ears.
“Excuse me sir-”, but I cut her off, “no! Please let me through!”
She took a deep breath and screamed, “excuse me!”
I looked up at her with teary eyes, then saw everyone around staring at us. Now, I was a little embarrassed.
“Please, let me through,” I said silently. She looked at me, an unreadable expression on her face, “I don’t understand, which flight are you talking about?”
“The one going to Delhi! The one that just took off!”
She cleared her throat, “excuse me sir, if you would look behind you will see that the boarding is just about to start,” her expression still remained unreadable, “please stand in the line.”
I looked back to see a whole queue of people, some of them who let me through at security, staring at me, mouths agape. Mine was too, when I realized I have to spend 2 hours in an enclosed vehicle with the people who just witnessed the most embarrassing moment of my life.