As it often happens when you don't get time to post, many posts have piled up in my head again. And this after a few days when I had really nothing to blog about. Ain't that always the way. Bah! Anyway, will write more about the rest of the trip later.
So anyway, a couple of days back I took a flight with the K and Peanut to come to Delhi for this flying visit, needing to sort a few things out and meet some people before I start work. I thought I was a relatively seasoned travelling new mother, having done this many times (once) before. Therefore, I actually purchased a ticket for Peanut as well.
Vijay, of course, was kind enough to bung us off at the airport and hand me over some signed upgrade vouchers, which we actually managed to convert into business class seats.Peanut, the K and I were going to travel in style! Vijay also kept calling every two minutes to check where we were, until I asked him not to, assuring him that we would be fine.
The check in process was reasonably smooth and uneventful, except for the fact that the K's purse was turned inside out at security because they got a glimpse of something through the X-Ray. The security personnel and I kept asking her whether she had any sharp objects or liquids and she replied most sincerely 'Mere bag me kooch nahin hai...kooch nahin!'. I tried my best to eliminate items one by one...
And so it went while they searched and searched. Eventually it turned out that she was carrying a blade - yes, a BLADE - to cut her nails ( Mere ko kya pata?...Mere ko Kooch nahin pata!...) and we were all released to proceed, minus one blade.
We took our seats and I found myself next to a very hep young girl, who looked to be around a couple of years younger than me - tall, lean, wearing some clothes I couldn't quite understand, and with a mass of tight black curls tumbling from around the huge sunglasses perched on her head. She offered a wry 'Cute kid' towards Peanut and went back to messaging on her fancy cellphone. My heart sank as I figured this would be the last person on the plane to offer any sympathy if Peanut did what all babies do - cry.
And now, suddenly, I actually began to feel a bit guilty about the prospect of ruining the flight for all the people around me. The thought crossed my mind that it would have been better to stay in Economy - but that was quite an irrational thought and I quashed it by telling myself that if I extended that logic, I should have travelled by train...or bus...or bullock cart. And so the business class people would just have to steel themselves and wait for that special infant-free first class section to be introduced on planes.
Peanut, who had been looking around with great interest at everything, suddenly decided to cry. I got up to walk her up and down for a while, but eventually, take off was announced and I had to sit down with her. The moment I resumed my seat, she resumed her crying - and, of course, our flight was sixth in the queue for take-off and therefore, we would be on the ground for around twenty minutes. During that twenty minutes, according to the safety procedures, I could not get out of my seat and Peanut kept crying and crying - I think those may have been the longest twenty minutes ever. I sang, made funny sounds, checked her for potty, tried to feed her, gave her a newspaper to destroy, waved her rattle in her face frantically - but nothing worked, and her wails just got louder and louder. I avoided eye contact with the people around me, but could imagine them getting increasingly irritated.
Suddenly, there was a tinkly sound to my right and Peanut stopped crying, blinking through her tears and looking curiously at the girl in the next seat. The girl had pulled out two sets of the most beautiful, exotic keychains. One was a shiny, purple crystal type with various trinkets attached - and the other was a really classy, large, silver one, designed as a fan of a few playing cards. Peanut shoved aside my pathetic looking plastic rattle, and made a grab for the keychains. I could fully understand and sympathise. It took all my will power not to grab the keychains and pocket them myself, they were so shiny and fascinating.
Peanut was then far easier to handle from then on - because although she did still fuss a lot through the flight - whenever she got too cranky, I would wave the girl's keychains in front of her and she would stop crying and stare at them as if hypnotized. It was only a little embarassing that she then made a game out of throwing them on the floor, one by one, to watch me crouch down and pick them up - over and over and over. I kept apologizing to the girl, but she just laughed it off. She also helped by holding Peanut a couple of times while I stood up to fetch some stuff from our bags, and also occasionally made strange noises to distract her.
During the half hour that Peanut fell asleep, I sank back into my seat and tried to relax. I mentally chided myself for having thought the girl a snob, because my first impression had been 'Uh oh - Delhi girl' - before any Delhi girls who read this judge me for this, let me tell you that I am a Delhi girl too, just not a very typical one (or so I think!). But anyway, the point is, I was too quick to jump to conclusions. Just because she was dressed rather flashily and looked like a single, fashionable young woman, I had assumed that she would be irritated by kids, and had exhorted her to change her seat, taking up the offer made discreetly by an airhostess - but she had politely declined. And now, she was the one who had managed to make Peanut quiet down.
I cast her a sidelong glance to check out the book that she was deeply engrossed in. And she went up a few notches even further in my estimation when I saw the cover -this young fashion plate was quite unabashedly reading a Double Digest copy of -none other than-Tinkle.
The rest of the flight was okay, except for the fact that Peanut did her potty just as we were landing (of course!) and I had no choice but to change her immediately when we landed at the airport - on the floor of the ladies toilet (eeeyuck!) - the infrastructure for travelling parents suck. But let's not go there and concentrate on thanking the girl in the next seat.
Wherever you are - You rather strange Business class-travelling, Tinkly Key-chain-carrying, Curly-Black-Haired, Tinkle-reading Delhi girl - you were quite an angel.
I wish I had remembered to ask you where you got those keychains from, though. Sigh.