If God had really intended men to fly, he’d make it easier to get to the airport.
The missus has gone to the neighbors’ house to attend ‘payruntum’. Their cute tiny grandchild has arrived home with her nascent mom from the maternity home.
The phone rings. It is Shriya. “Grandpa, I am going to Bangalore. I have one week holidays.” , he says excitedly.
” Great! Enjoy yourself.” ,
Puttar and Bahu have readmitted the children in their old school here, at Hyderabad. The school at Bangalore was hopeless. The whole exercise of admitting them in Bangalore, removing them from there and readmitting in Hyderabad cost them a couple of lakhs.
( I wonder how my dear departed parents managed to educate their eight children within their meagre means. Of course those days were different and schooling was cheaper. I, for myself never had much of a problem in this regard, I never bothered to know how good the school my children went to was as long as it was conveniently nearer home.It was the duty of the missus to see that their grades were good. It is still the duty of the parents or the grandparents as the case may be,to see that the grades of their wards are good, besides shelling out the hefty fees charged by the school authorities )
The kids are staying with Bahu’s mother.. They are happy here to be back in their familiar environment with their Patty and to be able to play with their friends in the neighborhood and at the school. But their parents miss them very much and the kids also ditto.
“Grandpa, I am flying to Bangalore, in the evening.”
“Great again.” I say. Old hat. They have flown a number of times along with their parents, especially since they have returned here.I say that to him.The airlines, the railways and the bus operators seem to be the only beneficiaries of this pining of the parents and the kids for each other.
” But grandpa. I am flying alone.”.
“Alone !?”, I exclaim incredulously..
“Yes, all alone.”
“Why. Is Tejas not going with you.?”
“He is going alone and I am going alone.”
“So you are both going alone.”
No, we are each going alone.”, Shriya corrects me impatiently.
“in the same flight?”
“Yes, in the same flight.”
“How are you going to the air port.”
” Grandma is accompanying in the cab. To the air port.”
I am somewhat relieved,” So you are going alone to the airport along with your grandma.”
I ascertain the flight details from him.
The missus has returned from the celebration and I tell her of the call from Shriya.
She phones up Puttar and chides him for asking the children to fly alone. Puttar impatiently explains her that even infants fly alone these days across continents, things are streamlined. No need to worry. the children are grown up and are bold. They are boys, you see.
“Grown up and bold boys, indeed.”, the missus shakes her head and bangs the phone onto the cradle.
“Let us go to the airport. “, she says to me .
” You are tired and unwell. And I am not driving. Sunny is yet to return from his meting. Going to the airport and back by cab will be tiresome and expensive. Anyway, Lathaji is dropping the children at the airport.” I try to reason. The missus gives in reluctantly.
We finish dinner and are preparing to go to bed.
The phone rings. ” Grandpa! I have reached Bangalore alone.”, it is Tejas over the phone.
” Were you not afraid. ” I ask him.
“No. Grandma left us at the airport. We showed our tickets and obtained our boarding passes and sat at the gate until the plane arrived. When it came we went and climbed into it.”
“alone? ” I ask.
“Yes, alone. There was a steward who walked along with us.And another steward walked beside us at the Bangalore airport until Papa received us outside.”
“So, then you went home alone .”
“Why alone ? Papa was there with Shriya and me. .Now give the phone to Nayanamma Papa wants to talk to her..”
I give the phone to the missus.
I am able to hear Puttar’s voice complain, ” Mamma, the children were flying alone. The kids would have loved it , had you both seen them off at Hyderabad.”
The missus looks accusingly at me.
I kick myself for my callousness.