‘I don’t think anyone cried,‘ I’ve noted in my diary.
I read it again.
I don’t think anyone cried.
I frown as I read it. It is a singularly strange thing to have noted down. We were going on the French exchange programme – a four-week programme. I have no idea why seventeen-year-old me wanted someone to cry.
Evidently, though, I wasn’t the only one who found things incomplete. Many of us wanted something more dramatic, something beyond the ‘cycling-shorts drama’ I wrote about yesterday.
“I want something to happen,” G said. “Something should happen.”
It was just a while before G’s wish was fulfilled.
Two hours into our journey to Mumbai, we found out that the Air India ground staff were on strike. Thanks to that, all AI flights were delayed by a few hours. “Is this ‘something’ enough?” we asked G, who was duly penitent. It was her fault, of course, that the staff were on strike.
For me, though, it was something else that made it momentous.
Standing in line, bouncing with anticipation, we jabbered nineteen to the dozen. The check-in staff were looking at us indulgently. With fifteen enthusiastic teenagers, either they could get annoyed, or they could be indulgent. I grinned as I handed my ticket to the gentleman behind the counter.
“Keep this ticket,” he told me.
“Of course I will!” I responded, enthusiastically. “I’ll keep everything!”
He shook his head. “This is our last batch of tickets like this.”
“What do you mean?”
“No more of these red books! Only e-tickets from now on!” He gestured at the person at the next counter. He had a sheet of paper: a computer printout.
“Is that even a valid ticket?” I asked.
The man nodded.
I would never take a chance with a ticket like that, I was sure. Especially to travel abroad, I decided I would go to the airlines office each time to get a ‘proper’ ticket.
So much for that.