I was in sixth grade when I travelled alone to Saudia from Pakistan. The more my family was afraid, the more excited I was. The excitement which soon transformed into experience (as usual).
My excitement started to lose its value when I was standing on the gate to enter airport, officer asked about my family while seeing the ticket, when I said I am alone, he still searched until he was sure that I am alone.
The first thing which he asked was if I will be able to travel alone? I said Why not? He smiled. I became so frustrated that why he asked me. I am a sixth grade MATURE girl… yes, I had this “mature” feeling with me at that time maybe because I was travelling ALONE.
Well like this, officers at almost every check point asked about my family and a specific smile was also given (God knows what that smile meant). The female checkpoint not only came with my regular one but with my whole bio data as if next day she will come for my RISHTA.
When I reached boarding area, I came to know about a new rule, which state luggage should be stripped. Now I, innocent girl, had to look for this machine. When I was done with it and was handing him the money. He said “beta tum chooti hoo, rehnay do”. This “choti hoo” attacked me like a sword but I ignored after all I was a “mature” kid who was saving money <not to mention for chocolates>
When I reached boarding counter, the officer immediately saw me after seeing my passport and said “beta don’t wait for expiry date, renew your passport with your RECENT photograph else no one will recognize you after some months” Actually the passport which I was having was made when I was in second grade, so you can imagine the difference between a second grade kid and a sixth grade kid. I was embarrassed. I just said “jee uncle” on which he said “O! Tumhari to INNNI si awaz hai” This time my temper shooted. How can he say this to a MATURE kid? What if I am sixth grade girl having a height of fourth grade student and my voice?? By the way no one told me about INNI SI voice!!!
Well, moved towards immigration area quietly. Answering same questions again and again, now it’s time for waiting room-My temporary destination. Just to pass my time, I took shopping area, forgetting that I AM A KID! I had to listen all kinds of comments “bachi ghum gae”, “ap ki family kahan hai beta?”, some were even ready to pull my cheeks out! I bought chocolates, and then quickly and most important quietly reached waiting area where I got wild stares. Ignoring those stares because I had enough already, I took out my Chocolates and started eating. Thank God we had to board just after 5 minutes .otherwise I would have taken their eyes out and would be playing “marble marble” with them; After all I was a kid naa?
As soon as I entered plane, my cheek screamed for mercy. <Maybe this is the reason I am having CHEEEKY CHEEKS today >… Well, I got seat between an aunty and uncle. Anti who was thinking I don’t know English and was translating each and every word which airhostess was saying but since I was too tired to tell everybody that I have sense, I decided to let her speak.
Meanwhile, airhostess bought an airline bag and a coloring book which I very quietly put it in my handbag thinking to give it to some REAL KID and took my novel out. While I was reading, the uncle and aunty left no moment to disturb me so I had to pretend that I am sleepy.
After two and half hour, I thanked God as my destination was there and uncle aunty had to travel more. After leaving plan my roller coaster journey ended and I came back to my original state as no one is concerned in Saudia of who I am with and how small I am until I have a passport and ticket!