Usually, an airplane, a train, a bus, or simply any vehicle is just a mode of transport. But today I want to write about just a few moments before taking that transport.
For my story, we arbitrarily start the night before I was going to take my first flight to Australia. I had to catch this flight from Bombay (Mumbai as it is now called, though internationally people still remember it as Bombay), while I was living in Nagpur. Approx 800km distance in between them.
So the night before my first flight I took a Train from Nagpur to Mumbai and moments before the start of the journey, there were tremendous emotions flowing all over the place. First I was going to miss this train. And the emotional trauma still follows me to this date, that feeling of what if I will miss my first International travel opportunity only because I am going to miss this train. Randomly I get the dream that this will happen again even though I am over 10 years residing in Australia.
There were more, more emotional pieces of baggage. On one side, completely opposite side of the platform were my parents and sister who arrived at the train station before me. On another side, were in an autorickshaw on the completely opposite side of the platform trying to enter the train station while the train was already ready to leave.
At this moment I was going to get separated from my girlfriend (now wife) and there was neither time nor the opportunity for an informal goodbye kiss. And the recent time I met my parents they still remember (actually complain) that I did not say my goodbyes properly.
For the next 5 mins I ran, I ran like a maniac. Holding a fully filled 30kg checking bag while my girlfriend was running behind holding my cabin bag which actually had my passports and boarding tickets. The train has already started moving and somehow I jumped in a running train leaving so many emotions behind (as well as my checking and bag). I saw my parents, girlfriend, and probably the riksha-wala running behind me. (Ya we forgot to clear the payments for the autorickshaw and my girlfriend gave him money later on.) They all chased after me and pushed all my luggage one after the other and I did catch the last Duronto Express from Nagpur to Mumbai.
On the train, I did think I am leaving behind the frustration of joblessness, and the emotionally challenging bond that I and my girlfriend had at the time. And I am leaving behind several unsolved undiscussed conversations with my parents where I was upset or it was just teenage anger. But as soon as I boarded that train, there was some sense of relief.
Several years later if I would talk to a psychologist about this situation, I bet she will discover that I always had that fight or flight mentality where I am mostly running away from my problems rather than facing them head-on.
Some situation that night and the day I caught my flight seems so stupid now and remembering them feels so awkward. For example, in Mumbai, I met my collegemate and a very good friend Bharatlal with whom I used to share the deepest of my secrets. I took out all the Indian currency in my pocket and gave it to him saying, “What use I will have of this abroad ?” (I agree I was stupid, I did not know there are currency exchange counters at all international airports). To this day my friend remembers this dialogue “Money from one country will be just like papers in another.” Probably we both were stupid at the time. Or as a famous comedian rightly said, “ALL FRIENDSHIPS ARE DEPENDENT UPON MUTUAL IGNORENCE.”
But that time I had several issues with the people whom I was surrounded with. Bharatlal knew that. And he also knew that I am also scared to go to Australia as well. Hopeful as well as scared. Before getting inside the airport, he took out his half-broken MP3 player and gave me his headphones with a tuned-in song, “AA-ZAA-DIYA (Pairo ki Bediya)” from the movie UDAAN.
Music has the power to drill down as well as build up a person’s emotions. Thus, that is the only thing I focus and hold on to while remembering that stressful emotional rollercoaster time before my first flight. The song AA ZAA DIYA….
How was your experience on taking your first flight or first step into a new journey ???? Please do share in the comments section below.
See you in the next post or next life, whichever comes earlier.