Traveling has been one of the favourite passion which made me choose my profession, which has much traveling to do. Now farthest from home would mean traveling farthest and all I have done is travel only in India. I have travelled to the southern most tip of India, Kanyakumari. To north up to Chandigarh, in west to Silvasa and in east to Mizoram. Now when I went to Kanyakumari I was traveling with my parents. So I was not far from my home as I was just 11 years old then.
My longest flight could have really got me to farthest land I had seen but in the end it brought me back to the point from where our flight originated. It was month of May and I was posted in Guwahati, capital of Assam which in reality can be termed as capital of North-East India.We had review meeting with our Chairman at Calcutta (now known as Kolkata). So after three days of intensive review of our data collection and presentation we boarded our flight for Calcutta from Guwahati. The usual flying time is 1 hour 15 minutes so we (I along with two colleagues) decided to have discussion with our GM before the D-Day. Flight took of at scheduled time 8.30am. Half asleep I decided it was best to let my brain remain blank before the number crunching which will surely happen when we will be with our GM.
Perhaps I had fallen asleep when the voice of the Captain woke me. He was announcing,”….. due to heavy rains in Calcutta the flight is being diverted to Bhubaneswar, another 1 hour flying time.” Now sitting in the cramped seat seemed little irritating. I took the newspaper and started going through all the news items in the front page as well as the sports page. After around 45 minutes when I had almost finished all the interesting news items I could get, the speaker crackled again. Captain was back on the line saying,”Due to poor visibility our flight is being diverted to Hyderabad. Sorry for the inconvenience caused.” Inconvenience!! like others I was extremely irritated, disgusted. We now wanted this unscheduled air travel over eastern and southern India to come to an end.
Another hour and half later we landed at Hyderabad nearly two and half hours away from Calcutta by flight. On reaching Hyderabad we were informed that flight will recommence within another 30 minutes back to Calcutta. None of us were allowed to deplane. Complimentary lunch was served and flight resumed for Calcutta. Nearly two hours in air we were informed that due to inclement weather the flight was being diverted to Dacca, Bangladesh. What the hell I muttered to myself. Approximately after 4 hours after we started from Hyderabad we landed at Dacca. Dacca being in another country we were again not allowed to deplane. By then it was around 6 pm and we were resigned to our fate.
So many hours of flying and still not able to reach your destination and then landing in a neighbouring country who does not allow you to get out of the aeroplane had all of us dispirited.We were served complimentary snacks and dinner too but stayed put in the plane for the whole night. Horrible stay with cramped seats, I was travelling economy class, smelly toilets made me feel it would have been much better had I travelled by train. It would have taken 24 hours to travel but I would not be bound to my seat. Next early morning our flight took off and the flight returned to Guwahati, we had our mandatory customs clearance then we reached our destination after nearly 24 hours in the plane. Had this been a direct flight I would have reached anywhere in US after flying over Europe.