Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The 16 hour challenge..err..Journey!

Yaaaaaaaaayy! We are going to India!! It's my first trip back home after moving to NY, Zidaan's first EVER trip to his homeland, 70 days of fun, laughter, yumm food, family, friends!!! Boy! It couldn't get any better.

La..la ..la .. All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go,
I'm standing here outside your door,
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye..

Hey! Hey! What?! Zu, You sleeping?

 Aw, shucks! You ain't coming with us to India!! Nahiiiiiiiiiiiiiii....

*OMG, Why? How? Where? When? Who? WHAT??*

*Bhurrrrrrrrr.. You can do it, Naaz*

Yes, I'm gonna travel with my 7 month old brat.. I mean Baby, on a 16 hour flight to India, without my husband or anyone known to us! Woot! Cool! Super cool!

*Man, It's giving me the heebie jeebies already! How am i gonna handle this kid on such a LONG journey, ALONE?!*

Now the possible explanations to the WH questions!

Why? Cause my DH was so loving to have used up his vacation days during my delivery, when i needed him the most.. And of course, the vacation to Canada! When are we going back there! *Hugs*

How? How am i gonna manage with the static baggage and the mobile baggage (read Zidaan).How am i gonna entertain him throughout? How am i gonna make his food while having him on lap? How am i gonna get done with the airport formalities without having to run around behind Zid. How am i gonna eat? (Just Being human  here) , How am i gonna pacify him when he cries?!? *Pacifier Naaz, Dont forget to pack the pacifier*


Where? Where am i gonna feed him? Where am i gonna keep my luggage while i feed him, change him at the airport?

When? November 25, 2012 . NY- Dubai- Bangalore- Mangalore! 3 Flights.. Duration : Total time until i see my brother's waving hand at the Bangalore airport : 20 hours!!!

Who? Who will my co-passengers be? Will they be able to handle a hyper baby and a crying mom? *What a sight would that be*

Can i really pull this stunt off? Will i be able to reach home with my senses intact? Will the pilot, staff and passengers tell us to get off the plane mid way.. Oops! worse, mid air?!

Thank god for the airport at Mangalore, otherwise you would see breaking news on TV - "Baby lifts mother and runs around the airport"!!! Watch it LIVE!!

No joke this. Travelling alone with an infant is really a challenge people!

Faith in Allah (SWT) , A motivational talk by Zu, experiences by mothers who have traveled with their infants before and the Emirates website, awakened the challenging spirit within me, to take this up!

I MUST say, I was blessed. The prayers and the good wishes worked. The staff and people at JFK were so loving and caring. I didn't have to even touch my luggage, they looked after everything so well , plus they were so good with the Baby, playing with him, trying to make him laugh, while i got done with the formalities.

A special thanks to William Kent. William Kent who? The guy who invented baby strollers!!! How could i possibly achieved success in my challenge without his support? Okay, the stroller's support? On behalf of all the parents in the world whom you have kept sane, A big Thanks! We all love you! :D

Woot! Gate checked in the stroller! Entered the flight.

''Hello Ma'am. Ohhh.. Soooo cute he is"


25K - *Hope i get to see some old lady next to me who has a dozen kids and 3 dozen ULTRA HYPER grandkids*

Voila!!! Am i dreaming? Old lady it is!! A south Indian!!  Extra points!! *A silent prayer thanking God*

I get in to the row annnnddd 25K - Oops! Not a window seat! I get the middle seat! Awesome!!

Who is the other passenger?! OMG, Please take my test some other day!

I settle down in my seat after 5 minutes, Yeah, 5 minutes! I leave that to your imagination how i kept the bags, had Zid and me both sit comfortably, without giving the lady a trailor of our craziness.

It worked. A smile from the lady and a cheek-pull at Zidaan! An awesome start! And it got better.. Zid smiled back!Initially, I couldn't figure it out whether it was the 'Hello Lady, I'll make sure you enjoy the flight' smile or the 'Hey, I'll make sure you never sit next to a baby again' smile!

"Excuse me, Hi! I'm the window seat guy"


*A guy in his mid twenties, looks like he tied up with his work & college, has absolutely no experience with the kids and must be looking forward to a peaceful sleep after ages* Damn!

Fun fact : Zidaan was more happy to see this guy than the lady. Again, for better or worse?!

Little conversations were held and it looked like we are kinda good to go. He was a Gujarati guy going to India for a wedding and Yes, He loves Kids! *Bonus points*

Alhumdulillah! We got going. And I can very proudly say, They were the best ever co-passengers i could, anyone could, ever ever ever ask for. I wish i could somehow tag them, to let them know they were so good to us. Ofcourse,  i did tell them at the end of the flight, but you know its something i cant stop thanking them for.

Thank you Lata Aunty & Snehal.

Now the person whom i owe my biggest Thanks to - My baby. Zidaan.

I could never have even imagined Zidaan behaving soooo well. He was calm, he was comfortable and more importantly, he was happy and so was I. It was like Allah had angels at work full swing to keep Zidaan happy and playful throughout. We had booked a bassinet seat for him and he so peacefully slept in it, allowing me to grab some 'me time'. Lata Aunty & Snehal played with Zidaan, and we kept having small conversations throughout the flight. Fed him on time and he wasnt fussy about anything! Changing time was so peaceful too thanks to the staff of Emirates who offered to help me with it and take care of Zid while i made his food or had to use the washroom etc. Of course, most of the flight time everyone spent, was by sleeping.

I chose not to sleep because Zidaan could wake up anytime and i surely didn't want him to disturb the others. Thanks to ICE at Emirates - Information, Communication & Entertainment  i spent my time happily! Prayers, News, movies.. Bliss! I was so happy to be on such a wonderful journey! Alhumdulillah!

13 hours later, We reached Dubai airport. Just one word. AMAZING. The airport and the people.

We bid goodbye to each other, I, thanking them profusely for helping me have a happy journey. Snehal offered to help me with my cabin luggage till i got the stroller. Another flight awaited us, waiting time was about an hour, which was spent in getting the formalities done for the next flight. It was a 3 hr 40 mins flight and i wasn't worried much about this one, but just was a little concerned about the co-passengers. It was time to board the aircraft. This time 52K. Again. the middle seat.

Fortunately, it was a family, with, hold your breath, an infant! Yessss!! *Fist pump*

The mother was with her infant and Father was with the other kid at the back seat.

Hello, hi, exchange of smiles. The 'Oh-so-cute' line, Of course!!

She: "Travelling alone with an infant?"

Me: Yeah!

She: "How could you even dare to take this trip alone? Please tell me! My hubby & i almost ended bruising each other when he asked if i could travel alone with the baby"

Me (Proudly) : Well, I guess it's the thought of going home which made me do it! ( The truth, that i didn't have any other option was duly kept hidden) Hehe!

Well, we had another wonderful flight, except that the other baby didn't sleep for a second and was trying to wake up Zid. In my mind, i shoo-ed and asked him not to do it while in reality i had to just smile and go 'Awwwwwwwwwwwwww'!!

Destination Bengaluru. I don't really want to recall the time i spent at my homeland airport. All i can say that is wasn't friendly. If i could, i would have requested the JFK and Dubai airport officials to demonstrate a 'how to be humane by offering help to mothers with infants'. They so need to learn that.

Anyway, after i got done with all the craziness, the moment arrived! I saw my brother waving that hand at me, which, if my imaginations would turn real, would have got fractured with the number of times it had waved at me in full swing, from the time i had booked my ticket, to this day.

We did it. We reached India. Safe and Sound. The latter was more important with respect to me.

We had to catch another flight, but well, I am not alone!!! Bhayya is with me! Ek se bhale do ;) Just an hour flight and we reached Mangalore!! OMG! I'm gonna be seeing my parents , my siblings! I'm gonna reach home, EAT and sleep!! I very well, deserved it! After all, i pulled it off in style ;) Didnt I?

None of this could have ever been possible without the Blessings that Allah (SWT) showered on us, the kind co-passengers we got and for the amazingly wonderful baby that made the journey so happy and peaceful. It is definitely not easy to travel with a baby on such a long flight but i guess we just have to have faith in God and have the confidence in ourselves. Babies will be happy as long as they are given attention and love and of course food. Forget about yourself and just concentrate on keeping them comfortable, Trust me, it will go well. Having had such a fantastic experience, when the thought of having to fly back to NY came to my mind, all i said was... 'Bring it on!!!!'


  1. Good read NAAZ!!!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  2. As always ... I loved reading it. Almost feels like I was in the flight. Haha. Looking forward to a post on the adventures you had whilst here in India. :)

    P.S. I'm still laughing at the "I'll make sure you never sit next to a baby again" and "*Fist pump*" parts. :D

    1. Thank you so much Karan! You never fail to lift my spirit :)

  3. Aww mashaAllah sis. i got tears down my face for you. Bravo, u did it. We mothers worry about keeping our babeis calm and flying but verily Allah's plan works best. He puts people on those flights for us. When my son was a baby and i wanted to come home, i flew from oman to bahrain alone, i was scared but angels helped me, they came in human form. i cant thank them enough, it was Ramadhan and people fasting but they still helped and carried my bags. Now i wish i had the chance to fly with my son again...sadly its just me flying to see him every so many months.

    Hold tight to Zidan baby. take care and i hope u see ur lovely family again soon. Allah be with you all. xxx

    1. Truly said Sis. Insha'Allah Qahtan & you wil be flying together soon too on a happy vacation! :) Allah (SWT) will answer our prayers Insha'Allah!