28 July, 2008

The strangest thing happened. I suddenly find myself in my home in Karachi, even though I had planned to have tea with Aman somewhere in Delhi today.

I got up this morning and decided to call Pakistan Airlines to make absolutely sure I would be flying out on Wednesday, July 30th. Ever since I had heard Jahnvi's horror story in which the airline refused to let her travel on an e-ticket, I had been slightly worried.

So it was "lucky" I called. Mrs. Farooqui at PIA told me with great assurance that my flight was confirmed for August 2nd. This was shocking because it was supposed to be July 30th. She said PIA had canceled the July 30th flight. I didnt have any hotel reservation for the extra days, and so their suggestion was to fly today, in three hours from then.

In these three hours I had to get dollars exchanged for rupees to pay off the hotel bill, go to the center city police station to offically "check out" of india (which all Pakistanis have to do), and then rush to the airport. I did it all!

The hotel people were like family by this time and they were very helpful.

On the way to the airport I got to see the Hindu pilgrims who were carrying water from the Ganges River. They had walked all this way and not once, the taxi driver told me, did they let the water containers rest on the ground. It was remarkable that the few I saw were barefoot in the scorching heat!

And now as I still feel like I must be in India I am sharply brought back to reality by the realization that I left some sketches pasted to the wall in my hotel room in Delhi - drawings that are not important enough to have mailed over to me, yet too precious to forget.

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