Friday, April 15, 2022

The Impermanence of Good Plans

Recently I had to go to a city for a meeting regarding my work. The flight was at 6 o'clock in the morning. The ticket guidelines had instructed me to reach the airport three hours before the departure. Since I'm the kind of guy who worships rules and regulations more sincerely than a full-time priest worships almighty God, I decided to reach the airport by 3 o'clock in the morning. But then I made a change in my decision.

Since I was not going to sleep at home because I'd have to leave my home by 2 o'clock, I decided to leave home at 12 o'clock so that I could reach the airport and try to sleep on one of its tough chairs. I am also scared of missing my flights and trains, so it was a smart decision to reach there as early as possible.
Everything went fine. I reached the airport at 1 o'clock and found out that my flight would be leaving from gate no. 28. I took a chair near the gate and tried my best to take a nap in the bright light of thousands of bulbs and the freezing temperature caused by the overenthusiastic air-conditioner. I was proud of my planning and fearless about missing my flight.
At 5:30 am, I realized that there was no announcement about my flight at gate no. 28. Due to some inscrutable circumstances, everybody at that gate was going to Madurai. I stood up in a haste and checked the board informing about flights. My heart suffered from a mild attack when I realized that my flight was leaving from gate no. 20 and it was in the last moment before departure.
I picked up my bag and ran towards gate no. 20. I had to climb dozens of stairs, I ran for almost 150 meters (which felt like 150 nautical miles to me), got down and reached gate no. 20. Somehow at that moment I felt that the distance between the north and south pole must have been smaller than the distance between these two gates.
Luckily, I reached just one minute before the departure of the bus for the airplane. The bus was waiting for me, just me. I was the only one standing in the bus going to the airplane. I didn't feel important. I felt luckily saved.
In the evening, I had to come back to my city by another flight. This time I reached 45 minutes before the departure because the meeting finished late. Every 3 milliseconds, I was checking the board if I was standing at the right gate.
I had a reason to be so overly careful. The morning experience had taught me that even if you make meticulous and flawless plans, the circumstances may change anytime and your plans might backfire. Just because you have made good plans, it hardly means you must sit back and become complacent. You must keep a check on the circumstances all the time because gate no. 28 might change to gate no. 20 anytime without being noticed by you.

Water the Roots