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Old 19th September 2020, 20:06   #1
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Default Your experience of missing trains / flights?

Dear BHPians, I am starting this thread to share experiences of missing a train or flight. Hereís mine:

1. In August 2000, me and my friend had a train to catch from Guwahati to Vijayawada. We came to Guwahati from upper Assam by night bus and decided to take few hours rest at a guest house as scheduled departure time of the train was 1:15 pm. We reached Guwahati railway station at around 12:15 pm and we were told that our train had already left at 11:00 am . The reason for early departure was that night running of trains was stopped due to prevailing situation as trains need to cross Assam during daytime. Railway officials also claimed that they had given advertisement about the same on local newspapers. We started looking for alternatives and someone suggested us to take the Guwahati Ė New Delhi Rajdhani express (which was already standing on the platform) to New Jalpaiguri, where we can catch our original train. We requested Railway officials to inform the train, so that they donít cancel our berths and booked Rajdhani express to New Jalpaiguri by paying Rs. 800 per berth. We reached New Jalpaiguri at around 8:00 pm and boarded our original train to Vijayawada at around 11:00 pm.

2. In July 2008, me and my colleague had an official day trip to Mumbai and our return flight to Bengaluru was at 9:30 pm. We were travelling with hand bag only. Around 6:00 pm we left our office for airport and heavy rain started soon after that resulted in traffic jams . We reached the airport at 9:15 pm, but we were not issued boarding pass as passenger manifest was already sent to pilots. That was the last flight to Bengaluru that day. I called our manager and we were advised to book rooms in a nearby hotel to stay the night and take a flight next day morning. Our organization did reimburse extra expenditures incurred due to the missed flight.
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Old 19th September 2020, 20:54   #2
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

^^ Good experiences

I've had some close calls but have so far made my connections.

Here are some of those close ones:

1. Feb2006

Was to go from Ocwen Koramangala to the Old Airport in Bengaluru to get my 8:30pm Air India flight to Mumbai

I did a tele check in and gave myself ample time, but there was a huge traffic hold up and I eventually reached the airport just 20 mins before flight departure.

The Air India counter was closed by then but luckily the guy there helped me with my boarding pass and got me to bypass the Security check queue to get to the bus just in time.

I was the last passenger in.

2. Sometime in 2007

Was at a relative's place in Cuffe Parade any didn't realise that my watch has stopped. I had the Golden Temple Mail to catch at 9:25pm, and when I realised time was short, it was already 9pm.

I rushed down the apartment, got a Fiat taxi who, without prompting, drove pretty quick, and I was in the train in Mumbai Central with 3 minutes to spare.

3. March 2016

I was visiting a friend in Moga, Punjab and was keen to take a train to Chennai. The only connection from Moga to New Delhi was the Moga NDLS Shatabdi.

There was only a 20 min delta between scheduled arrival of the Moga - NDLS Shatabdi and departure of the Tamilnadu Express at New Delhi.

Normally, the Moga Shatabdi arrives on the platform adjacent to the departure platform of Tamilnadu Exp. but that day, the train rolled into platform 7 and 10mins late.

Had to rush through the crowd, take the overbridge, and made it to the train with just 5 mins to spare

4. Jun2018 - Chennai Airport - Sunday Evening

Was pretty sure I was going to miss the flight to BLR from where I had a connection up west.

There was a long queue at check in.

Quick thinking made me read the name tag of an Indigo employee, and when I addressed him by name and explained my issue, he went out of the way to bypass the check in queue and put me through to get my flight with very little time to spare.
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Old 19th September 2020, 21:08   #3
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

I am a paranoid traveller and way to early for all my travel schedules. If I have some pending work in order, I'll plan it such that I do it at the airport lounge instead and be there before time. Hence, in my entire history of travel as an adult over the last 20+ years, I have never missed a single planned bus, train or flight trip.

Last edited by moralfibre : 21st September 2020 at 16:50.
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Old 19th September 2020, 23:09   #4
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

Ha ha. Good one.
I have had my share of misses and close calls. Particularly flights. Here they fly or go whatever,

1. Had a flight booked from Bengaluru to Chennai for Visa interview. Since pre booked cabs disturb early morning sleep by calling 2 hrs in advance ( from past experience), decided to go by bike, park at airport parking and take the flight. What a plan. Online check-in was done already. I got up at usual time, got ready and got on my bike and started the long journey to airport. Evrything would have worked perflectly according to my plan except that airport had changed their checkin time policy. Earlier even 20 mins to flght, you could show your bording pass and get in. But now, they had made it min 45 mins before. So i missed the flight. Immediatly I ran to all counters to get ticket for immediate next flight. But most of the counters were unattended or there were no flights available. Luckily one person asked to check with jet airways as kingfisher and jet had some tieup. Luckily it worked and got the next fligt in an hour and was able to get to chennai and got into consulate in the nick of time.

2. We had booked ticket for Andaman trip. 3 tickets from Bengaluru to Port blair. Packing went on till late night and forgot to keep alarm. Even if i had pre booked OLA, driver would have called and woke us up in time. Got up at 6 am. Realized flight is at 7:20am. Still gave it a shot. Booked uber and asked driver to reach airport as fast as possible. Half way through, ralized its futile effort and asked driver to pull over to side. Then tried booking ticket to chennai as my original flight had layover at chennai for good 3 hrs. Even that didnt materiaize. Finally purchsed one way ticket for 3 of us for same day afternoon. Asked same cab guy to drop us back home. Since we were looking up for this trip, fidnt let this fiasco spoil our mood.still ended up losing close to 40k. But what ever we lost, beauty of andaman made up for it. We enjoyed it to the fullest.

3. This happened in US. Had booked ticket from Dallas to Orlando disney. Thinking it wil be like india domestic, went there 1.5 hrs in advance, but due to Thursday rush, there was no way we could have made it to our original booked flight even if we were 2 hrs in advance.
Luckily, the gate crew got to know that I was in Dallas for one of the airlines project and they made sure i got immediate next connecting flight so that i can reach orlando on time.

From these and few more such experiences, i have learnt that its not a pleasant experice to miss your flights

Last edited by HTC : 19th September 2020 at 23:20. Reason: Typo correction
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Old 20th September 2020, 11:15   #5
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

Late 2008, for some reasons I couldn't book my flight online (from Ahmedabad to Coimbatore). Approached a local travel agent and booked the tickets.

The day before Diwali, reached airport by 03:00 for my 05:45 flight, and shocked to know the flight was cancelled and information shared through SMS and email more than a month ago. That is when I checked the ticket and noticed the mobile number had one digit wrong and the email ID belong to the travel agent.

Since it is festival time, no seats were available for next 2 days (to all the nearest destinations). This being my first visit to home after I joined the job and I couldn't afford to cancel it. After multiple requests with all airlines office I was told to wait, if there is any last minute cancellation or no-show I can travel.

After a painful wait for around 2 hours, got to know there is 1 seat available with SpiceJet which is about to take-off in next 30 mins and the ticket cost was somewhere around 17k INR. Now comes the next episode, my credit card didn't work. Neither I had 17k balance in my account (first job & after diwali purchase) nor cash in hand. But cash + account balance was over 20k but the staff in counter was requesting for a single mode of payment. After requesting to their senior office, managed to settle the bill and 3 people were already behind me as only 15 mins left for take-off.

It was a royal treatment then after, Special check-in process, special security check, special exit gate, special vehicle to reach the aircraft, entire crew is waiting for my arrival.

Couldn't forget that journey.
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Old 20th September 2020, 14:05   #6
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

Happened to me, a couple of times

1989 - Houston to London - Had been having a great time and never examined my ticket. My own carelessness. Was standing in line and suddenly realised, the flight was yesterday. It was a cheap ticket. Resulted in my having to buy an expensive return ticket home.

After that I became paranoid.

Next time was NEPC decided board early. My client and a longwinded colleague delayed our session and I reached as they were about to close the doors. I somehow got onto another flight.

Other near misses

Scary moments in US TSA queues for connecting flights. After that I switched to car hire and planned accordingly for flights less than 1 hour.

Istanbul - We planned to leave 1 hour before check-in. No sign of the vehicle. Then realised the pickup time was the same as the flight time. Bus took a long time to come. Thick traffic, check-in was fraught as some passengers were overweight and held us up when re-packing, then at immigration, the computers went down for 15 min. No duty-free browsing, literally ran onto the plane. Now, I double check transport and traffic conditions. Early morning taxi pickup means, I barely sleep until I reach the airport lounge.

Pune airport - Boarding was early and I was on the phone. Never realised until I heard my name being called out. Now I keep an eye on the boarding gate.


MY previous company had these Annual Learning Conferences. All of us are expected to travel by train. Many times, we wangled client projects that enabled us to fly and stay on to attend.
This time, it was held at Anand (partially since it would be teetotal!). All of us were forced to take the train to Mumbai - 50 hours. We disembarked at Dadar and decided to have lunch and catch the next train to Dadar. One of our colleagues left to me her brother. They never appeared and we wasted time looking for them. Went to Dadar and see the train zipping past us. The train started from VT and my colleague realised and took off there (and was nice enough not to tell us, 2997 and no mobiles!). We then commandeered the corporate guest house used by top execs for the night.

We took a start-stop passenger train. The TTR said he could get us seats but realised there were 8 of us so declined. We ended up between the unreserved compartment and the canteen car. My backend had the implant of the gas cylinder ring embossed on it. We reached half a day late. We looked a real sight.

Now, I ensure I work for a company with generous travel rules or where I need not travel!
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Old 20th September 2020, 16:34   #7
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

I have missed only one flight since I first travelled by air in 2008 and it felt very bad at the time.

Flight I missed:
It was in August 2014. I was based in Mumbai then and was travelling home during Independence Day week. I had booked an Air India flight, scheduled to depart at 7:45 PM. My office was in BKC and International Terminal was around 10 km from there which usually took 20 minutes. I planned to leave from office at 5:30 PM. However, I got late in office and got out from office at 5:40 PM. To my surprise, there was no cab around. I tried booking Uber but all were too far away. There was a Cool Cab who quoted around Rs. 650 (IIRC). I thought why pay so much (what a mistake it was) and waited for another kaali peeli taxi.

Finally, got kaali peeli taxi around 6 PM and thought I was fine now (How wrong I was). Anyone who is aware of BKC knows how chaotic it gets between 5-7 PM when everyone is just rushing out as if there's no tomorrow.

We first turned towards Government Colony to take Western Express Highway from Kherwadi. However, due to the under construction flyover at Kherwadi, that route was choked and traffic was piled up till BKC. We somehow took a U-Turn and went towards Bharat Nagar road to take Western Express Highway from under the Santacruz flyover. However, even that route had heavy (but moving) traffic. Somehow managed to get onto the Western Express Highway around 6:40. I thought now I will be able to reach on time as now it's just Vile Parle flyover and then onto the new underpass towards Terminal 2. But to my luck, there was a huge jam from Santacruz flyover till the underpass. I managed to reach Airport exactly at 7:02 PM and thought that I made it. But Air India didn't think so. They denied check-in as I was late by two minutes. I requested them to allow me but to no avail. There were no seats available on remaining flights that day and one that was available was around 20000. I came back to my Mumbai accomodation and took a flight next day. As I am usually a paranoid traveler, I try to reach Airport at least 1.5 hours before departure time but it was just sheer bad luck and missed my flight. It still feels bad till date.

Last edited by Aditya : 21st September 2020 at 21:45. Reason: Minor typo
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Old 21st September 2020, 11:35   #8
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

I had missed a train once, that was some 12 years ago. To attend my relative's wedding at Kumbakonam the next morning, i had booked the ticket for 9.30pm train the previous night for me & my Mom. I had to board at Mambalam station (Chennai). As i live close by, i can reach the station in less than 10 minutes. We took an auto at 8.45pm and reached the station by 8.55pm. My Dad was following us in two wheeler, to give a send off. He parked the two wheeler and joined us at the entrance. Just when we were entering, he casually asked, have you taken the ticket and ID proof? I said ofcourse! and took the ticket out of my shirt pocket. One moment! Ticket is here, but, my wallet?! ID Proof!! Cards!!!!!. Cant travel without ID proof. RULES! I searched in the bags, all my pockets, my Mom's handbag and ... did i miss it in Auto? No ways, i didnt take it out. Did i leave it back in home? It was 9pm. I asked them to wait at the station, ran to the parking and took my Dad's two wheeler. Right at the entrance, a man with a cigarrete stopped and asked to pay 5rs. I had a couple of 100s and a 50rs note in my pocket but no coins! I wanted to scream, "am rushing home only to pick my wallet which has the change, move away!" Cant help. RULES! 9.05pm. I gave him a 50rs note, told him that i will collect the change when i return, rushed home and Opened the door. Wallet was on the table, staring at me! "How can you go leaving me behind, huh?"! Picked it up, jumped stairs three at a time, rushed and reached the station parking by 9.28. I could see the train at the platform. Ran hard up stairs across the footbridge, just then i was descending the stairs, the train started to move. I stepped on the platform and the last vehicle of the train crossed me. Sat there quitely for a few mintues. After a quick discussion, took an auto to CMBT, boarded a bus and we reached the marriage hall well on time. Though no big deal, i could not forget the feeling i had when the train was leaving the platform right in front of me. A lesson enough to become a paranoid traveller, have never missed any trains or flights after that.
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Old 21st September 2020, 15:01   #9
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

Consider the amount of air travel I (used to) do, it might come as a surprise I rarely miss a flight. In fact up to the moment we moved to India, I had never ever missed a flight in my life, except once.

We were travelling from Amsterdam to Kansas City, where we used to live, via Chicago. Chicago is best known for its monumental delays, especially in autumn and winter. Sure enough our flight left on time from Amsterdam, to be put in a hold for 90 minutes at Chicago. As we had to go through immigration in Chicago, which at the time was one of the worst, we had missed our connection to Kansas City. Airline put us up in a hotel for the night. Not a big thing, just an inconvenience.

However, I have missed several planes whilst we were living in Delhi. Always at Mumbai. I used to fly out to Mumbai almost every week and usually stayed 1 or 2 nights. A lot of my business took place at the Jio and Reliance campus. Driving from their campus back to the airport was a bit of a lottery ticket experience I found. It was just incredibly difficult to predict how long it would take. It has taken me anywhere between 90 minutes up to 7 hours.

So yes, I missed several flights going back to Delhi. Sometimes sitting in a cab with the airport only a few km away. Again, mostly an inconvenience. I usually travelled on the latest flight out, so that meant staying another nights and the early morning flight most of the times.

My most memorable one is slightly different and I still made the flight. But it was a bit of an ordeal. In particular for my poor wife and three kids.

This is quite some years ago. My wife grew up in Barbados, West Indies. And we used to go for a 3-4 weeks holiday every year. At the time we were living in the Netherlands. Travelling with three kids with so much luggage is a bit of a chore.

In those days we used to drive up to the airport. I would drop my wife, kids and luggage off. My wife had my passport and would get us checked in (in those days they would check you in, even if you were not present)

I would drive the car to my mumís place. It was very near to the airport. Long term parking was hugely expensive. I could park for free at my mums. Take a taxi back to the airport and join my wife and kids.

So when I arrive at my mum, she ran out and told me to hurry back. Which was a bit odd. Usually I had a quick coffee and a little chat with her waiting for the taxi.

So I told her, donít worry, Iím fine, plenty of time. What she did not tell me, my wife had called and the departure time had moved forward. That would have gotten my attention.

So we have a nice cup of coffee, the taxi arrives and we head back to the airport. When I get to the departure hall I could not see my flight on the board!?

So I go the KLM desk, of course a big cue. But I heard the ladies talking about the family with the missing husband! So I told them that could be me! They explained they managed to rush my wife and kids through, but the plane was about to depart. But they would try to their best. So I got an individual escort on one of these little electrical carts and we barrelled right pass immigration (just waved us through) and came to a screeching halt at the gate. They had closed the gate and were just about to roll back the jetty. Luckily the captain was told of me and he had them open the doors and I managed to get in. Much to the relief of my wife and kids, my daughter Ellen who was 3 at the time was crying!

That was the closest call I ever had!

The reason why it all went wrong I found out whilst on the flight; We were flying MartinAir. And they do mostly charter flights. And we were the only ones on that flight that had not booked a package holiday through a travel agents. We were the only ones that had booked directly with MartinAir. Everybody else was informed, by their respective travel agency, about a week before hand on the earlier departure time.

When we were back home I wrote to Martin Schroder, the then CEO of MartinAir. i got a very nice letter back within a few days. He offered his apologies and an upgrade for the whole Dorrestein Family to business class next time to Barbados. Let me tell you, next year, my kids loved that business class upgrade!

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Old 21st September 2020, 15:15   #10
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

Have missed a train just once. A Saturday 6:00 AM BLR-Chennai Shatabdi express for the very simple reason that I woke up too late to catch the train. I think I woke up at 7:00 AM or so.

This was a significant miss, so to speak since it was post this that I started doing BLR-CHN-BLR via road, initially by bike and after getting married by car.

The independence from strict timelines, especially after having a kid is something that eases so much pressure and makes the journey so much more pleasant.
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Old 21st September 2020, 15:21   #11
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
I am a paranoid traveller and way to early for all my travel schedules. If I have some pending work in order, I'll plan it such that I do it at the airport lounge instead and be there before time. Hence, in my entire history of travel as an adult over the last 20+ years, I have never missed a single planned bus, train or flight.
Same here. In fact, family always protests against the buffer I keep for a flat tyre. Reach the airport early, and enjoy the lounge experience. Reach the station early, settle down and roam around the platform to pick up magazines, newspapers and have a cup of tea.

Edit: I just remembered. I did miss a flight once because of a communication gap between me and my office travel team. The flight was for 0030 hours and they messed up the date of the booking.

Last edited by Eddy : 21st September 2020 at 15:23.
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Old 21st September 2020, 15:47   #12
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Default re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

2002 : Mumbai

A friend and I were on a train from Kerala to Gujarat with train change at Mumbai. The difference in time was just about an hour or so, with us having to make the distance between Dadar and Bandra terminus in that time. Thankfully the train was on time so we got off at Dadar and took a fast local.

That was the first time I had taken a fast local in my life; also it was peak hour traffic so both my friend and I boarded different coaches. I had mugged up the # of stations between Dadar and Bandra so as to keep track when to get off. Completely oblivious to the skipper stations in between, I was blissfully unaware we had reached Bandra and my friend got off while I was still inside. He cried out my name just as the train started and I realised my folly. Got down at Andheri next and ran to the opposite station and finally got a train back to Bandra. Ran all the way to the terminus to literally see my train chugging out of the other end of the station in front of me.

Funny aspect - my friend also sacrificed his seat waiting for me but we both weren’t aware that both of us hadn’t boarded the train and still at Bandra terminus (neither of us had mobile phones - this was 2002). We boarded the next available train as ticketless passengers but in different coaches, and only got to know about the truth once we reached our respective homes and called up each other.

2008 : Pune city

Having lived there for several years, my airport trips from home had always been on a bike (someone picks /drops me off), so many times that I had complete confidence on the travel time, any time and day of the week.

But this time, a friend with a car offered to drop me off as he was heading in that direction. That was the first time I realised how the traffic makes a difference to 4 wheelers much more than a bike. Gave myself just enough time to make it for the Check-in, but wrt bike based travel time. Sad to say, I reached pretty late after the Check-in cutoff time, and the staff refused entry.
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Old 21st September 2020, 18:25   #13
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Bet you can't top this one.

So I made my way to IGI, well in time for once. The flight was scheduled to depart two hours after I arrived; usually it's a lot closer. So I was quite relaxed.
As I make my way to the entrance, congratulating myself for this feat of flawless time management for the day, and hand the airport police at the gate my ticket and ID, they told me I couldn't go in. They said, and I quote: "Sir your ticket is for tomorrow". :|


I literally couldn't speak for five minutes. I was over 24 hours early for that flight. Even the airport police got together and laughed in on what had just happened. The look on my face.

I wish I could use those lost hours as credit for all the times I have actually been late and have missed my departure.
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Old 21st September 2020, 19:04   #14
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Default Re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

Mod Note: Thread moved to the CV forum . Thanks for sharing!

Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
I am a paranoid traveller and way to early for all my travel schedules.
Likewise . Never missed a flight or train journey ever. I'm the sort of guy who shows up at 1240 for a 1300 meet.

Smiled & remembered Sam Kapasi's post on how he missed the Malaysia flight, when we were going to watch the F1 race.
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Old 21st September 2020, 19:10   #15
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Default Re: Your experience of missing trains / flights?

I have never missed a train or flight but have missed an intercity bus once. While that itself is not interesting, what happened afterwards was.

Year 1999. I was supposed to travel from Pune to Mumbai and overslept, missing my morning MSRTC bus. Went to the railway station and purchased a ticket on Metrolinks, a bad private operator of that era. Just before Lonavla, their bus broke down and we all alighted, waiting for almost 1.5 hours until another of their buses arrived. Some discussion ensued between the conductors and they said that 2 seats were vacant. We all agreed that an old couple from our bus should be given those 2 seats. All except one young man who repeatedly claimed that he was a 'businessman' and had an urgent meeting in Mumbai. He literally bulldozed his way into the bus at the cost of the old couple. The bus left and we kept waiting for our bus to get repaired, which it finally did.

About 30 mins after we resumed our journey, we saw another Metrolinks bus standing on the kerbside. Our bus stopped to enquire about what had happened. Turns out it was the same bus which on which Mr. Busy Businessman had forced his way into. The bus had run out of diesel. About 15 people were now given the option to board our bus, on the condition that they would have to stand. Mr. Businessman spent the rest of the journey to Mumbai standing. I have seldom derived so much pleasure from someone's discomfort.

Last edited by Malyaj : 21st September 2020 at 19:11.
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