It was time to leave finally. I was tired to the core with making sure that everything was in place to make sure that I was finally ready to leave.
The day began with a super surprise... It was a Monday.. 31st December. I had to leave in the night. And as I had gotten into the habit of waking up late in the mornings, that day, too, I woke up late, very late. But there was a surprise waiting for me, than the usual shoutings from mom that I had got used to. Mom was busy preparing puran-poli, amti bhaat.... That is what I is my favourite cuisine.. I felt so pampered, and taken care of, and I knew I am gonna miss all this for a long time when I would leave :(
Until the last moment, I was trying to meet as many friends as possible. Supriya had come home in the evening and she helped me finish off with the last minute packing mess that I was in. We then went to the Ganpati temple in our colony. We had food together then.. Everyone was making me feel so special, I was overwhelmed, but simply did not say much as I knew I would have... mmmmmm.... weapt :(
We had the last minute family photograph session.. Mom, dad, uku, didi, uma, md, supriya, ajju... I wanted to meet BK.. but it was too late, So just called her to tell that I was leaving. And I did not know there was another surprise in store. It was so very sweet of her to have come home to see me off! And, also it was sweet of uma and md to have gifted me the shawl.
Finally, we left from home at around 10pm. We would all be silent for sometime, then mom and dad would give some advices, then some jokes, lots of new year smses, calls,... v finally reached the airport at 2:30 in the morning.
We were waiting at the check-in gate, from where I had to depart. I had an hour in hand before i had to go, so we were all waiting there until it was time. Dad kept looking at the watch, and felt it was running fast :) He kept asking me to wait until I had to say that it is time for me to leave.
Finally, I waved a goodbye to them and went inside at 4. The journey had begun. After years, I felt as if I am again learning to pick my steps, to learn to walk through a new life. I kept waiting until it was time for the baggage checking and getting the boarding pass. I had awaited this journey for over a year, and now I had already started walking my way through it.
But there were many unexpected incidents in store for me and for fellow passengers. The flight was delayed, and delayed by 3 hours! I had already started losing my patience. A whole New Year's night at the airport! would not like to make a mention of the frustration and anger that I underwent.
Ok.. The story did not end there. The flight was rescheduled to fly at 10am on the 1st of Jan. After a highly annoying experience to have waited for the entire night, all passengers were eagerly waiting for the announcements. Until 9:30, there was not a single piece of information about the departure. The frustration levels rose and were relaxed at the same time when an annoncement was made that the departure will be at 11am! Time passed by, by watching the chaotic situation around, the frowning passengers, and cursing Air India! Because, I had also missed the connecting flight from the London airport. I had received a confirmation on the rescheduling done on that though.
And, the airline just did not stop on this lethargic service. Even after all passengers were seated in the plane at 11, it had actually started at 12:15 in the noon, which I realised when I woke up from my nap. Until we actually left, I felt like running away and going back home. Anyways, now it was time to rest than keep continuing with the abuses for the airline. I had not slept the entire night, and half the day had also been wasted with the stupidity...
I had nothing to do, but to sleep for the maximum time in the flight. Of course, I woke up at once whenever they had to offer food and snacks :)
We finally landed on the British soil. Another 2 hours halt there, and back in the flight for Toronto. And, as if I had to experience all the worse situations in this journey, there came a very hard blow at the London airport. Air Canada declared my baggage to be excess and wouldn't allow me to continue without paying GBP 100!!!!! Gosh! This was the limit. I was filled with anger and was fuming from within. I was carrying the amount of baggage that was told to me by the agent and which was also mentioned in the document. But but but.... I really felt like kicking that lady officer on her butt...
I was relieved when I reached Toronto! I reached here at midnite, which meant that I landed on the 2nd of Jan! After finishing all the formalities, I got out of there and got teh first brush of terrible cold of Canada, which I had only heard of till then. It was very sweet of Amrita's cousin to have come at teh airport to receive me at such a late hour. Dimpi bhaiyya and Anju bhabhi took me at their place and made me feel at home. I took a bath and had dinner with them.
It was a very pleasant stay with them for two days. I literally fely as if I was at my home. Their kids made friends with me. Buaji was also very sweet and concerned about my whereabouts in this alien country. But as they have been living here, they gave me valuable advices and tremendous caring support. They all hunted for a suitable jacket for me in every possible store until I liked one at the end of the day. They made sure I had suitable winter wear and tehn only decided to drop me at teh hostel. They were of tremendous help to me, they made me feel comfortable in an unknown place.
rest will be updated in the later posts.... :)