Late night flight


Our flight is at 11.50 p.m. We leave home at 9 p.m. to avoid the heavy Friday evening traffic.

After check-in and immigration we walk around in the duty free area, looking at beautiful displays of cosmetics. There are chocolates, perfumes, books, bags and all kinds of stuff. Branded, every single item, branded.

Beautiful models stare at us from the posters, looking at our red and bleary eyes.

I look around me, am I the only sleepy one here? Lots of people seem to be walking energetically, laughing and talking.

We plod towards the departure gate for security checking and finally to board.

The flight is cold, I snuggle into the blanket. People are watching movies all around me, there is the ‘standard baby who cries’ through the night, probably with ear block.

Can’t rest my hand. Both my kids are sprawled on my lap, deep in nod land, as I struggle to move. Periodically I set them upright. I let my guard down and the two are back, jostling for the most comfortable position.

I nod off unbeknowst to myself. I wake up and realize that a mere 20 minutes have passed.

I am green with envy as I see the man across the aisle, fast asleep;  the woman in front of me is in splits as she watches a romcom, another man is working away on his laptop.

The stewardesses walk up and down the aisle, attending to passenger requests. I perk up a little bit when I look at the duty free magazine, lost in my mental shopping for a few minutes.

I need to stand up and stretch. No such luck.

Finally after what seems like eternity, we land…but it’s not over. Disembark and walk, hundreds of weary people plodding-on at this unearthly hour. Immigration done, and now at the luggage carousel.

The bags look tired too, as they slowly snake down. Brown bags, black suitcases, purple, whites, greens…no sign of our bags.

Finally, they arrive. We load them on the trolley and head to the taxi stand; another long wait before we reach our destination.

Bliss, the ability to stretch and bend. The joy of having a hot cup of aromatic coffee.

Back on land…till the next flight.

Airport Persona


After an hour-long drive, the taxi driver drops me off at the airport. It is 10 pm and my flight is only at 1.30 a.m. I resign myself to this long wait.

I am not an airport person at all. The cold gets to me.  I am already wrapped up in my ‘goes-with-me-everywhere’ shawl.  I finish all the formalities and settle down to wait.

I am a silent observer now. I watch and categorize the people in the airport.

The ‘talkers’, who are talking non-stop into their phones.

The ‘earphoners’,  with earphones that look like extensions of their body, gently moving their head or tapping their feet.

Then there are the ‘oblivious’. Fully stretched out and deep in sleep..(what if they miss the announcement for their flights or don’t hear the alarm?)

The ‘duty free shoppers’, who do the rounds of all the shops till their flight is called.

The ‘hassled moms’ who are managing cranky kids or high-energy toddlers, who run around the airport.

The ‘corporates’ – men and women in formals, still working away on their laptops, signing major deals, and so busy at this unearthly hour.

Then the ‘models’ – women who look so well-groomed and fresh despite the lateness of the hour. How do they manage it?

Then there are the ‘readers’ – who scour the bookshops in the airport or who take out books from their hand bags & read till they land at their destination.

Then the ‘coffee & tea’ drinkers – at the coffee shops – busy sipping and enjoying themselves.

Then the ‘pacers’, who can’t seem to sit still. They pace up and down.

Don’t know which group I fall under – maybe a ‘reader’ sometimes & ‘coffee drinker’ sometimes, ‘duty free shopper’ too maybe, but never a ‘model’. Would love to be in the ‘oblivious’ group but am too paranoid about missing my flight. Imagine enduring another day in the airport!

For now, I am frozen and wishing I could be back home, stretched out in the comfort of my bed.

Sigh…52 minutes more.