“Hi”, I said to Esakki as I was waiting for my luggage to come down the conveyor belt. “Where are the others?” I asked, searching for Kanagaraj and Saravanan amidst the foreign crowd. “I don’t know. They should be somewhere around”, he said and started looking for his luggage. “Oh”, I paused and then continued, “But you did see them, right?”, I asked, feeling a bit wary. “Yes, yes”, he assured me.
For some odd reason I felt happy, and started looking for my luggage again. After a good few minutes, I caught a glimpse of the blue ribbon I had tied onto the handle of my luggage. Esakki helped me get my luggage off the conveyor belt and onto the luggage stroller. I was happy, all set and ready to go home. Well, home at least for a while.
We waited some more time for Esakki’s luggage to make its way down. But, nope it just wasn’t coming. I started to wonder if something wrong had happened. It was just then that I saw the other two guys. They were a bit frantic. I assumed it was due to the lost luggage at Dubai. Since it majorly concerned my being late, I felt very guilty to have felt happy just a few minutes back.
I went up to them and asked Kanagaraj, “What happened? Registered a complaint against the lost luggage?” I could sense that he was tensed too. I did not know why, until he said,”Well, we did not get our checked-in luggage”. “What?”, that was all I could offer. I was exhausted. He continued, “Yeah, we had already lodged a complaint. It was possibly because of the weight of our baggage. It was too heavy. So, they are probably bringing that on the next flight”. He seemed quite sure of it. But, I did not think so. It was my damn luck, plain and simple.
Meanwhile, Saravanan had found an Emirates staff, and was explaining the situation about the lost hand luggage. As soon as I noticed that, a sense of almost criminal guilt overcame me. Saravanan was trying desperately to make the guy understand what had happened, while I was looking on helplessly. I said a silent prayer, “Please God! Help him get his luggage back”. Obviously God had other plans, because the guy wasn’t being helpful. All I could see was… He was big. He was intimidating. And obviously did not speak much English.
I did stop feeling “that” guilty in a while though. Saravanan could have simply put it this way. “She was late, and I lost my luggage in the commotion” or even “I lost my luggage because she was late.” But this is what went down. He kept referring to me as “this girl” so many damn times that it kinda made feel less guilty. I am thankful that he helped me all along, but to be honest I did feel mildly annoyed at his pointing-fingers-school-girl-attitude. I might be a little wrong here to have felt annoyed (After all, he had helped me). But I am just being matter-of-factly honest.
I was doomed, and was on the verge of a melt-down. “Why is this happening to me!” I wanted to whine, but somehow I held it together. And then it happened. A lady clad in the standard Emirates attire came up to us. She was lovely. She was polite. And thank God she spoke English. So, Saravanan repeated the pointing-fingers-school-girl-attitude style complaint again. I rolled my eyes this time, and hopefully he did not look. She let him jot down the list of his stuff, and offered us much hope. He thanked her. I thanked her, and I was all but ready to leave.
As if there wasn’t enough drama for the day, Saravanan lost his camera. He went berserk. He did not know where he left it. Kanagaraj offered that they search the places they were roaming around. “It is a DSLR”, Saravanan exclaimed. So, they both ran in search of the lost camera. And I stood still; in awe at how many more things could go wrong. The lady at Emirates was baffled. “How many more things is he going to lose?” she asked. It was both rhetoric, and mildly funny. Funny because, at least she thought that Saravanan had lost his had luggage not because of “this girl” but because of his carelessness.
So, after a few minutes, they came back with the Cam. I think Kanagaraj had found it at the Immigration Check Booth. I don’t remember exactly. By this time, Esakki had returned from the Emirates complaint booth. And when I looked near the exit Gandhi stood. He had promised to come pick me up, when he realized how scared I was to travel alone by cab. No words could tell how relieved I was to see him. I ran up to him, pushing my stroller ahead of me.
I explained the whole lot of stuff to him in a record two minutes. He just smiled. God, he could be so calm. I introduced him to the others. Since Esakki was staying at the same Hotel as mine, Gandhi asked him to join us. He advised Kanagaraj and Saravanan to offer nothing more than 45 Euros for a cab ride. So, then we said our good-byes and made our way to the parking lot.
I noticed Esakki carrying his documents in a plastic folder. Suprised I asked him, “Why are you carrying important documents in a folder? What if they fell down?” It was as if an alarm went off in his head. He froze,”I missed my passport”
“Oh, Good Lord!” I thought.