Consider this - you want to do something and try implementing it but have to cancel at the last moment due to unavoidable circumstances. How will you feel?
Disappointed to the least. And if you have flaunted about it to the world? Maybe frustrated and a wee bit of anger.
What if you persist and try to take that up after some time and yet again you dont succeed? But this time; you were on guard and not let know the world but your excitement couldn't keep you away from letting few people?How would you feel?
Disgust? Anger? Shame?
Disgusted about what? Anger on what? Why ashamed?
Yeah, this is about my potential sojourn to Sri Lanka which didnt happen both the times. :-( Actually twice with me and thrice with Velu.
Last year January; we planned to go to SL and spend a week and celebrate his birthday there. Unfortunately; had to cancel due to Presidential elections that week and my friend warned that it wont be safe to travel then. Even if we did; we would spend time inside hotel room. I had to cancel the flight tickets and thereby lost some money.
I dont like to plan my travel; there were no hotel bookings done and hence it was only on the flight I lost. I like to discover as I travel. So; a pre-planned itinerary for where to stay and how to commute and what to eat is a big NO-NO for me.
Anyway; last year's SL cancellation got compensated by USA-Costa Rica-Dubai-Mauritius.
Again, SL bug bit me last week and the flights were booked. I was extra careful to look for any unfortunate stuff that might pop up. Called up consulate to even check if they had that Visa on Arrival in place yet or have they scrapped it off. Got the map printed and lists of places to visit. The flight was tomorrow morning from Chennai. We were to travel to Chennai tonight. Last night; we were packing clothes and taking out the documents required for travel. I took the passports and God-knows-why I checked Velu's passport details.
The expiry was 4 months away!!! My heart almost stopped. Was I reading it right? I thought it was well next year but just 4 months away! I told this to him; and he just threw himself on the couch. Not again! I was still positive(positivity has embarked me on journeys that one could never dream)
We have our return tickets; we are staying for a week. My passport is still valid and his anyway is 4 months away for expiry. Grumbling and mumbling we were; he is an emotional baby; started hating his passport(poor thing as if it had a mouth and wasnt yelling about its expiry) and started hating SL as well.
Browsed online for passport expiry issues and it seemed few countries allowed up to 3 months but countries like SL, India and others were strict about 6 months. I was putting up a "Its OK...We can go some other time. But dont worry. We can still make it" kinda act. Internally; I was sad and wanted to burst out. I am again denied a chance to learn and explore something new!!
I skipped my meal, could not sleep. Called up the consulate this morning. They said they were strict about the policy. We can still go if we get a visa upfront; but the flight was tomorrow morning. That was not possible. A friend's brother said we could still come but did not want to take a risk. What if immigration in India stops? By the way; why the heck does one have immigration for departure? Ridiculous! If someone wants to get out; let go!! Why was it happening again? Velu's mom and her siblings belonged to SL. All his cousins were born there. His mom was young when they migrated to India. His aunts keep mentioning about the treatment meted out to them and they were driven away from their home.
Repeated attempts to visit fails for one reason or the other. Is it a mere coincidence or something else? Its fine, now that its canceled; I am telling it to the world. I feel sad for my friend who from Switzerland talked to his brother in Colombo to make things easier for us and Velu's friends who tried to get us transport to travel and for trying their best to get all information needed. But we will sure visit SL someday and break this jinx :)
I did not want this to spoil the experience and learning we are entitled to have. So for now, a different place to explore. Will write about it once I am back ( I am scared now to mention anything at all)