mardi 2 août 2011

WHEN YOU ARE FREQUENT FLIER, A SENSE OF DETACHMENT IS NECESSARY

I boarded the flight to Omaha from Detroit Airport. When they announced that volunteers were needed to give up their seats on this flight, I did a quick turn around and presented myself at the desk. I was told “The next flight is at 3 pm. It will get you there at 5 pm.” This meant that there would be a delay of about two and a half hours. I responded “No worries, I am not in any great hurry to get to Omaha.”
For this gesture, I was given a voucher of USD400 to be used in any Delta Flight and a USD10 voucher for snack at the airport. I duly spent this unexpected gift on a nice fruit and nut bagel with smoked salmon and coffee. USD400 would buy a round trip ticket from Miami to the Indians, if it is booked early. One good gesture deserves another; I can now invite my sister to come and watch the Omaha Pow Wow!
So many people have been kind ever since leaving the terre (what is this ? ) of CDG Charles De Gaulle Airport. The staff on AF Business Class couldn't be nice enough, very polite and friendly while serving mouth watering cuisine.
The Girl at the front desk of the hotel had a very Christian sounding name and I was so taken back when she said she was from Pakistan! I wanted to give her my Hilton Honours number but I didn't have an Internet connection (10 usd/day at the hotel), so she gave me a promotion code which allowed me Free Internet in the room.
Rahul at Delta could have technically charged me USD150 for changing my itinerary since the fault of my delay in departure from Washington was Air France’s not Delta’s.
The walk-in-rate at the Hilton Hotel Brand was only USD85 instead of the usual USD150, so thanks to the lean and hungry looking Ali the Iraqi driver, I could enjoy a very comfortable night and a good cooked breakfast.
Now this gift of 410 dollars from Delta!
Also while waiting at the desk an artistic looking lady, who said she was 50 years old but didn't look it, started a conversation which ended up in our trading emails. I look forward to hearing from her. She lives in New York city with her husband and children.
I thought to try my luck at the Delta SkyClub at the Airport. I went in there and explained that I had come from Paris yesterday and normally they don't honour the Air France Customers on days other than the day of arrival and departure. Because of my delay, she said she will make an exception and let me into the Club.
That is from where I am writing this note.
Yoga and Happiness indeed.
So the entire trip from Paris to Washington which was unpleasant initially had turned out so well thanks to my non reaction to the events happening around me as my Indian teacher Pierre would say, “Doctor, most of the good things in life are free, it is we who do not appreciate them.”
So I thank all the people, many of them who have made this journey from Paris to the Indians, a very pleasant one.
And the attitude towards that pleasantness lies in my adoption of the classical Yoga attitude of non Attachment while maintaining a “spectator” attitude towards events happening in my life (i.e. do not react and watch each event as if I were watching a movie). As a result, I was able to remain calm and unaffected amidst unexpected turns of events, especially the unpleasant ones.