That day was special!
I was meeting R after a long 80 days gap. Infact all of us were. His flight landed at 8 AM and as usual since I didn’t want to get late and due to the punctual planner that I am, I wanted my itinerary to be on dot. We start at 10 AM, drive for 5 hours to which I added another 1 hour for contingency and reach Bright by 4PM. The estimator in me surfaces whenever I make plans.
We planned to leave home at 7.50AM to catch the 8 o clock train. The train station is just a min walk away, but as usual, the contingency factor was considered. After the usual morning saga and feeding and dressing kids up, I managed to drag them all out by 7.59AM, thanks to mom for all the cooking and cleaning. We still have 1 minute and the trains usually run late. I was so confident about catching the train but I had to stand there miserably, watching the train pass by, when the train driver decided to do his job on time.
Nevertheless we headed to the station, deciding to take the next train which is at 8.50 AM. I was as always furious and doing my maths in the background. I was sure we would get late and realized reaching Bright at 4 PM was just another dream which would never come true. Dad and I had to go back home multiple times to get few things, oh yea we have another 40 mins of spare time, might as well make the most of it. We waited and waited and the train never came. That was a Saturday and what more could you expect. Public transportation can’t be great when you actually rely on it completely.
Winter was reaching its peak and the strong chilly wind kept blowing on to our faces leaving us drained. I mustered all my strength to fight the cold breeze without much luck. Winds grew harsh on us. Trees swayed leaving the birds fly high up in the air. They cooed and scattered themselves on to the wide skyline like little dots on a paper.
I immediately rushed towards V and tried to cover him up as much as I can but the little tyke kept resisting me with all his might. The anger and frustration in me rose to the brim and it overflowed with a loud shrill. V calmed and gave in to the beast in me. I turned to R who was as usual doing his front and back flips on the platform. I was tired enough to bother and I gave up on him.
And to add to our agonies, it started to drizzle. I was horrified and drained at the same time. For a moment I even thought of calling off the trip and getting curled up in my bed and sink in to my own dreamland. I pulled myself together and kept the most impassive face one can ever have. All these unanticipated concerns left me blank and I kept staring at the rail for a minute or two without knowing what step to take next.
I came to my senses with a shudder when Dad nudged me and suggested that we take an Uber and head to the city. I thought that was the perfect solution and wondered why it never occurred to me earlier. Without hesitating, I did the booking right away. The uber driver was a Punjabi and he chatted all the way until we opened the door to get out of the car. He even pleaded me to give him a 5 star to which I smiled and nodded in approval. He helped us unload our luggage and was quite handy. We dragged everything and everyone to the spot we had agreed to meet R & S.
S had already excused himself from the trip due to some work related reasons and I had agreed to it. We waited for another 30 mins before they arrived. I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy because we reached first and didn’t have to make them wait for us inspite of all the dramas, sad because our arrival time at Bright was getting more and more delayed and we would probably end up doing nothing that day.
R &S picked up the SUV we had booked and joined us in no time. R &V were so excited to see their dad. And so was I. After the quick exchanges of hugs and kisses, we all got in the car and S waved bye to which I disagreed devilishly. The estimator in me resurfaced and with all the negotiating skills that I had, I convinced S to join the trip and without even a piece of cloth for himself to change (that’s how selfless my brother is ;), but I’m sure he had his perfume bottle handy), he got inside the car and started looking for return tickets since we would be returning only on a Monday and he couldn’t have missed work for even a day.
And so our trip started. Inspite of all the confusions and challenges we had to face during the first few hours of the day, our ship started to sail peacefully through the rough ocean with soft music playing in the background… and the mathematician in me resumed the work.
But little did we know what was awaiting us in the latter half of the day.
to be contd….