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Aug 20, 2011

The Long Flight Away

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel, until one comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow”

- Lin Yutang

Dear Riddhie,

I am sure if my limbs remain intact by the time you get to read this, you shall have already travelled and seen a lot (I can’t say how much would you remember it though). But then as the saying goes ‘a journey of thousand miles begins with a first step’ let me begin by telling you about your first long distance journey.

There are primarily two reasons for me to tell you this story. One – it helps bridge facts in the right order since my last post was your trip to the US embassy and a few following this would be about your experiences here in this alien dollar land and Two – Even though it is no big deal anymore, back when I was growing up, travelling overseas was not everyone’s cup of tea and somehow I was taking you along it kind of felt good doing it. So, then why not tell you the story as it happened.

I took the advise of your Parul Aunty (You shall probably know her as Maalvika’s mummy now, though as I key this in you two haven’t met as yet) and booked our tickets on Jet Airways for your first trip. And well, it turned out to be one good decision overall for not only was the carrier comfortable, the crew turned out to be more helpful and polite than all Uniteds and Continentals and Lufthansas put together.

We started well in time from Sonipat and as it had to be, the entire family escorted you to the airport. The cab ride to the airport was not as smooth as you would have liked but we did manage to reach on time. The flight was from IGI Terminal 3 and when we reached the gates you were just not willing to get off your grandpa’s arms. I am sure it was a difficult moment for him as well but then what had to be done, had to be done. We waved everyone goodbyes and walked into the terminal. Incidentally the baggage check in and security rounds went smooth. You kept throwing smiles and waving at odd strangers and security guards and airline crew attendants alike and well, I must admit, that most of the times it worked in favor of us being let in without extra fuss. Even at the immigration counter, where there was this guy with a sad morbid look on his face, you kept making your cooing sounds and he almost HAD to give in and nod and smile at you.

Once we were through with the paper work and collection of boarding passes, there were still 3 hours or so to go before we could board on. You did all you could in those three hours that we sat there whiling our time. There were multiple diaper changes, screaming and laughing and your rolling around that we soon were the center of everyone’s attention. I was beginning to wonder how would you do once you were airborne. But luckily it all got sorted out once we got inside and grabbed our seats. You had your allotted bassinet and after an hour into the flight, were fast asleep in your tiny crib.

The flight had a changeover at the Brussels airport and we again had about three hours to go before we boarded again. So officially, Belgium is the first country you visited or set foot on after India. You woke up fresh at the airport here and then once you were fed and cleaned and given a change of clothes again, you were joyously jumping around in our laps and seeking attention of everyone in the vicinity. Once airborne again, we had some difficulty initially, in trying to feed you as you wanted a share from everyone else’s plate but later settled in nice and easy in your crib and slept through most part of the journey.

Touchdown and arrival in US went off pretty smoothly with the usual routine - a round of questions asked at the immigration, hunting for your baggage and then finding a cab to the booked hotel. We checked in around noon and thus ended your first long journey, with you slipping in quietly under the sheets and catching the much due jet lagged sleep.

I shall talk about your experiences and other things that you did (and are doing as of now) on this trip in my posts to come. For now, here are a few shots of you, that I took with my phone at the Belgium airport. 


Riddhie    Riddhie  Riddhie  Riddhie

1 comments on "The Long Flight Away"

How do we know on 11:12:00 PM said...

this one is SUCH a DARLING!! God Bless her.

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