Qatar…From Afar: The Last Hour

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I had just about an hour left of the adrenaline-driven day in Doha, Qatar.

I had just gone through immigrations at the airport. After being surrounded by people pretty much all the time since being released from prison the previous afternoon, there I was all alone! But alone and isolated, I didn’t want to feel!

I was on my way out of the country for good; out and away from a country and people that had brought me considerable pain and suffering during my 20-month stint; out and away from a country that had brought a lot of grief to my family, friends and others in the last five days; out and away from a country that brought a lot of pain and suffering on untold number of other Nepalese and Asian workers, and their families. I was anxious, very anxious to leave the country and pretty much every one behind, except for a number of friends and colleagues at QA.

But alone, I was a bit apprehensive too!

I walked over to an area from where I could see the friends who had seen me off just minutes before. Waving good-bye to let them know that I had gotten through immigrations without a hitch, I started on one of the longest hours I had ever experienced!

For “company” and reassurance, I began sending group text messages to them and a whole bunch of other friends totaling about two dozens! I would inform them of where I was at every stage of my progress to my flight, while those friends would respond with well wishes etc.
airport SMS #0 header 75px

I sent the first one from the boarding gate. That the text wrongly states where I was says a lot about the anxiety I felt! (Incidentally, since these screen shots were taken in Nepal, the times stamps are Nepalese. Doha would be 2 hours 45 minutes behind!)
airport SMS #1 in the queue 1556 75px

I followed that up with the following to another group of friends. (Can you read the anxiety?!)
airport sms waiting to board 1707 75px

Ushered through the gate and accompanying the rest of the passengers down the escalator, I didn’t make it into the waiting bus — it got filled by those in front of me. That further added to my anxiety. As the electronically-controlled exit pulled shut, I fired off this text!
airport sms #3 75px

What’s more, the other bus takes its time further adding to my apprehension, and inducing me to send this text.

airport sms almost ariborne & more 1711 75px

After what felt like a very long wait, a little worried if the Qataris were planning something else for me, the bus finally arrived and, as I boarded it, I fired off the following text.

airport sms #4 75px

Not surprisingly, even though I had taken that ride a number of times in the past, this particular time, it felt like a long one! But, as you can tell, I had begun to relax a bit!

airport sms #5 75px

In my seat, buckled up, and ready for take off.

airport sms #6 75px

And the final one!

airport sms #7 75px

airport sms #9 footer 75px

No sooner had the plane taken off and reached cruising altitude, the anxiety, the apprehension and the hyper-alert mode dissipating — and very much alone — tears started streaming down my cheeks, tears that didn’t stop flowing…for a long time…tears of relief, hurt, anger and rage!

 

* * * * * * * *

 

(Visited 342 times, 1 visits today)

Facebook Comments (see farther below for other comments)

comments

Don't leave me hanging...say something....