Brussels to Mumbai
We landed in a toxic steam bath, hygiene on a dark runway where long, allergy sleek bird-like planes slowly crawled between the shadows. I'm on a hellish, totally unexpected, I’m going to murder my travel agent, lay-over in Mumbai at 2 AM with 4 and half more hours to go. The trip has gone rapidly downhill as I am exhausted, dehydrated, hungry and headachy. How is it considered acceptable to have me check in go through customs, baggage claim, then re-check in and get on a bus to a different airport to catch a domestic flight after waiting 5 hours in the middle of the night? How is that not an important detail to mention when booking a ticket? So I’m not happy, I will not arrive all that happy. And this is just the beginning of the hard stuff.
On the flight from Brussels to Mumbai, a little boy baby cried his head off inconsolably. People looked up from their newspapers and laptops shaking their heads, cursing their seat assignments. The baby kept escalating his tantrum. And then out of nowhere, a few grandparently people from across the aisle began to stir. “Put him on your shoulder," “ “No don’t turn him that way”, “You shouldn’t talk to him,” “Hold him this way and pat; a baby needs to feel a beating heart.” Arms went up from several rows down offering to carry and pacify the screaming monster. This collective Indian parenting effort was really something to watch. The young to middle aged people were annoyed, but the elders seemed transported to a different time, when they were once new parents. They were only too happy to help.