It was one of those crazy days. I normally take a flight on Sundays to Mumbai at around 6.15 pm. For some reason I booked an earlier flight on Air India at 5 pm and forgot about it. Midway as I headed to the airport, I got a call from the airline manager telling me that I was being off loaded it way past the boarding time of 4.15. I had completely forgotten that it was an earlier flight.
He and I went to another carrier for a later flight. It was an expensive ticket and I gave my credit card to the attendant who insisted on cash. And those were the ‘Demon-ic’ days of the dry ATMs. After three dry ATMs, I finally managed to get cash. Ran back and gave the money to the man at the counter only to be told that the last ticket was taken. My pleas fell on deaf ears, for he was clear, first come first served. Made not even the slightest effort to help. Bless him!
The AI Manager asked me to wait and said he would try. After ten minutes, I gave up not sure if he could anything, purchased a ticket for the next day, hired a cab and headed back home. Five minutes into the drive I got a call from the Manager if I could come back. He had managed to get me a ticket for the regular 6.15 pm flight, the one I had tried earlier but was told it was running full. And he had got it at a normal price. He had not given up. He had been working silently all along for getting me a ticket.
I thanked Sumit Trivedi. That was his name. He helped someone he did not know. For over half an hour he had relentlessly worked his charm on a different carrier in securing me a ticket. I asked him what I could do for him. He said ‘Sir please fly Air India each time, every time ’. I hugged him warmly and walked away in awe of the man. He had mastered the art of Service beyond Self.
I wish I could be a Trivedi to someone. I must.