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We were supposed to leave in the evening train from Hyderabad to Chennai. We had about ten bags/suitcases in total. I had booked a cab (an Innova) the previous evening so that our luggage would fit. On the day of our departure, about an hour before we were scheduled to leave I call the cab company to ask for the driver details. The call center executives flatly say that no Innovas are available at the moment and hence they had to cancel our order. I went wild with fury but of what use is fury when you have to make it to the train in the next three hours with two children, two old people, a big load of luggage and the responsibility to handle this!

I tried a few other cab service providers but none of them had any cars available, leave alone bigger ones. I suddenly thought of a friend from the apartment (I don’t even know her much!) who had an Innova and a driver. I called her and thankfully her driver was available in the next half hour but.. she had sold the Innova and only had a Honda city. Sigh. Finally, we decided to transport the luggage along with my FIL in the car and the rest of us took an auto. Till now, I keep wondering what would’ve happened to us if not for that friend. No amount of thanking her will ever suffice although she kept saying that she was happy that she could help.

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Our last few days in Hyderabad were peaceful only because of friends. Right from the smallest help of getting photo copies when needed to offering food to us, everyone of my friends helped. Also, the moral support they provided as I was the only one managing the entire winding up was what kept me sane till the end. Not the forget the farewells these friends organized; from lunches to teas to dinners to personalized gifts they gave me, to say I was overwhelmed is an understatement.

I only wish I get to make such friends wherever I go.

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Talking about friends, I would be missing out on something big if I don’t talk about the friends I made, thanks to this space. Ani kept calling me ever so often asking me if I need any help. At any point in time, when I had queries or worries about the new place, I Whatsapped her. Then, VJ and Revs kept pepping me up when I was down. Most of the time balking in my own problems, I’d have completely forgotten about asking how they were and if they were okay; but that didn’t deter them from telling me all will be well. And SriVidhya.. Thanks so much taking time out meeting me and also for the halwa and chocolates! We will meet soon again! 🙂

And then, of course, Tharani (Yay! I met ZAM! :-)), summerscript and Bingo’s mom and the pep talk they’d given me.. And, continue to give me. Sigh. These days, I’ve stopped telling them ‘sorry’ and ‘thanks’ for they’ve become a part of me. I know she’d hate me doing this but special shout out to BM for making my last few days in Hyderabad the best. If not for her, I don’t know what I’d have done!

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I was so very apprehensive of taking the flight to the US alone with the kids. I’ve had a bitter experience when I first traveled alone with them. But this time the kids behaved really well. May be, cos of the numerous talks we had before. Or simply because they’ve grown up a bit. They troubled me very little and for that I am really thankful.

The co-passengers in the flight were really friendly and good. The first leg of the flight from Chennai to Dubai had a Spanish lady sitting with us. When I asked her if she could keep an eye on my son while I took my daughter to the wash room, she immediately obliged without any hesitation.

Our flight landed about twenty minutes ahead of schedule in Dallas. One Indian lady offered me her phone on her own to call my husband and inform him of the flight timing. She also asked me to save her number and contact her if I needed anything. Similarly, another Indian lady wrote down her and her husband’s number in a small sheet of paper and handed it over to me saying ‘any time, any help, do call me!’

We couldn’t accommodate all our luggage in our car and so hired a taxi. I plied on the taxi with a few suitcases while the husband took the kids in the car. I arrived earlier than my husband but was unable to figure out our apartment as I was new to the place. The taxi driver offered his phone to me asking me to call my husband and inform him of where we were waiting. Thankfully, the husband arrived before I could get off and so the taxi guy dropped me near the apartment.

Such acts of kindness from random strangers overwhelm me. A question of ‘do I deserve such kindness’ still continue to haunt me!

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While we are talking goodness, here’s a good news I wish to share. Baggout has apparently thought this blog deserves to be featured as one of the Top 16 Fiction Stories Blogs in India. Thank you Baggout. You’ve made a jet-lagged, cranky mom really really happy! 🙂

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