My friend Shilpa had invited me to her kid's first birthday party. This party was happening on the 26th of December in Bangalore, the same day that a milestone occasion of close relatives was being celebrated in Chennai as well.
Thankfully, while the family party was in the afternoon, Shilpa's party was going to be held in the evening. The total party girl that I am (or more truthfully, wanting to attend both parties), I decided I would attend the family party, then hop onto a flight to Bangalore, attend the other party and return to Chennai the next day (sounds so jet-setting, right?).
Thus, tickets were booked and I was all set.
December 25th night, I decided to check in for my flight to Bangalore for the next day, at 3.25pm. To my delight, I found no one else had checked in for the flight and I checked into seat 1F, right behind the pilot, as I told my family proudly later. Which was when my dad pricked my delight bubble and told me that if no one else had checked in, it was quite possible that my flight would be canceled. Oh? Ouch.
The next morning, the day of the parties, saw me feverishly packing stuff to take to Bangalore. I would be leaving for the airport straight from Party #1. That was when the SMS alert came on my phone. Ta da! The flight to Bangalore was canceled. Ugh.
The next 45 minutes saw me on the phone to Jet Airways while they confirmed that I had now been moved to the 5.35pm flight to Bangalore. Um, I would be landing right when the Party #2 started, but as long as I went dressed in my party dress, I would still be able to make it to most of the party. Okay, all set again.
Party #1 turned out to be a total blast and everyone had a wonderful time. After the party, some guests came back home with us. While S entertained the guests, I dressed up for Party #2, again at a feverish pace, wishing that I could have spent more time with the guests.
After bidding good-bye to our guests, S and I rushed to the airport. I was dropped off and I went off to check-in, all the while feeling utterly conscious about my blingy party dress (maybe from now on I wont be so judgmental about people in airports who look like they ran away from a party). At the counter fell the first blow. My 5.35pm flight was now delayed to 6.25pm. What!!!!
Shilpa's party would be starting at 6.30pm and I would now only be landing at 7.15pm. But the brave little soldier that I am, I figured that since this was an Indian party, the guests would show up according to IST only and thus I would not miss too much of the party (I can be a little too optimistic sometimes). When told about the delay, S asked if I was planning to go all the way to Bangalore just so that I could wish Shilpa good night and come back. Har har.
So 4.10pm to 5.40pm saw me seated at the gates in the airport, shivering slightly. In my rush I had forgotten to grab a jacket and a book. The latter was remedied by buying a magazine.
At 5.45 pm, I was all ready to be called for boarding. Which was when a voice over the intercom announced that the flight to Bangalore was now delayed to 7.00pm due to unavoidable reasons and "we are extremely sorry about the delay". I had a great idea about where exactly they could shove their sorry but being of the polite type, decided not to tell them.
At this point, even optimistic me had to concede defeat. There was no point traveling all the way to Bangalore for a party if I couldn't attend the said party. I lugged my suitcase back to the jet airways counter to ask for a refund. The funny part here was I had more difficulty in getting out of the security check area than getting into it (I was not asked for ID at any point while getting in). However, my thundercloud-like, irritated, disappointed and annoyed face got me out quickly enough.
Thus, 2 hours after entering the airport, I was outside again, waiting to be picked up by S, without ever stepping onto an aircraft.
The best laid plans of mice and women...