The Hustle Story, right before reaching Delhi Airport

Are you mad? Aren’t you aware of Delhi’s traffic, your flight is gone, Happy ! your wish to buy a flight ticket from the airport will come true today” – These harsh words from a friend, made me worried, scared and a real-life dealer in the cab heading towards airport where I was stuck in a bad traffic and my flight was about to leave.

Out of worry, I opened the Jet Airways App to search for the next flight, which was in the morning, ‘How can you be so useless, you will ruin all the plans”. There was a fear of buying this last-minute ticket, which was damn expensive, above that the month just started and nobody wants to be broke at this time(Brokophobia). “Driver Sahab, I will pay you Rs 100 extra, if you drop me at the airport on time”, See we humans, can do anything to be on time. Hope this bribe works out!

Simultaneously there were multiple things that were going along with plan B to reach the airport, like a mandatory call from family, bae, office, Airtel, LIC and everyone about whom you don’t ever care. One of my cousin, “Bhai, Stay at my place in Mumbai, nobody’s there, it’s in a posh area” and I am like, let me reach airport first then I will think of staying. Another dialogues like  “When is your flight? How far are you from the airport? Give me a call when you reach airport…”,  I remember giving same distance and time estimates to reach the airport to different people as the car was not moving and the frequency of calls was much higher than that.

Wish I could drink the red-cold-blooded traffic line of Google maps, moreover, it was showing time estimates as 55 minutes to cover 10 kilometers. No could be more sadistic than this.

Driver Sahab, take from the middle row, see the traffic there is moving faster there” – expert advice automatically follows when you’re in misery, part of human nature and at that time you just believe that you are the only right person. Also, cursing the bad riders just makes you feel better and it’s your right and a must-do when stuck in traffic.

Let’s have a meeting on so and so day about so and so – from the boss at the office, can’t even imagine listening to this at such time.

You’ve won a voucher worth Rs 1500”(It was real) – this served as a wow moment in between this depressing situation.

Buy raincoats, as it must be raining in Mumbai” — Giving orders to friends at such moment is also a necessary part, just to make sure you don’t land up in any problem in future (Look, who’s talking)

So many mix-up of things being good, bad, commanding, consoling and informative kept my adrenaline pumped up during rush. Thank You!

I had almost lost hope when it was the time for the boarding gate to close but still I had a minute ray of hope which gave thoughts like, “You have to convince authorities anyhow”, “You have to run like Milkha” and “You have to break through the security check-in line”. Breathe in, Breathe Out!

The driver alerted me when Google map was showing 7 minutes away, to keep tickets, ID and bag ready and also asked to run out the car as we reach the airport. Fortunately, he covered this distance in just 3 minutes (Did bribe really work?)

Rushed to the airport and the bad luck still follows, Boarding pass Kiosk says that check-in for your flight has ended, contact counter (I’ve done web check-in already, then why this?)

I have, breath, breath, done web check-in, breath, breath, Kiosk is not printing the pass”, to the lady at the counter, by cutting the line and keeping all Jet Airways passengers at a side, It’s me – I will miss my flight, help! Ritu, if I am not wrong, the girl at the counter called Aarti Ma’am and requested, “Ek Sir hain, Mumbai 9:50 flight ke, bus hand bag hai unke paas, Ma’am boarding gate bhi paas hai, jaane dun?” She convinced the authorities, gave me the boarding pass and warned that she will not be responsible in case I miss the flight. Thanks a ton Ritu for this and also for allowing me to go through the fastest check-in route, the one for business class.

Reaching to the climax, it’s Terminal 3 of Delhi Airport, where you need to walk a lot to reach the gates, glad mine was not far, but still running to the gates made me almost dead, until I saw an aged man who was waving the attendees at the gate and then I just walked at it his pace and skimmed into the flight. A lot of relief indeed. Later came to know that gentleman was the business class passenger, was that the reason the gate was open for so long, as it usually closes 25 minutes prior to take-off?

Woo Hoo! That was the haste story of boarding the plane just 10 minutes before take-off. Now relaxing in the plane with a bottle of water and lot of deep breaths followed all sorts of appreciation for myself. However, I took this as a lesson and not as matter of pride.

I would like to thank the humble staff of Jet Airways airline who let me into the flight at last minute. This is not a motivation for the readers, to disturb them (by getting late) but to believe they are awesome.

This was written while flying from Delhi to Mumbai in the Jet Airways flight with timely supply of food, water and tea to recollect all the thoughts right before I reach my destination. I will never forget my race with time to catch this flight. Until then, Jet-Set-Go.


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