hearts.jpgHappy feet, fluttering hearts and frowning brows… Wouldn’t you all like to know what happens behind the scenes when the goers get going? Kyunki hasna zaroori hai aka laughter is the best medicine! This conversation was first featured on the Travel Correspondents & Bloggers Group on Facebook.

Travel humour puneet opening
Day: 4 November
Time: 15:50
Admin Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu posts
How goes, TCBG? The other day, Alka Kaushik and I were having a giggle over our travel bloopers. I bet we’ve all had a few hits and misses while on the road…ones we’d like to kick ourselves for. From recent memory: I showed up in Delhi for an overseas visit minus my passport. Thankfully, with a day to spare, I could have it rushed to me. I still shudder at the thought of discovering its absence at the airport instead! What’s your story?

And the box is open, 25 Comments, lots of tears, some laughs, and honest confessions!

Shoma Abhyankar: I ended up taking two incomplete dresses that could not be mixed and matched on a short trip. Had to wear one set for all three days.
(4 November at 15:54)

Abhinav Singh: I have many. Hope to write about all of them soon. I did manage to write on one incident here. https://asoulwindow.com/2016/12/16/travel-gone-wrong-when-i-was-stranded-in-pitch-dark-in-rural-india/ 
(4 November at 15:58)

Ritu moscow

Ritu Sushila Krishan: I checked temperature in Russia and instead of reading it as Fahrenheit read it as Celsius. So reached Moscow without warm clothes, only to be saved by my friends, who gave me clothes!
(4 November at 15:58)

Ambica Gulati: I got out of the house late, got stuck in Delhi traffic, paid more to the cab to find non-existent empty roads, requested to be in the door with only 10 minutes to spare for boarding and then the flight was two hours late!
(4 November at 16:11)

Chittra Kumar: Went on my first international trip with money in my travel card and the pin number of the travel card safely locked up at home 😁 took me couple of days to get it reset and convince them to send me over email and not post it to a locked house 😃
(4 November at 16:18)
Alka Kaushik, Group admin: Oops!
Jayanti Pandey: Oops!

Indonesia SusmitaSushmita Sarkar Packing only one pair of trousers for the husband on our maiden overseas leisure trip…. He starting packing his own luggage thereafter
(4 November at 16:23)
Alka Kaushik, Group admin: Was it a blooper really or the smart move to show him the right way forward 😉
Lakshmi Sharath: That’s why we never pack for each other..
(4 November at 18:53)
Sushmita Sarkar Alka Kaushik blooper tha, which inadvertently turned into smart move in hindsight …. He was livid when I opened the luggage and said thank god mai jeans pehen k aya hun .. So I have two lower garments at least and it was Bali vacation, so he washed those two garments and wore alternately!!
Sushmita Sarkar Lakshmi Sharath I tried many times before that to make him understand but I guess I should have done this much before on one of our holidays…
Arvind Passey One is enough as a challenge. 🙂
Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu, Group admin Well played
(5 November at 10:03)

manali-1112833_640Deepika Gumaste: I thought Manali to Delhi journey can be done in 3 hours. Yes, I did that and missed the flight back to Mumbai 😊
(4 November at 17:05)
Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu, Group admin No way!
(5 November at 10:04)
Deepika Gumaste HahhaExplains why I have never been good at math
( 5 November at 12:02)
Alka Kaushik, Group admin which version of GPRS you checked 😉
(5 November at 21:03)

Sangeeta Das:
I landed in Bangalore Airport a day after my actual departure date. Those were the days of paper tickets. The check in agent gave me an earful and referred me to the duty manager of IA. He thought I was a student (I was working then) and was taken for a ride by the TA and gave me a lecture on how to check my ticket. After seeing my sorry state, he allowed me to board the flight without any charge 🙂 From there on I check my ticket multiple times.
(4 November at 17:41)
Lakshmi Sharath IA is awesome 🙂
Lakshmi Sharath: Oh so many of them…I always get my dates mixed up, recently I left my passport somewhere, been stranded..recent one was during my Prague to Zagreb trip. we had booked our ticket online and we had an email to that effect but we didn’t realize that while there was a confirmation the ticket had not been issued. I discovered this on the day of the travel..fortunately after much jugaad managed to get it sorted in the nick of time
(4 November at 18:51)

Shaunak Marulkar: I went to Sri Lanka, casually thinking I will change currency from INR to Sri Lankan Rupees directly. Took 20,000 INR cash. At Colombo Airport, I found that Sri Lanka has stopped accepting Indian Currency. I was numb for like… 10 minutes !
( 4 November at 22:43)
Alka Kaushik, Group admin Aur phir kya hua? Kaise manage kiya?
( 5 November at 08:43)
Shaunak Marulkar Alka Kaushik ji: I spoke to the Customs Officer. Explained my error & offered him all 20,000 INR to convert. Was expecting 40,000 Sri Lankan Rupees since it was 2 SLR for 1 INR. He gave me back 32,000 SLR ! I realized this is called WIN WIN 😉

Passey!Arvind Passey: No one can be stupider than me… not after you read what I did a couple of years back when I was younger. Ha! Ha! Young people are always in a hurry and I confirmed the booking for a resort that I assumed was on Havelock island. But when the receipts by email were read by Specky, my wife, she told me that I had booked a vacation in Vietnam instead. At a resort with the same name of course… I’m not daft, you see. We had to cancel that booking and needless to say we have been laughing at this incident many times over since.
( 4 November at 23:14)
Shoma Abhyankar But why didn’t you go to Vietnam instead
Arvind Passey Because our travel tickets were for Port Blair and then for Havelock… and Specky did not have an noc for travel abroad. 🙂
Alka Kaushik, Group admin आप भी ऐसे कमाल करते हैं, हम तो खुद को ही समझते थे Arvind Passey
(5 November at 21:10)

Divyakshi Gupta: So I clearly never learn! have mixed up dates and times of flights while booking flights online. I don’t know why I am in the hurry of booking a flight:/did it once for a Kochi flight and once for a Goa one 😕

Train ride in the western townJayanti Pandey: The one incident I will never forget (and never allowed to forget as well) Confidently boarding a train from Mumbai to Surat very sure that I am carrying the tickets. When the husband asked me if I was sure I had picked up the correct ones I gave him that look of  “How can you doubt me”. Just married, he said nothing more and went along with my confidence and insistence. Soon discovered that had picked up an old reservation slip. The TT came. Insisted we deboard or pay fine. Discovered we did not have enough money to pay even the fine! TT said I would have to deboard; hubby would have to carry on and be jailed. A good samaritan, doing a daily commute from Mumbai to Amd, lent us the money to pay the fine; we dismebarked at Surat as planned; came back to the station in the evening to return the loan. We did not know this person at all and he had been so kind as to risk giving us the money. Met him in the evening at Surat station when he was on his way back from Amd. This goodness I feel and implicit trust can perhaps only happen in states like Gujarat and Maharashtra. (story from the 90s).
( 5 November at 11:11)

Deepti Khera: I was in Varanasi and mistook the arrival time as departure time, and reached a day late! Finally, somehow got into a train going to Pune and requested the TT to give me ticket. The train was just standing at the platform from where I thought I had to board my original train. I dint even have time to take a platform ticket. Luckily, I got a seat in second ac.

PoliceUSA5Shoma Abhyankar: At another incident on my maiden trip to USA…We had rented a car to drive from SF to LA. We didn’t realize we had crossed speed limit and were flagged down by a highway patrol police car. Our daughter was sleeping without seat belt in the rear seat. That was scary …We apologised, showed him rental and travel documents, acted dumb about never have driven high end cars….And were let off with a warning
(5 November at 11:27)
Alka Kaushik, Group admin I can never dare to drive a car on foreign roads, I know I will never remember the rules
( 5 November at 21:12)
Shoma Abhyankar I didn’t dare drive a left-hand drive
(5 November at 21:14)
Lakshmi Sharath We have been driving everywhere…making and learning from mistakes but it’s fun…
( 7 November at 07:23)
Shoma Abhyankar My husband drove on three different routes in USA but I couldn’t for life of me remember the rules of the road markings
(7 November at 07:28)

Akanksha Dureja: Went home to attend a friend’s wedding, and all set to catch a Shatabdi back to Dehi next morning. Comfortably seated, I was just drifting off to sleep when someone woke me up claiming I was in his seat. An argument followed along with a shock how the same seat can be assigned to two people in today’s age of everything being digital. Then someone remembered the Reservation Charts and asked us to check those. Turned out I was booked on the evening Shatabdi and this seat wasn’t mine. Thankfully I could get out just in time before the train started. #Embarassed But then kind of made up for it by having one more day at home. My dad never fails to check my tickets after this, every time I go home.
( 5 November at 11:38)
Jayanti Pandey Arriving late at Fiumicino in Rome assured by my friend and co-traveller that she’d booked us a hotel . We had a flight back next morning! She had booked for sure but had forgotten to confirm!! So we spent the night on the cold floors of the airport and shivered our hours away!
Alka Kaushik, Group admin Oops oops mamla ho gaya yeh to ☹️
Jayanti Pandey Alka Kaushik hehe. Italian gelato ke maafik:-)
( 5 November at 20:32)

Kite 2_01

Date: 5 November
Time: 12:59
Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu, Group admin That’s an impressive list! So glad (and relieved) to learn there be so many more of the kind 😀

(Oops, ouch…the conversation contiues)

Ruchira Shukla: I don’t have any such stories …. I really do need to travel more ….
(5 November at 20:57)
Ambica Gulati You just need to loosen up 😀

Ganesh Vancheeswaran: Puneet, this takes me back to April 2001. Four of us friends went to Sikkim from Madras. On the way back from Sikkim, we spent 2 days in Cal. We were to board the Howrah Mail one night. The ticket was with me. Thanks to the wonderful images of Sikkim floating around in my mind, I forgot to check the departure time of our train from Howrah. I was cocksure the train was leaving at 9 pm. And so, we reached the station at 8.30 pm…..only to find the train gone! After cursing our luck, destiny, the traffic, the railways, the porters and the Communist Party of India, we decided to check into some hotel close by and look for tickets the next morning. That’s when we realised that we had about Rs.200 between all of us. I shall not dwell on the next half hour. We ended up sleeping on the concourse of the railway station that night. When we dragged ourselves to the booking counter the next morning, we really didn’t know what we were going to do. We weren’t thinking clearly, as you can imagine. I suppose we were hoping for a miracle. As we stood in the queue, totally morose, the guy behind me tapped me on my shoulder and held out Rs. 500. He said we could take it and repay him after we reached Madras. It seems he had heard our conversation and realised our plight. He didn’t know us from Adam, but still lent us the money. He was going to Madras too, he said. At that moment, those soiled notes smelt like fresh flowers. We grabbed his hand – after we grabbed the money, of course – and shook it vigorously. I think I even hugged him. The four of us took the Falaknuma Express to Vijayawada and from there, a taxi to Madras. We reached Madras at midnight the next day. We went to an ATM first, withdrew money and paid the taxi driver. And then, we promptly found a bar and got drunk. I still think back and marvel at that entire trip! 🙂
(6 November at 21:57)

Lakshmi Sharath: I am leaving tonight .. my husband and I but on separate flights and the whole idea was to get together on our anniversary tom. Need I say more ?? And all I need are these bloopers to motivate me on the eve of the journey..
Shoma Abhyankar Happy anniversary in advance
Lakshmi Sharath Thank you 🙂
Ganesh Vancheeswaran Happy anniversary, Lakshmi.
(7 November at 08:34)
(Lakshmi Sharath is now back from this trip!)

cartoon-alarm-clock-29081168Alka Kaushik, Group admin: इतनी देर से इस पोस्ट पर अपने हादसों का जिक्र करने का सबब बता दूं पहले। ऐसी बेवकूफी की है हाल में कि बयान करते हुए भी शरम से बार-बार गढ़ रही हूं। हुआ यों कि सितंबर ’17 में Gujarat Tourism के न्योते पर वड़ोदरा की फ्लाइट पकड़ने सवेरे 4 बजे एयरपोर्ट पहुंच गई। अपनी पीठ थपथपायी कि बगैर सांस फुलाए इस बार एयरपोर्ट पहुंच गई हूं। और सारी गफलत यहीं से शुरू हुई। इस बार कुछ ज्यादा ही टाइम पर जो थी। 6 PM की उड़ान को 6 AM जो समझ लिया था

और मेरी किस्मत देखिए कि गार्ड ने एंट्री दे दी, बोर्डिंग डेस्क पर बोर्डिंग पास भी जारी हो गया और जब उस पर बोर्डिंग टाइम 5.15PM देखा तो माथा चकराया। मगर खुद पर भरोसा इतना था कि तपाक से एग्ज़ीक्युटिव को ही शक के दायरे में ला खड़ा किया। ”ये शाम का बोर्डिंग टाइम किसलिए है सवेरे की फ्लाइट के लिए?” जब तक डेस्क पर बैठी वो खूबसूरत हसीना कुछ समझती मैंने अपना टिकट चेक कर डाला और सारी गड़बड़ समझ में आ गई। मैं उसकी तरफ देखकर मुस्कुरायी मगर वो और उसका सीनियर हकबकाए से खड़े थे। ”मैडम किसी को बोलना नहीं कि आपको बोर्डिंग पास इश्यू हो गया था …. हम अभी आपको बाहर भेजने का इंतज़ाम करते हैं …”

दरअसल, मुझे फ्लाइट से 12 घंटे पहले एयरपोर्ट में एंट्री देना और उस पर बोर्डिंग पास भी जारी कर देना हमारे हवाईअड्डों की सुरक्षा की पोल खोल देने वाली घटना थी। और मेरे इस विश्वास की पुष्टि भी कि security is a farce in this country.

बहरहाल, मैंने खुद को कोसा, अपनी एलर्टनैस को कोसा और 6 बजे घर लौटी। डोर बेल सुनकर नींद भरी आंखों से पति महाशय दरवाज़ा खोलने आए तो मुझे देखकर चौंक गए — ”क्या हुआ?”

क्या बताती कि मूर्खता की इंतिहा कर लौट रही हूं। फिर तो जो मज़ाक बनी मैं, पूछो मत। और हां, तुमने पूछा Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu तो राज़ खोलना पड़ा वरना अपनी जिंदगी के इस हादसे को यों खोलने का इरादा नहीं था।
( 8 November at 21:52
Ritu Sushila Krishan I did the same thing in Indonesia!
Alka Kaushik, Group admin Ritu Sushila Krishan you too 😜
Ritu Sushila Krishan I try to shift the blame to Sachin, as far as it is possible!
( 9 November at 08:06)
Alka Kaushik, Group admin Ritu Sushila Krishan magar main kisko blame karti. Mujhe to sunaya gaya ki ghar se bhagne ki itni jaldi thi ki …
Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu, Group admin This one’s a classic Alka Kaushik!
Alka Kaushik, Group admin Tum bhi hanso hum par

Kaynat Kazi: I clubbed my two journeys last year. I came from Udaipur early in the morning & took the early flight to Bhopal. I was too tiered n sleepy due to road trip of Udaipur. I slept in the flight. When I reached Bhopal. I was half sleepy & left the airport without my suitcase. While going to hotel I was planning what will I wear today. Then suddenly realised that my luggage is missing. I quickly retuned to the airport. Requested airport staff to get me in but they did not allow. So finally I managed to call airline staff at the exit gate. Explained the whole situation. They helped me. And finally I got my bag. Although it was embarrassing but somehow I managed coz Bhopal Airport is not so busy airport with low flight traffic. That day I got a lesson. “Do not club two journeys”
( 9 November at 22:33)

Saurabh Arya: ये हवाई यात्राओं के शुरुआती दिनों का किस्सा है. दिल्ली से गोवा की जेट एयरवेज की फ्लाइट पकड़नी थी. अपने बॉस को कई बार फ़्लाइट छोड़ते देखा तो उनसे गुरु मंत्र ले लिया था कि टाइम पर एयरपोर्ट पहुंचना चाहिए. बॉस ने कभी सलाह दी थी कि यात्रा पर जाने के समय बेवजह दिल की धड़कनें नहीं बढ़ानी चाहिएं. समय से और एक घंटा पहले पहुंचो…फिर कोई टेंशन नहीं होगी. अलबत्ता बॉस का फ़्लाइट मिस करना उनकी रिटायरमेंट तक जारी रहा. मग़र समझदारी इसी में थी कि उनके हादसों से सबक ले लिया जाए. सो बात गांठ बांध ली. अब उस रोज हुआ कुछ यूं कि मैं तय समय से तकरीबन डेढ़-दो घंटा पहले एयरपोर्ट पहुंच गया था. खुद को समय से पहुंचने पर शाबाशी दी. गर्मा-गरम चाय सुड़की. तसल्ली से बैठकर अख़बार पढ़े. फोन पर इधर-उधर गपशप की. बीच में जाकर बोर्डिंग पास भी ले आया. अभी भी एक घंटा था. सिक्योरिटी-चेक के लिए जाने से पहले आलतू-फ़ालतू सब सामान और मोबाइल बैग के अंदर अच्छी तरह से सील कर दिए. चेक-इन करने के बाद तसल्ली से किताबें खंगाली, कुछ छोटा-मोटा खरीदा. हाथ-मुँह धोये और अपनी ही मस्ती में धीरे-धीरे बोर्डिंग गेट की ओर बढ़ चला. अभी उड़ान में तक़रीबन 25 मिनट बाकी थे. ज्यादा जल्दी पहुंच कर लाइन में लगने की कोफ़्त एकाध बार झेल चुका था सो सोचा कि क्यों जल्दी मचाऊं? लेकिन जब बोर्डिंग के लिए तय गेट पर पहुंचा तो मुझे बताया गया कि “सर बोर्डिंग क्लोज़ हो चुकी है…आप लेट हैं…आपको कई बार फ़ोन भी किया गया.” मेरी ऊपर की सांस ऊपर और नीचे की नीचे. मैंने बैग से फ़ोन निकाला…4 मिस कॉल थीं किसी अनजान नम्बर से. गेट पर मौजूद लोगों में भी बेचैनी बढ़ी हुई थी क्योंकि बोर्डिंग पास मेरे हाथ में था. वे बार-बार पूछ रहे थे कि एक घंटा पहले बोर्डिंग पास लेकर आखिर मैं कर क्या रहा था? अब क्या समझाता उन्हें…मन ही मन सोच लिया था कि आज चपत लग गई है अब अगली फ्लाइट पकड़नी पड़ेगी. उनसे माफ़ी मांगी और साफ़-साफ़ पूछ लिया कि भाई कुछ हो सकता है या जाऊं? खैर, अब उन्होंने वॉकी-टॉकी पर कैबिन क्रू से बात की बोर्डिंग की और इजाज़त मिल गई. अब बारी दौड़ लगाने की थी. ..एक बन्दा और मेरे साथ दौड़ रहा था (कहीं में उस 200 मीटर के फ़ासले में भी न गुम हो जाऊं). एयरक्राफ़्ट के दरवाज़े पर क्रू के कई लोग मेरे “स्वागत” के लिए खड़े थे. ये शर्म से सराबोर लम्हे थे जो बहुत धीरे-धीरे गुज़र रहे थे. सबसे हाथ जोड़ कर माफ़ी मांगी और सीट की ओर बढ़ चला. अंदर एयरक्राफ़्ट में भी हर नज़र मुझे ही देख रही थी शायद. भला हो उस एयरहोस्टेस का जिसने सीट पर बैठते ही बड़े प्यार से सॉफ्ट ड्रिंक लाकर थमा दिया. गला बुरी तरह सूख चुका था 😦 वो दिन और आज का दिन है…तब से अपन सबसे पहले बोर्डिंग करते हैं और अख़बार सीट पर जाकर पढ़ते हैं !  (9 November at 22:34)

Funny expressions

Shoma Abhyankar सब की कहानियों को पढ लगता है कि थोडा रिलैक्स कर जाऊं और एकहाद गडबड कर बैठूं तो अपने आप पर हँसने के मौके मिलें….कॉमेडी शो मे तो मज़ा आता नही
( 8 November at 21:53)

Alka Kaushik, Group admin तुम इसे कॉमेडी कह रही हो और हमें अपनी बढ़ती उम्र पर तरस आ रहा है, अभी से ये हाल है तो आगे क्या करेंगे

Shoma Abhyankar पर यूँही तो यादों की लाइब्रेरी बनेगी…. वो तो ओवरसाइट थी आपकी…उम्र से कोई वास्ता नहीं था…बढती उम्र जब उस मोड पर लाएगी तब यादों के म्यूजियम काम आऐंगे

(Compiled by Ambica Gulati. “Did I edit it? No way, it’s as original as it can be!”)

Keep travelling and keep collecting laughter lines.