By John Morrison on Mar 29, 2008
I realize its been ages since i last posted anything here ... i did travel a bit ... some interesting trips to Wayanad (yes, again! with the super team that i'm part of), Chennai (to attend to a good friend's wedding) and Singapore (generally on a sudden trip!) ... hopefully i can now keep adding more content here in the days ahead.
For this post, i thought i'd write a few words about an interesting experience I had while coming back from Singapore. So, here goes ... Would you ever have imagined that a single stray dog can bring an entire airport to its knees, preventing all international and domestic flights from either landing or taking off ... the airport was virtually closed for couple of hours and incoming flights were diverted to another city ! Well, i'd never have thought such a thing could happen until i had the luck to be part of this event. Here're the details ...
I was aboard a Singapore Airlines flight traveling from Singapore to Bangalore. The flight was due to land in Bangalore Airport at ~ 9:30 - 9:45 PM. Just as we were hovering above the city, the pilot announced that our flight was being diverted to another city (Chennai) due to some problem at the Bangalore Airport. We did not then have much other information on happenings. After having landed in Chennai airport all we could do was stay in the plane and were not allowed to come out of it. Again, i did'nt have much to complain about, as a matter of fact i'm glad i got to go through this experience. I got to know the cabin crew much better, very nice folks working extremely hard to make sure the needs of the passengers were met. Since the plane wasn't too full, many of the passengers chose to occupy multiple adjacent seats and lie down for a nap. Also, none knew when we would reach Bangalore - so sleep seemed to be a good option with nothing much else possible. To me, sleep did'nt seem like the best thing to do especially when I was in such an interesting situation. As the saying goes ... When life gives you lemons ... make lemonade !
Decided to stroll around the plane and doing so, got to sit & chat with some of the cabin crew. We talked about the nature of their work, Indian and Singaporean cultures, etc. and shared some soft drinks and small eats. We were soon joined by a few other interesting passengers. Before we realized it, all of us were talking like old friends, joking, laughing (in the process waking up a few passengers who did'nt seem too amused with the boisterous proceedings) and generally having a great time ! After what seemed like a short while, the captain announced that the Bangalore airport was now open and we would be leaving to Bangalore. I did a quick time check .. it was 2 AM on a bright beautiful new day ... we'd spent nearly four hours on the plane at the Chennai airport ... having a nice time !
We returned to the now crowded Bangalore airport and after landing we had to wait a while to disembark. Finally, got out of the airport by ~ 4 AM. Looking back, it really seemed like a nice ending to a good trip. During that short stop at Chennai, made friends with an industrialist from Indonesia with a good knack for communicating & connecting with people, a friendly and cheerful Equity Researcher from HSBC and an IT professional from Infosys who along with his wife were returning from Hong Kong via Singapore. On hind sight I would'nt have minded a little more delay in returning to Bangalore, especially if I could meet with and connect with a few more such wonderful people !
Oh ! lest I forget, the reason for the delays at the Bangalore airport was - apparently a domestic flight hit a stray dog that wandered onto the run way just when the plane was about to take off. This resulted in the plane's landing gear getting damaged and the entire airport had to be closed for domestic and international operations until the runway was cleared. Whoever said that every dog has its day, was right. This one's had its day and what a day its been !
Anyways, that to me was an interesting experience, but not an isolated one though ... i've been through similar interesting experiences. The last time i had a similar kind of an experience was during January this year, when I & my colleague Kalyan landed at London's Heathrow airport. At that time a British Airways plane crash landed just minutes before our flight reached there. Fortunately for us, this did not affect our onward journey out of London. We did however hear a lot about it on the news & from fellow passengers.
Anyways, looking forward to more interesting experiences in the days ahead !
Signing off this post with a quote by Alexander Woollcott, "There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day."