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Short Story 4: Unforgettable Night


At 7 pm Vijay entered the local terminal from the train that connected it to international. He looked like a punished prisoner with his 20 lbs bag-pack and dragging his two 50 lbs luggage running from one corner of the terminal to the baggage check. 8 PM was what the departure time printed on his boarding pass pushed over from 7:15.  Next 30 mins he was roaming in the airport and wondering when he would rest his arse on the soft cozy bed of his. Suddenly the weather alert on the TV showing "Heavy snow storm in the City" drew his attention. His heart missed a beat when he saw his fight being delayed by an hour. Peeping through window he saw the snow covered the airport and with light reflection making it RIN SAFEDI white. He had forgotten that it was mid Jan and he was in countries most windy and snowy city; another update and flight delayed by 45 mins. He had heard “Delays were dangerous”, realized it was frustrating too.
The outside temperature read -20 C and it was 20 C in his native; not only were the two cities diametrically opposite, but also weather equally other side of 0C. Only Vijay could think about this when one’s flight gets delayed. By Airlines grace at 9:45 the boarding began, and by 10 all passengers were seated. Vijay was so tired that he could barely check out the Air Hostess as he always did, let alone listening to their seat-belt instructions. A loud crying kid across the aisle woke him, he heard the Air Hostess announcing about the heavy snow storm and that they were waiting for weather to ease out, he didn’t even bother for Air Hostess to finish he fell asleep again.

Roughly 2 hrs later Vijay was woken by a fellow angry passengers yelling at the crew and some using their weekend minutes out loud. He peeped out of the window and the scene looked familiar, and more over his destination airport was not that huge and there weren’t too many lights around. He was partially scared and partially hungry and that’s when one’s mind really works in the reverse direction. His sixth sense sensed something bad, and he heard the sweet golden words "WE REGRET TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE FLIGHT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO BAD WEATHER" sorry for the inconvenience!!! Putting 2 and 2 together he realized that the flight never took off at all. It stood stand still like a rock, white rock was more appropriate. 

One by one everyone moved out of the airplane into the gate and stood in the queue for a rescheduled flight. Vijay smiled at the attendant and picked up his ticket and the flight time read 2:40, he was happy that he could fly soon and then saw the text PM in bold letters (2:40 pm, next day afternoon). And just to rub salt on the wound there was no refund, as the cancellation was due to weather, now one more reason to hate weather, but they would provide hotel at a discounted rate of $70. He met an INDIAN couple with a 2 yr old; incidentally boarded from his native in the same flight, they decided to rent a car and drive back. They came out of the airport to headed towards the rental shuttle stand, out came the gusting wind at -20 C making him realize what winter was. Holy mother of GOD were his exact words, it was 20C when he had left his native. Since he was a shabby packer, he accidentally had small winter jacket (enough to keep me alive) in his cabin bag, which otherwise would have been in his check in luggage.
At 3 am they began their marathon drive in a weather, which mighty Airplane refused to take off. Sitting in the front seat and watching their car cut through the snow increased his heart beat and with more blood pumping into his brain helped him fight against the sleep, well supported by the jetlag. The visibility was so poor that they could barely see the headlights of the car ahead. For the first time in his life he was as focused as Arjuna of Mahabharata in watching the road, that he could barely hear the kid crying in the rear seat. Every mile covered was like an inch encroached into the enemy territory by the army. By GODS grace n Chevy Impala reached his apartment at 9 am and 10 mins later was found resting his arse on his soft cozy bed of his. The sense of relief and the joy of reaching home in one piece was enough to take his mind off missing his home town.
It truly was an Unforgettable Night

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