Sharing one of those stress creating yet hilarious moments that leave you in a fix, wondering whether to lose it, shrug your shoulders or laugh out loud. Why? Since you can’t do much anyways! Nonetheless, these incidents leave you enriched with the learning they bring home.
Let me begin at the beginning. Having shifted from a metro city, Mumbai to a smaller but growing town quite recently, we realised we needed to slow our pace a wee bit. Check our racing thoughts and slam the brakes on our reactions so that we could fit well in the current set up, take life easier and follow the dictum “All is Well” to the last letter.
All we needed to do that early evening was board a flight and for that, we needed to reach the airport. Cakewalk? OFFSIDE! More like a walk through sludge! Challenging. Slow and gruelling. It began when the office designated cab driver absconded. It was nearing departure time from home which is located on the outskirts of the rather large, lazily sprawling city of Ahmedabad. A call to him tossed up the unexpected: But I don’t have any cars to send to you. All my cars are out for pick-up or drop! ‘But why didn’t you say so when the booking was made?’ Wasn’t sure then! Wow! Is that how the new place works? Had never encountered such, but then we knew we could fall back on other taxi services. Don’t they come to the rescue at any hour of the day, any time and drive you safely there? Right!
A search for the fave, Ola, drew a blank: same response NO CARS AVAILABLE screamed the app! Okay! So what? we have the other town saviour that’s keeping our ‘Gotham’ together and linked. Uber. The uber app proved friendlier and helped us breathe a sigh of relief. The car would arrive in 5. Smiling and victorious we took the elevator down with our respective luggage and waited for the car to arrive. Meanwhile, the 5 had doubled to 10 but no matter the car was on the way. So no worries!
Having arrived the driver enquired where we wished to go. Really? But didn’t the tracking device tell him it was the airport? Never mind. ‘Airport’ I volunteered, flashing my best smile. ‘Oh no,’ says he, slamming his hand on his forehead. Has he forgotten the car keys back home, I wonder! Don’t have gas to drive all the way there. No? Then why did you pick the fare said my eyes, but my lips chose different words. ‘Oh please. Do drop us till the point where you can take us so we can get a cab from there.’ But I doubt my cab can accommodate two large cases came the repartee.
‘Why don’t we try I suggested?’ And fit they did! So, albeit reluctantly, we set off and not for the airport but to a few miles closer to it. At the filling station, he refused to go any further dumping us at the mercy of the next cab which we once again booked on the app. Arrival time: 10 minutes. Not bad at all. We could wait. Waited and waited and the cab did arrive but seemed to be out of gas as well. What was the world coming to? Everyone contriving to make sure we missed our flight? Or did the cars just guzzle all the gas this town could afford? Or folks just making good on a Saturday afternoon, unwilling to ferry travellers from one far end of a massive city to the other extreme end! Now was time to press the panic button for all the extra time we had in our kitty had been used up and the airport was still a good 15 miles away.
Guess who or what came to our rescue? The rickety, clackety three-wheeled, neighbourhood friendly auto-rickshaw. We waved to our rescuer ready to bow to him if needed just so that he could reach us to our destination within the expected time. Before he could say anything at all. I popped the question. No not the obvious one. My better half was also with me! And we’re doing good. I asked him about the gas and the state of his vehicle, and we were ecstatic when he said he was good to go.
Let’s go! What are we waiting for? He revved up the engine and we were finally off to the
airport, arriving just in time to be accepted for boarding. Phew! Some journey this. To the moon and back may have been easier! Never knew a journey of a few miles would begin in a cab, continue on 3 wheels and end in a dart towards the airport entrance!
Happy travelling! 🙂