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A near disaster @ Mumbai airport…

My journey started off on a slightly scary note when I reach the airport at 5 am on the 13th morning to find that the Gulf Air flight I am taking to London via Abu Dhabi is rescheduled.

All this due to one pilot who overshot the runway in Mumbai airport, thus causing a large plane to get lodged into the mud, interfering with the functioning of the main runway and also delaying and rescheduling hundreds of flights from Mumbai airport. Four days after the mishap they were still trying to dislodge the plane!

They put 11 of us on an Etihaad Airlines flight to Abu Dhabi instead.

Our flight is 16th in the queue at about 9.15 am. Our London bound hearts miss a collective beat when the pilot announces it might take another hour for take-off. We have a connection at 12.55.

All is well, however, when at about 12 noon, I look down over miles of sand and a rather beautifully stark landscape, suddenly brought alive by shimmering blue green waters below. Like an abstract painting.

We get our connection with about 15 minutes to spare. The Patel family of 4 even manage to squeeze in some quick duty free shopping. I am too nervous and run towards terminal 9. The flight is rather empty. A few minutes into the flight, the lady in front proceeds to down several glasses of wine and giggles furiously. Coochie-cooing with the hubby in between. A rather elderly couple – such a cute sight too! Her laughter is infectious and I can’t resist a glass of red myself. There is something decidedly decadent about sipping wine in the afternoon so many miles above the air.

We touch down at London at exactly 5.20 pm. A familiar face looms up large in front of me – my sister – and much relief for me! Because of one pilot, I nearly didn’t make it in time. Our Pakistani cab driver keeps us entertained through the half hour ride through London’s suburbs. After a filling meal of garlic bread, wine (again!) and pasta, I need to call it a day. It’s been a lot of late nights, wine and enormous quantities of food a few days in a row. And I have a lot to see and do yet 🙂


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