Saturday, October 22, 2005


Whatever will be, will be. Nothing can be truer than this .When I left Mumbai last Sunday night for Europe and UK,I planned to meet L on Friday in London and return to Mumbai on Saturday. On Tuesday morning L called to say that her meeting in London and Mumbai have been postponed. Her trip was called off. Was it possible for me to fly over to NY for a few days atleast? I said that I would try, Because it meant changing my return bookings and making a new booking for L-NY-L.

Though with great difficulty,I managed the former,the fresh ticketing looked impossible till this morning with all flights going full .While returning from Munich to London on Thursday evening,the guy sitting next to me on the flight was one Saqib Ahmed who works for Sabre who provide total software systems to most of the airline companies.During our conversation,he came to know about my plight and offered to help.He said that he would speak to a friend of his Ali Khan, who runs a travel agency in London and that he would be able to put me on some flight to NY on Friday. At 10.30 this morning,I contacted Ali Khan and in fifteen minutes after several phone calls that we exchanged he confirmed to me that the booking was indeeed done and that I could collect my ticket from his London office.

My guest in Sheffield was shocked because their travel agent had informed them a few minutes back that there was no way of putting me on a flight to New York till Sunday. I finished my work at Sheffield,took an intercity to London,,cabbed it to St.John's Wood,picked up the e ticket and headed for Heathrow and I reached the airport by 5pm for my 8pm flight.The six and half hour flight was smooth.I slept a bit and read Shantaram for a while by which time the plane had landed at Heathrow.L was there to receive me and take me to her Manhattan apartment.She had prepared drumsticks sambhar bhath for dinner which was delicious.Nothing like home food and that too after 6 days.

We just don't know what destiny holds for us. Only on Monday I was so sure of returnig to Mumbai by the weekend. And here I am in New York,totally unprepared for this visit,but enthusiastically looking forward to have a wonderful time during the next four days. Jo hona hai so hoiga.

Whoever could have imagined that an acquaintance on a flight would go out of his way to help someone whom he had not known from Adam's.When I called him up to thank him for his extraordinary gesture,Saqib was with his family at Heathrow heading for Jeddah.He replied,"I am very happy that I have helped you".And immediately after finishing his Jeddah visit he goes to Pakistan on behalf of Sabre to help the victims of the devastating earthquake.

God's ways are inscrutable!