Do I really have to go to India to get material for this blog?
There we are at the Delhi domestic airport to catch a one-hour puddle jumper to Dheradun, which is close to the meditation location. The idea was to save a six-hour train ride, albeit one with such amenities as possible fried veg cutlet and toilet facilities which consist of a hole in the floor over the train tracks.
I so get it about India – that any held concept or belief, regardless of shape or size, will be smashed. Resistance is futile. For me, that’s what has always made the experience life-changing. In a good way.
But that extra five hours was enticing.
Got to the airport in plenty of time.. sailed through security, where I held my passport and boarding pass above my head while they scanned me with the magic wand. Later, there would be security video evidence of that.
The tape also showed me putting those items back in my shoulder bag.
As you will have guessed or heard by now, the documents were gone by the time I got to the departure gate.
I waved goodbye to my companion and set about solving the mystery, forgetting that India is where you gather mysteries, not solve them.
But first, the taciturn head of security insisted I sit down and do nothing. I don’t think he was advising me to allow shuniya. Obedient for nearly an hour, I was rescued by a fellow traveler. She marched up to the man and demanded action. Finally, we started the process of re-tracing footsteps, checking security videos and interviewing airport workers.
Everyone became invested in my plight to the point where I was wishing they weren’t so much. But it was sweet.
After three or four hours, I reached the crushing point where I was about to file a police report and head for the consulate to get a new passport. We went for one final look at the original gate. Nothing on the floor, nothing turned in, nothing. The new guy at the gate suggested I look in my bag. Weary, I said, “Look mister, I have searched every inch of my bag at least five times. This man, the head of airport security, has personally searched this bag. The guy from Starbucks has searched this bag. The guy at the security gate has checked this bag. The guy from the sandwich shop has checked this bag. I assure you this bag has been checked to within an inch of its life and there is no passport and no boarding pass in this bag.”
He said, “Humor me; just look in the bag one more time.”
I hadn’t even finished rolling my eyes when the big security chief plunged his arm in the bag and pulled out my passport and boarding pass.
The bag had been a gift from my friends at Courierware. They mentioned a secret pocket, but I didn’t take it seriously. Secret pockets never are.
This one was.
And the passport and boarding pass had found their secret way in.
Had this been a movie, I would have walked through the airport holding the passport up while everyone cheered. In reality, they only put their thumbs up and grinned the warmest grins.
– by Jeffrey Cohen