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I had an early morning flight. This was my 1st SOLO trip. Solo trip meant leaving my 7yr old and 4yr old sweethearts back home, not for a day or two, but for 12 long days. My elder one was still recovering from some a-typical pneumonia and I was hardly sure if I would really travel. As much as excited I was for my 1st Solo, I was equally nervous. But going for health care was a definite priority.

After several rounds and exchange of messages with doctor I could confirm that I can go. Rest assured that there are number of them back home to take good care of her. Got my bags packed and off to bed I went. It was past 12am and had to leave at 3.45 for airport.

Traveling alone, at odd hours, doing everything independently, kinda sent goose bumps all over my body. Exactly at 3.30 the cab arrived. Had my morning tea and was out of the house.

I was so skeptical if I should have taken this early morning flight. I had read somewhere that while alone in cab and at odd hours, always be seated behind the driver, check if the door opens from inside. Took all the precautions. I also, saw my husband noting down the car details. I finally waved him bye and the car sped away.

The driver was rushing on the empty streets of Mumbai roads. He probably was super delighted to see the non traffic roads and I kept telling him ‘Bhaiya jara slow lijiye’ and telling myself ‘It’s OK, you’ll be safe’.

After a while, his phone rang. He spoke in a very low voice over the phone. I could not understand what was he saying. Being mostly a pessimist, I started thinking otherwise. And to make my thoughts worse, he pulled the car on the side few minutes after the call. He stopped and   said “Madam bass 2 min mein aya”. My heart was pounding with fear. There were a few other taxi men and rickshaw walas doing their night duty. I immediately checked if I could open the door and run in case of adversity. Lowered  the  windows, in case I need to shout. But he arrived soon. I tried to gauge, if it’s the same guy or have they exchanged their duties. Checked on my taxi booking app too. He was the same guy. OK.

The car zoomed on the streets once again. But this time along with driving he was munching on Alu Bhujiya. In no time he finished 2 packs. I opened my handbag and took out my almonds pack. I thought I should offer him some. But I kept wondering if I should. He then, put his hand back. Omg what’s he doing? What’s his plan? Within no time these thoughts hovered. He quickly, took his water bottle and gulped half of the bottle down. What a sigh of relief !

We were almost close to the airport by now and I jumped with joy ‘Hey babes, we are safe, we are safe!’. I finally gathered courage to offer him some almonds.
He smiled and thanked me and said in soft tone “Madam abb nahi kha sakta. Humara time sirf 4.23 tak hi tha aur mein 4.26 tak kha raha tha. Abb aur late hogaya hai.” He was on ‘Roza‘.

My heart sank, sank deep. I was ashamed and guilty of my thoughts. My mind took me back to the near past.
‘Was that call from his wife or mother or sister to remind him to eat for one last time before the fast? What if I would have not been late by 5 mins to sit in the cab? What if I would have allowed him to speed that way? What if I could have offered him the almonds immediately when I took out my pack, he was still eating then?’
These and many more questions just gushed down my entire system.

We are so overpowered by our negative thoughts, that we fail to see the good. We fail to understand the intentions. We fail miserably at times and we judge too often.

So the first lesson of my first solo trip DON’T BE JUDGEMENTAL’ (and I could see Sridevi tell me this).
Let’s be a little more liberal and kind towards each other, personally and in thoughts too.

My 12 days trip was amazing. I came back fit and fine with lot of memories to cherish and look forward for some more like these. (My husband will be staring at me for this ????)
Kids were super cooperative and happy to see me back in action.

Can you spot the peacock?

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