In the wake of the spread of COVID-19, our college authority ordered us to vacate the hostel by 24th March to undertake precautionary measures. We were given 24 hours to pack our bags and book our tickets. One of my friends helped me book my ticket to Bhopal. I took a midnight flight and reached early morning.
My hometown Sidhi was around 600 km from Bhopal, and the operation of trains and buses had already been called off in Madhya Pradesh; I stood there stranded. My phone’s battery was draining, and I had no idea where to go from the airport. I was highly perplexed. I talked to the cops outside the Bhopal Airport to seek their help.
One of them asked me why I didn’t stay back in Bengaluru, and I narrated my entire ordeal to them. After an hour of conversation, they provided me with contact details of a cab driver. I called the driver, and he asked me to wait for two hours. I didn’t tell him about my destination. I had no idea where I would go!
An hour passed since I had called the taxi driver, and my phone’s batter was at 10%. I called my father and explained my situation to him, I hadn’t told him earlier that we were asked to vacate the hostel. My father asked me to calm down and promised that he’d make some arrangements for me.
After 15 minutes, my father called me back and gave me the contact number of a distant relative. It was for the first time I was going to meet those relatives. Simultaneously, a race between the cab and my phone’s battery was going on. Only 3% of the battery was remaining, and the cab would take another 30 minutes to arrive.
I called the taxi driver again; he requested me to wait for two more minutes. Meanwhile, my mobile phone ran out. I went outside and desperately waited for the taxi. My phone was already switched off, and there was no chance of receiving a call from the taxi driver. I was astonished by the trouble that had befallen me one after the other.
Finally, in the airport’s parking lot, I met the taxi driver. Enroute Dewas, we passed through many security checks, and thanks to my trainee journalist press card, cops permitted me to pass. I finally reached home after four hours. One thing I learnt from the journey was that journalists are like water—they will find their way out of every difficultly thrown at them.