A friend asked me “Why do things like this always happen to you at airports?” and my response to her was, “Ahh, well because I am single and I keep looking around for stories”.
Third travel weekend in January and I am almost falling sick this time. After a very beautiful wedding in Guruvayoor, Kerala, I head to the Cochin airport on Monday evening which in itself is another road trip. This time, I wasn’t feeling pretty good with the travel. I reach the airport in the evening watching the sun set through the backwaters and bidding adieu to the numerous coconut trees, after a two-hour journey in the cab.
As I walk into the airport and handover my PAN card and show my ticket, the security guard checking my identity is confused with my polite, humble boy look on the proof and my actual face which is covered in beard and I look nowhere close to my iD proof. He tries to verify if it is me at least thrice and then I smirk at him saying “Sir, that’s me. You don’t have to worry about the beard.” In fact, I was pissed off at him not because he wasn’t able to identify me but because of his look as I had a beard. No the first time. Every domestic travel it went through in India, I had to deal with this. Sad.
While at the Hyderabad Airport, they hardly check your check in baggage before you get the boarding pass, Chennai airport, Cochin airport and a couple of others have a weird habit of scanning the check in baggage before you even enter the counters. Usually this is where the whole crowd is waiting for at least an hour to get their one or two bags mostly scanned. Annoying process I must say. After going through 3 hours of the travel and scanning I am already feeling worse with my sickness. I quickly check in and finish the security check which surprisingly only took 20 mins in total. As I walk through the large rooms of sofas setup in columns and rows about 250 of them (I count weird things), I notice a coffee shop in the corner. I looked around the shop and asked if the one at the counter could give me a ‘Ginger Ale’ and she quickly walks back and makes a ginger tea and gives it to me.
Ended up paying for that as I needed ginger irrespective of the type of fluid it was in. With uneasyness and sickness waiting to throw their tantrums in my stomach, I walk towards and empty sofa and sit down. As I sip through the tea, I see a girl sitting two steps away from me staring at me. No kidding, she was indeed staring at me. As I looked at her, she looked away. That’s where this story begin. I could listen to my heart saying, it’s that time again in your life, to hopefully start a new story. The Cochin tale begins right here. Since she was staring at me, I quickly open up the front cam on my phone to check if there was nothing wrong with my face. I look at the phone to notice I have a man standing right behind me staring at phone. I freaked out! Looked at him seriously and he walked away. Wonder what he was doing behind me.
Ignoring all of this, with me and my ginger coffee trying to stabilize my health, I looked back at the girl. Once again I caught her looking at me. This time it wasn’t just her. There was a lady next to her, who looked like her mother because she was definitely older to be her sister, who turned to me as I looked at her daughter. Both of them were pretty, especially the girl. She had a black frame glasses which looked like she didn’t have that bad eye sight as the glasses were clear. She had beautiful curly hair tied up behind her head. She was wearing a pink shaded t-shirt with jeans and a sports shoe. Pink colored sports shoe with a big ‘S’ on them on her legs, which made me wonder which brand it was. Outright she was pretty. She had a colorful backpack sitting in the next seat against her. By now, both of them were talking about something and staring back at me. Never felt so awkward sitting in an airport. But, I decided not to give up this time.
I look around for sometime, read the weird ads on the walls, slowly I move my eyes to look back at her and this time I notice that three more women sitting on the opposite to row to the girl I was trying to look at were looking at me while they talk to their husbands. Awkwardness just maxed out on me. Checked my face again in the front facing camera to notice no difference. Everything looked good. Pretending to ignore whatever was happening, I looked at her again to catch her staring at me and this time I gave a little smile. Wait, she didn’t smile back, neither did she look away. I looked away from her not knowing what to do after giving the smile. In a few seconds, I notice her mom get up and walk behind. I assumed she went to get something. This was my chance to continue looking at her and make some progress with this. In my head, I was thinking of going and sitting next to her but didn’t have the ballz to do so, wanted to make a sign and ask her phone number but again didn’t do that due to the same reason as before. I realized all I could is possibly sit there and try and make an eye contact again, smile again, see if she smiles back and then something will happen.
Trying to repeat the same act, I looked towards her to see her busyly type something in her phone and put it back in her back pack. Couldn’t guess which phone she had but that phone had a flip cover. I hate flip covers and the concept of them magically saving your phone. Flip covers suck! Especially if you have an iPhone or a Nexus and you have a flip cover for it, you suck too. With this rant in my head, I try and look at her face and I notice her mom angryly looking at me and walking towards her daughter. Many boarding calls and they didn’t go aaaand I was happy that we were traveling together. This time both of us smiled at each other and looked away. I knew something was going to happen.
And the boarding announcement was made and I wait for them to get up. The girl gets up and walks towards the washroom. I was the happy child sitting there and waiting for both of them to go towards the line so that I could go and stand behind them and begin the talking. In 2 mins, her mom gets up to stand in the line and I get up too. As I walk towards the line and stand there, I look back and both of them weren’t there. I was standing there alone and as I look through the hall, I see both of them standing in another line for another flight. I wuickly check if I was in the correct lane, which I was. I turn back and see that she was looking back at me. Being the last one in my line, I kept looking back at her for some miracle to happen and walk towards my flight. Didn’t stop looking back and instead of her disappearing from my sight, I disappeared into my plane and didn’t see her come out of the gates at all.
Sat in my seat just to feel good about what happened and dealt with my sickness to land back home and take a good nap.1