Late August, when I was alone in US, I get a call from India at 1am. It was M on the other side. He asks me “Does Adi have 2 passport or 3 passport?”. It took some time for me to realize that it is not dream and by this time he repeated the question at least 10 times. I was just responding with a weak “what?, what?” until I got my senses. Then, I mumbled it is 3.
We belong to that type of family who carry all their old passports too in hand for every travel. M was at the airport with kids to board the flight to US.
The flight is about to depart in two hours. Apparently, when he was trying to check-in the person at the counter noticed that Adi’s current passport was missing whereas he had the two old passport.
With the clock ticking, a series of events unfolded in next two hours and they boarded the flight before the door was about to close. M’s parents shifted to new home few days before his departure so there is no source of communication to reach his mother to check if passport is at home. He called his relative who luckily was at home that day to go home and check. His relative and MIL couldn’t find the keys to the bureau, then found it with FIL’s direction over phone and they found the passport kept in the bureau very safely.
I kept all passports in a small bag and gave it to him. How could he possibly take all from the bundle except Adi’s current passport? I felt the same when he didn’t bring my collection of sarees that I had neatly packed and kept inside his luggage **shaking head in disbelief**
The airport is around 1.5 hours drive from home. BIL and other relatives were kept as stand by at different check points when this relative started driving towards the airport. He was received at the airport gate by M, he literally grabbed the passport and flew to the counter to get boarding pass. And the air hostess and pilot were waiting with red carpet to welcome them so that they can close the door. It seems like Adi was scared that she thought M would board the flight with LHB leaving her behind. She is one scaredy cat.
While narrating the incident in person, M said he was not treated very well by the officials during this wait. They looked at him as some illegal guy and refused to give him access to communicate to outside world. Somehow he managed to gain their confidence and handled the situation.
Imagine my state of mind after that 1am call. I lost my sleep and the next 24 hours was spent restlessly until I saw the kids flesh and blood.