Saturday 28th July saw me going back to Delhi.
The flight that was scheduled to leave at 1:10 pm or so was delayed by an hour. Thats ok. In these days of air traffic congestion, this happens all the time. The flight from Chennai to Delhi was somewhat rough. The beginnings of monsoon in many parts of India was announcing itself in the skies, with thick cloud-scapes, and the play of fast winds. The plane bravely tossed its way through these sea-currents of the sky.
We were scheduled to touch down around 5 pm, and the descent was announced. Suddenly the air hostess came on-line in the aircraft PA system, and in a slight panic-voice announced, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, due to heavy rain in Delhi, we are diverting the flight to Jaipur, Thank you!’.
The plane left the field of turbulence like a warrior getting some time off from battle.
Soon the green-rectangular-patches of agricultural land surrounding Delhi was left behind, as the plane turned towards Rajasthan.
The serious-up-until-now co-passengers, suddenly found tongue, smiles and camaraderie…Plane diverted! What fun! People started to chat with others in and around them, exchanging war stories. Some started forecasting the future.
Meanwhile, the air-hostess came on-line again and announced descent to Jaipur, spoke her standard “Thank you for flying with us. We hope you enjoyed your flight and look forward to flying you again” lines…It sounded as if the journey was over, and ‘so please deplane and find your own way to Delhi!’…
Looking out, I could see hills, fortresses…I saw a lot of Minarets, little towers, set in the middle of circular patches…Wonder what they are…Brick kilns? Lots of them around Jaipur.
So, there we were, grounded in Jaipur. With no announcement from the crew as to what was to happen next. It was fairy tale time!
The seat next to me was vacant. An elderly man came and sat down there, and put his cell phone under my nose. During that high-pitch-camaraderie period in the air, I had perhaps looked around beaming, and we had smiled at each other. And so, now that we were friends, he wanted some help. His phone had a message – “Please insert SIM card”, or something to that effect. He told me, “The message is wrong! The phone has a SIM card…I used it in the morning…Don’t know why the phone is not working now…I was to attend a wedding in Delhi as soon as I landed…Now I don’t know how to tell them about this development…Can you do something about this SIM card?”
I brought to bear my several decades of experience in computer technology and asked him whether he had tried to reboot the phone (switching it off and restarting)…He was ready for that one. As if to say that he too had not been wasting his time on earth, he smiled and said he had already tried that. Lands end. I had to hand over my phone to him, so that he could call his near and dear in Delhi and explain why he was in Jaipur and not in Delhi.
When the elderly gentleman was through with his calls, I attempted to bring to bear, once more, my several decades of experience in computer technology… I had spotted a ten year old kid standing, a few rows behind. I advised the elderly gentleman to check with the kid.
I told him that if anyone in the plane could fix his SIM card problem, this kid could. The man saw light, thanked me profusely and made his way to the kid…Soon the kid was dismantling the man’s phone…
And then there was this cine-actress in the plane….
To be contd….