We had hugged, suppressed the tears, waved and were on our way to the departure gate. Just as we turned the corner there was a corridor joining the passage to the lobby and we saw all four of them waiting there for a last wave before we took off.
Both the children had been in the US since birth and our earlier interaction with them was only during their visits to India. One or two days. Our seven weeks stay with them had created a stronger bond and the whole week prior to our departure, they had been begging us to postpone our journey. I had half a mind to concede but it was not practical or possible.
As we reached the departure gate the mind turned towards the journey ahead and we were happy that the flight was on time. Once we took off from Frankfurt, we would be free in mind. I am scared of getting struck in unknown places and fortunately for us there were no delays or cancellations any where during our two month’s trip.
We got into the aircraft and I had the window seat. A good opportunity to test the new camera and I utilized it to the full as the following pictures show. The first three pictures are Detroit during takeoff and the next four are Frankfurt before landing.
Frankfurt, starting at 4500 meters.
Landed at Frankfurt as scheduled and since we knew what to expect, it was not as bad as it was during our onward journey. We knew how to use the utilities in the airport and I had even carried a plastic tumbler from the flight, for collecting water from the water fountain. The coffee and snacks stall had a friendlier vendor and a cup of coffee was really one full cup. Not a quarter as I had experienced during our onward journey. It was a better Frankfurt.
Our flight to Mumbai was overbooked and the airline was offering six hundred euros to passengers who volunteered to take a flight departing an hour later and flying via Dubai to Mumbai instead of the direct flight that we were booked on. If I had been sensible I could have earned one thousand two hundred euros on the spot. But I am not. So we struck to the flight that we had booked and arrived at Mumbai on schedule at the ungodly hour of 01.30 AM. Our luggage arrived on the belt an hour and a half later just as I had started to worry about them. They were intact and we had enough time to catch our connecting flight to Goa.
We arrived at Goa’s Dabolim Airport, at six in the morning of 21st July. We had had a very enjoyable and memorable trip and I had a great time. All that i was required to to do was relax, see new sights, get new experiences and enjoy. Everything else was taken care off. After my carefree child hood, this was the first time I had found myself in such a situation. Thanks to Vishwa and Bhanu.
It had taken a week for our biological clock to get adjusted to the new settings when we landed in the US. I was hoping that it would not be so bad on our return. It wasn’t. It was worse. It was nearly a month by the time I was back to normal.
We have a multiple entry VISA and Bhanu has urged us to visit them again extending a very strong and affectionate standing invitation. I don’t mind planning another trip but for the expense, journey discomfort and jetlag. Right now i am back and happy to be in charge of our lives again.
PS: I started writing my l experiences in the US on 28th May 2010. I enjoyed writing them but many a times I felt that it was getting to be monotonous and a pain for me and more for my friends. I did not have a clear idea (nor do I have now) what to include and what to exclude, where to focus and where to gloss over. I Typed whatever occurred to me when I was in front of the computer. If anyone read through the lot, thanks for keeping up. For those who felt compelled to give up, sorry for boring.