09-Feb-2007

Air Show Tickets

I walk in to Canara Bank's Indiranagar branch. Strange. Not a single poster about the Air Show tickets being available. I look around and finally check with a harried looking lady. She says, no, not available. Try the M G Road branch. Thinkng, "not a problem", I get into an autorickshaw. Slow traffic as usual, getting late for work. But have to go get the tickets. Can't disappoint the kid. He's been seeing photographs of the planes for three days now - at breakfast and at dinner. I reach the M G Road branch. Looks like it's closed. No the main door is open. But what's that sign hung on the knob? 'Air Show Tickets sold out'. WHAT? That is not an option at all. Was never! What do I tell the pint-size? Now I realise I should've checked online where else the tickets were supposed to be sold. I remember Forum Mall, but there were others. Not that there is much hope of their being available now. Still, I wouldn't mind scouring Bangalore end to end.

I head out to Forum Mall. Reaching there again the lack of Air Show posters. I ask the security guard. He confirms that they are sold out. He points to a poster on a lampost and suggests I call the phone number listed there. I do. A voice answers and says YES, AVAILABLE! Next to the Ulsoor Gurdwara. Something Mansion, room 404. I thank the voice a lot, feeling euphoric. I don't have to disappoint the pint-sized offshoot. That would have been torture, seeing how eagerly he was waiting to go. My mind conjures up the scene and many internal parts contract, including the heart I think.

I get an auto at the prepaid counter - argue about the charge, but my mind is not really in it. I sit down and we're on our way. Then, slowly, doubts arise. Why in a room in a apartment? Was the voice pulling my leg? Is it a black ticket racket? Not that I was unprepared to pay extra. Anything so I didn't have to break my promise of taking him to the show. I could try to substitute some other thing for the air show, but what really would be a suitable replacement for a Mig 35 shooting by upside down, the Surya Kirans, the Dhruvs, and the various sleek fighter planes? He's been taking them all in in both Deccan Herald and The Hindu for 3 days. And the first thing he said today morning, just after opening his eyes "I'm very happy!". Why? Becuase we'd be going to the air show tomorrow! His first waking thought! Try telling him we couldn't go after all that.

The suspense is killing. The traffic is thick. We're stuck at signal lights every now and then. Finally we reach. The security guy at the apartment waves me on towards the lift as another one tells him, "Didn't he say the tickets are over?" Please, no! I knock on the door of 404. A Punjabi lady, late-middle-aged, is sitting at a dining table right up, and her mother/mother-in-law is sitting on a sofa further down the room. "Do you have tickets for the air show?" The answer is not 'No'. It is "How many do you want sir?". What a nice lady, such a sweet voice. And the old lady, she is nice too. So calm and peaceful. I hand over the money. The dining table lady is confused, I've given her an extra 500 rupee note. I take it back beaming.

Peace and happiness reigns.

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