12th October seems so far away now. But that was the day all the shopping, packing, weighing, re-packing, re-weighing, check listing and all the zillions things associated with a much awaited travel ended in. Yes we were going to India!
The days before the vacation were jam packed for K. So much so, he was working till the wee morning hours many a days. I had Chiyaa to share my joys, my fears, my apprehensions, my anxieties and my uber excitement. Just the night before the trip, K started actually feeling the jitters. We were more worried about how the lil one would respond to such a long journey. At some point, he was also feeling sad for leaving Leeds. K has had much of life from Chennai. His previous trips abroad were of a shorter nature, where he never had the chance to gain a liking for the place where he was. But he has grown a fondness for the present place. He has friends, family, a work place he likes and avenues for entertainment he enjoys. (Touchwood) So he was feeling a bit ill at ease leaving the place after a gap of 2 years and 8 months. I have somehow always felt the same about my vacations. I have spent most of my time outside my parent's place. So a vacation was always a trip to mom n dad. I would always be very excited about booking tickets and making the travel. But when the day would come, I would be sad and start missing the things in the place I was. I remember being in Hyderabad and the airport being a lil walk from my home (happy days!!) I used to drag my trolley and laptop bag and walk to the airport. All the while I would be missing my friends at work and my roomie dear! (Strange am I) Even at Chennai, I would get real senti about leaving for vacation, so much so, we would have extra tea at work to feel better :P So leaving Leeds for me, was an extension of all that I used to feel. But for K it was utterly new. It was real sweet to see this side of him ( and I got to see, I was nt the weirdo all this while, missing the place I was leaving :D )
For the first time in our lives, on the morning of 12/10, we awoke at the first ring of the alarm. No snoozing, no 'you wake up first'. Both up at the very first buzz. We got ready in a jiffy. I was texting my sis about the status - woke up - brushing- coffee - and the rest ;) Giving those point to point updates made me feel sooooo gooooooood. :) It was as if I was inches from her! We got a very perplexed munchkin ready and then headed off to the train station. K did ask if I had packed something and got a sound hearing from me. Thats when I said my famous words - we are at the point of no return, whats packed is packed, whats not is not (Thank you thank you) . That shushed K :P
Train journey was uneventful thankfully. Once at the airport, we had a mini scare. We were 10 steps away from the terminal and since K was carrying the luggage he had to take the lift. I was carrying Chiyaa and opted for the escalator. (God knows why :D :P ) It so happened that K ended up being in some other terminal! Now he had the trolley with all the stuff, including my hand bag which had my mobile and my wallet. I had ABSOLUTELY no way of contacting him. The only saving grace was we had time in hand. I knew in 2.5 hrs he would surely be in the correct terminal. Half an hour later, I was re-united with a very sweaty K :P
That done, we had the usual security check ins. Having a baby in hand, sped things a bit. All that and a duty free shopping spree later, we were comfortably seated in the flight.
Chiyaa was noisy, boisterous and very very active in the flight. It was quite a handful managing her. The seat next to us was taken by a lady with a 10 month old. Chiyaa had some good fun playing with the kid. She even tried to jump from her bassinet to his! I was looking ruefully at a group of ladies who were coolly sipping gin and tonic and watching movies after movies :( They completed 3 in fact. I felt like asking them to put sub titles so that I could follow them. K had asked for Hindu veg meal while I had not selected any option. So he got his food first. He ensured that he fed me too, so that we both were adequately fueled :) Interestingly Hindu veg meal had chicken curry :P I guess the absence of beef makes it 'Hindu veg' :P We were not able to sleep a wink during the 7.5 hour long flight to Dubai. We still had a 4 hour long flight to Chennai.
Chiyaa by this time was dead tired. Sadly she was not able to sleep much due to the constant motion, jostling of other passengers, announcements et al. 30 minutes into the flight and she started bawling. There were other co-passengers who even tried their hand at consoling her, but she would not be comforted at all. She went on for a good 45 minutes. We were really worried and distressed seeing her in that state. Poor dear, she had been through a lot already. Somehow after what seemed like eternity, she drifted off to sleep. I also caught a quick nap while K got busy watching Chernobyl Diaries! (Really!?)
He could not finish the movie cos at 0300 13th October, we landed at home!