Mumbai Diaries | Bhubaneswar to Nariman Point Uncut | Chapter 1

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Ayesha Diaries by +Doveranalyst 
©This work is copyrighted.
Copying or deriving characters from this story or any derivative work based on the theme of the book, Ayesha Diaries, or the characters mentioned in this book, is a legal offence.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The author has tried to recreate locales and popular destinations from her memories of them and woven stories around them. 
For a character sketch or a background of the plot, refer to the creation story of Ayesha Diaries, the Mumbai diaries edition. Get know how it all started, here.

Chapter 1: The First Flight

Hah, it's gonna be one month in amchi Mumbai and today is when I am first getting time to jot down something. But, that's Mumbai now, isn't it?
It is so fast that time flies at nano sec/m here. Before you know, the day's over. Ok, I'm not gonna make it boring with my reflections that I earned over the month. Let's save it for later n try to trace back paths as a novice naive girl from a small capital city enters the city of dreams—Mumbai! Yes, I give you Bhubaneswar to Nariman Point uncut.;)

There was no time for butterflies in the stomach. There was no time to be afraid of entering the big bad city ('Similar to NewYork', Ayesha had told her American friend to give some metaphor for the huge city).
There was no time to think anything. Time was running by. The clock hands were ticking faster than ever. Well, there wasn't time to check that either. Busy packing last minute things, changing bags, weighing and worrying if it would go within the 20kg limit of flights.
And before you would know it, Raj was there. The expression on his face was obvious.

"You guys, ain't done packing yet!"

"Ho raha hai...." she said in her usual 'trying to calm down' way. 
(हो रहा है: It's being done)

Raj lent a helping hand. Mom, Raj and Ayesha were all doing something. No one knew what. The auto was waiting outside. The flight was waiting. Well, not exactly. And probably wouldn't. Reason why, the first timers were overtly punctual to reach before two hours of boarding just as the ticket had instructed them to.
'Moreover, it was an online ticket that Ayesha had booked! 'Mom would have yelled.

For all the nervousness and taking the chance, all the luggage was put in and they had already set off.
"Where did you put the ticket?"
"It's in my bag, n also yours ma...I'd taken two copies, right," she said trying to calm down."But, I put the debit card copy in your bag right?"
They didn't want to face a similar problem as Ayesha's friend had when she had booked flight tickets from her card.
After the initial caught up related to what's done and what's left finally they skipped a beat. Ayesha was going to Mumbai forever. She looked at Mom, held her hand and covered it with hers and gave that "what can we do" wala smile.

wala: kind
Raj had been staring out completely.
"Kya hua? You don't wanna talk when I'm leaving forever?"
"Ye bar bar bolna zaruri hai kya?"
ये बार बार बोलना ज़रूरी है क्या? Do you need to say this over and over again?

He had proved to be the friend in need coming over to drop the first timers when their family had denied to do so.
Ayesha thought she better change the topic. "We shall reach as planned, two hours before! We were only 5 minutes late" She announced.
Once they arrived, she smiled for the first time. But, as usual, they were confused.
"Do you want to take the trolley?" Raj asked as he unloaded with Mom.
"No, it's ok"
Little did Ma know how wrong she was.

There was a huge population of Chinese men. 'My first exposure' she noted.

The smarter Ayesha wanted to be by lessening the work,  Ma and Raj were all set to increase it by carrying the cabin trolley bags. Ayesha took the huge violet one and the little baked olive one dragging both of them. Even as she was trying to understand which line to stand in, Raj marched to the Jet Airways counter.

"I was telling you! Here, the officers are checking and they were even like calling us. Had we stood even in doubt, we wouldn't have been so late in the queue! How could you leave us like that!"

"Bolne degi? I'd forgotten that we had print outs. Had we not had it we would have needed to get the print down there"
"But we finally had it na! I'd just said I'd TWO copies!" She tried to calm down."Ok, use fighting in the last moment."

By now, they were sure, it was ok to stand with the Chinese and move forward.
"Sunaina Nani had said you should constantly hold your ID card with the ticket."
Nani is what you call a sister, or as an address to a lady older than you but not old enough to be aunty.
"Ya, then take out your pan card. I am already having my passport out."
They were okayed and let in.A relief. But, now what?
People were showing ID and getting to another level.
"Raj, puchho na"

He went over to counter again. Mom and daughter were again left guessing to themselves.
"See, those with us are getting in. Raj was asking us to sit...but I don't see any place to sit"
"Ya they are going for the luggage check"
"So, we should also get in na Ma" she turned trying to spot him "Raj, I think we should get in".
They moved in but the luggage man said it's not 6 yet.Hence, Indigo is going on.
"See, there was no use hurrying so much.We could have taken a little more time doing things calmly"

"Ok, ma...I am going to check on Raj a bit".
He was waiting by the iron bar separator not allowed to enter without a ticket and was trying to say something.
"Take one of those trolleys now. Put all the luggage on it after it's checked. You guys can't carry so much"
"Ya, but where is it?"
"Where," said Ayesha in her usual bewildered style.
Thankfully she got him the third time, smiled and rushed to get one.
She told ma. Then Ma enlightened her after her observing others.
"Cabin luggage is not being checked here. Let's put that and the lappy bag on a trolley, then."
They waited on. "It's already six."
"Did you tell him bye?"
"No, I was so hurried to bring this huge thing here".
She moved again.
"Ok, I'm going han....forrreverrrrr..." she added the 'forever' knowing well that he would be irritated.
He stared but couldn't be angry at her. He was worried thinking life would never be the same without his best friend.
"I am sorry, han for shouting at you even in the last day.Take care"
"I am also joining on 4th.After a month or so I might come to visit you sometime.Do come to meet me."
"No...Array mere khudka thikana nai hai.I may be lost there. Chal, bye.."
ऐरे मेरे खुदका ठिकाना नहीं है. चल बाई. Oh, I'm not sure of my own whereabouts. Ok, bye.
"So, you will leave now?"
"Ya, bye"
"Han bye finally is also waiting...I should be with her...Bye"
She happily joined her mother.
Her Mom's colleague had also come in salwar putting her luggage in Indigo.
"Had we taken Indigo, we could have also gone early.There was a flight to Mumbai, then"
"Mom!!Only 3 seats were left...what if I couldn't have got your seat with me. That's why we opted for Jet!"
"Hmmm," she nodded.
"See, now it will start.The manager has also come and shouted at Jet guys why they aren't ready for their turn." They were waiting for Jet loading to start as one would wait for the result of the last bowl in the last over hoping for a six.
And finally, the long awaited moment had come. The luggage happily went through and Ayesha hurried the opposite side and they collected it back.

Things were moving a little smoothly now. They were getting a hang of it. It was not so difficult.
Raj was still there."Why?"
She enquired with her expression.
"There is the Jet counter on the extreme right. Next, you move there."
"I know. Ma has already seen. Bye". she waved.

They moved there but it was at a standstill.
"You ask na"
"The girl is there...go and ask her"
"OK, fine...."
Ayesha went in to ask the air hostess type uniformed lady at the desk.
Her look wasn't very happy." They haven't started yet. I was telling you, we are too fast..wasn't I?...Where's Raj?"
"But, you'd said he'd leave, hadn't you?"
Ayesha thought, He actually left? But said a "Hmm" in affirmative.

But she saw him. She went to tell him the final bye and returned immediately.
"Hey, it started! Why didn't you proceed, Ma"
"Ya, I was waiting for you."
"But, I just came in a second!" she said dragging the luggage forward.
"Pick the bag tags from there"
Ayesha took a second to understand that her mother was referring to the Jet Airways tag in the cabin bags.
"You got to tie it?"
"Ya...ya" The next question was obvious. "Now?"
"This should be the queue for security check. But pacharibaku padiba this is for Indigo also or for Jet Airways. Look, they are holding their boarding pass and standing here."
will have to ask
"They should put a flowchart of processes somewhere to help people flying the first time!" Ayesha grumbled, "So..we again! Oh, ok...."
The officer in uniform said it hadn't begun for Jet Airways.
So they stood as there was no place.
But to her surprise there he was again across the bar.
"You still haven't left Raj?" She said managing to walk through the little space between the people sitting on either side.
"Why don't you guys sit?"
"Kaise baithen? Ye bags nai dikh rahe tumko?"
"Ya..please," said the foreigner to her right and lifted the bags.
Ooops."Usay Hindi samjhme Kaise aya?"
"Abey 'bags' to samjhme aya hoga na!"
"Oh..." she turned to call her mom but she was all lost.
"Kana ma, Jama sunu nu dakiley. That guy has moved his bags for us. Come."
((Why, ain't listening on calling you))
"See, I was telling you guys to sit this side. We all could have sat together. There was no need to hurry so much."

"Ok, now I can't even watch you guys. So, aunty and you better take care. Theek se Jana ok."
It was time. Armed with the boarding pass, the women walked in. Both had been observing the processes.
In fact, Ayesha had been constantly turning her head back to observe how the lady officer in uniform was asking the women to stand behind the yellow line and wait.
Suddenly, the queue was moving faster.They were in. But, the obvious question,"Now?"
There was no one to help. They had picked up the tray like plastic holders and table tennis racket like stuff like everyone else as they noticed women putting handbags and cabin luggage like that and followed suit.
Then as soon as the woman instructed to go for checking. Ayesha smiled at mom at the look of another bewildered lady who was apparently not getting what the officer had said."Stand behind the yellow line".
Mom's turn came. Ayesha could see a bit. She was eager thinking it's her turn but the woman from inside said smiling," Wait, behind the yellow line".

"I know" she wanted to say but didn't.

She was wearing a sleeveless kurta and she had to lift her hands up."It's ok. Not everybody is Anushka Sharma in Nivea ad. Just feel good about yourself!" She told herself.

Done with her groping the lady asked,"Do you have a mobile, Ma'am?"
"No," she said promptly. They were told not to let them know and honestly she didn't have with her that time. It was happily going through checking.
She spotted her Mom waiting by the counter.
They picked up their huge handbags specially purchased for the purpose so that they can store more with them in cabin.
"Ya....that one". They got the little baked olive cabin trolley.
"And that black one".
"That lappy bag over there".
But, that man had turned deaf.
"It needs to be checked."
"What? "
"You had taken everything out of the bag right?"
"Ya, ma. Just the laptop is inside."
"Please check and give that one....that.....that one on the right. "
"Ma, relax. If you show so much impatience they might think we are terrorist or something. Just be quiet. We will wait. There's nothing else we can do."
Thankfully that man had probably understood how naive they were.
He brought it."Take out the laptop.Hold it."
They obeyed.
"You should put the laptop in that tray and then put bag for checking na!"
"Oh," she said aloud.
"But how would we have known that. Humko kya sapna ata!" She murmured to Mom.
Luckily the lappy less lappy bag passed through the checking happily rolling over to them as they picked it up to utter relief.
"Ma, again..."
"No, let's carry it. What if they say its a trolley and you can't take to the cabin! It should look like a bag."
The obvious question had come up again."Now?"
This time it seemed a little more obvious, though.
They'd to wait.
"Let's sit there. There....on the left".
Ma was trying to figure out where.
"Ok, let's sit here then."
The front row was looking at the checking.
"I was telling to sit there. An okayish guy was sitting there."
Mom smiled and finally understood where she was referring to.
Ayesha started observing. It was funny to note all the people being checked and rushing in. She didn't miss even one chance of showing mom each time someone was dragging a trolley bag as cabin luggage.
"Do we eat something?"
Mom agreed and asked Ayesha to get something.
"Me?" she tried to locate how to reach the shop in the waiting area.
Things were new. But she was not going to be lost, she told herself. With a little pump up, she decided to take the lead and treat her Mom with something.

"170" the shopkeeper had answered for the little sandwich

To be continued...
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