During my 3rd year of college, I got into a summer training program in Mumbai and I was super excited to finally be on my own. Being the youngest one in a big family, I have always lived a rather protected life. Everyone always treated me like a kid, even when I was 20 years old. Sometimes I would find this very frustrating.
Little did I know then that the highlight of my summer would be my flight from Varanasi to Mumbai.
It was the first time I was travelling alone, and that too by air. Before this, I had travelled by an aeroplane only once. So, naturally, I was a little nervous. My parents dropped me at the airport and as soon as I entered the building, I felt so alone.
I ended up at a wrong counter before I found the right one and managed to get my luggage checked in and get my boarding pass. Since the Varanasi airport is not too big, I was able to manage easily. Things got scarier for me at the Delhi airport, where I was supposed to take a flight to Mumbai from.
The airport was huge. I found a map and got the directions to my terminal. There was still one hour left for my flight so I decided to just look around. There were so many people and most of them were dressed as if they were going to a party. I was in a pair of jeans, a tee and flipflops. My hair was rather messy as I had slept through my one hour flight from Varanasi. I felt sort of out of place.
During this exploration, I saw this cute guy who was busy on his laptop. He was really good-looking and I wanted to get his attention. But at a place full of girls dressed to the T, I knew my chances were rather slim. So, I started playing games on my phone, but I still couldn’t stop myself from looking at him from time to time. Then, what I was hoping for happened... I looked at him and I saw him looking at me. I went numb and quickly looked away. My heart was beating so fast, but I couldn’t stop myself and had to look at him again to see if he was still looking at me. This time, he smiled at me. I could feel my cheeks blush. While we were busy stealing glances I heard the announcement for my flight.
When I stood up to go towards the boarding door, I saw him pick up his bags and head towards me.
"Hey, are you going to Mumbai?" he asked.
But I could barely answer him; I just kept staring at him like an idiot. He then waved his hand in front of my face and asked, "Hello??"
"Um, yeah," I blurted out.
"Cool, let's go then. We're in the same flight."
I was too happy and it reflected in the way I smiled like an idiot.
"So, what's your name Ms. Blush?" he asked me.
“I am Tina, and you?" finally I could form a proper sentence while talking to him.
"I am Rehan," he said, and that's how our friendship started.
We both kept talking all the way to our seats and he even exchanged his seat with the guy sitting next to me. We chatted throughout our two and half hour flight. He seemed like a pretty decent guy so I agreed to exchange numbers.
At the Mumbai airport, as we were collecting our luggage, curiosity got the best of me and I asked him, “Why did you talk to me? I mean there were so many pretty and hot girls at the airport and I thought guys from Delhi are more into such girls.” After this came out of my mouth, I cursed myself for not even thinking twice before opening my mouth. But then he was a stranger and I thought we would never meet again, so what’s the harm?
He simply said, “You, obviously, don’t know about guys at all,” and left.
This happened two years back and unlike what I thought, we stayed in touch. In fact, he proposed to me a couple of days ago and I accepted with all my heart. My first solo travel experience became even more special because of Rehan.
Life has its own ways of surprising you! :)
* Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Jun 22, 2016