When things go wrong they really go wrong. And being summer holiday time many things are bound to go wrong. The only holidays I have ever had (ever!) had been during summer. And in summer when the city swelters with heat, water is scarce; we all board our trains to our villages, which inevitably are as dry as the government's canals in the Thar desert.
The first hurdle is obtaining the tickets. The damn bloody tickets won't come your way even if you queue up at 4 a.m. in the morning. I book tickets; my waitlisted ticket doesn't show in the confirmed list. The neighbourhood tout promises to deliver a confirmed ticket for 1200 a person. Idiot. I would travel by air for that money. By now my plans are getting a bit wonky, never mind. I travel by air. I worked all those late hours and travelled in crowded compartments not for nothing.
So I buy air tickets. The pilots' strike is on but Air India is selling tickets left and right. As a sucker for cheap fares I book Air India Express tickets. But what do I know? At the airport, the Air India airhostesses sit and chat with smug expression on their faces. I wait for my flight to show up on the screen. Why isn't my flight IX 204 showing though many are taking off? Not even a sorry, cancelled announcement! But the superciliousness of the Indian national airline becomes obvious when I approach the counter staff: