Sunday, September 9, 2007

Flight to India

Summary : A guy who was sitting next to me in flight was part of the syndicate. Possibly to exchange laptop etc or put something in handbag. Whatever, may be the case it proves how resourceful and effective they are.

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1.1 Airport to Airport – I went to continental desk and stood in front of one

Of self service counter. Talked to the lady who was standing there.

I had 2 tickets ORD-EWR and EWR-DEL. I requested her to show me how to check-in baggage directly from ORD to DEL.She instructed me to check in from ORD to EWR first and she would take care of rest. I did as instructed. After that, she did needful at her end and asked what was my preference windows seat or aisle seat. I replied aisle just to make a note, I had also selected seat for both leg at the time of reservation. Also, she provided tags for baggage and advised to fill the address. I asked if I can lock checked bag, she advised me to put lock after security check [X-ray]. I took bags to X-ray security check. And left the locks intact also observed bags passed the security.

ORD to EWR flight was without any incident. At EWR airport changed terminal

by internal bus. There was waiting period of more than 4 hours. I went to find location of gate number that was in ticket of EWR to DEL. And I was roaming on terminal. As my specs were broken, I bought a sunglass. I also bought a cap.

When I checked the departure announcement found flight was scheduled to

Depart on a different gate. Flight was delayed an hour or so.

IN CO 82 [EWR to DEL], I was allocated seat number 43 C. After some time, a passenger arrived at 43 A. He was trying to be friendly and win trust. His

name was Mehraj.He was from Kashmir. He told me he was illegal immigrant

in New York. And he was artist as well as he knew computer. He asked me if I

was leaving India for good. I said I would be back in couple of months. He had shown some news clipping that had his name.

He did show papers that he was taking a cat with him. He further explained he faced a lot of trouble in procuring various clearances. He also told,Indian embassy worker didn’t know the procedure as it was rare phenomenon to take pet to India. He had also shown his laptop and told price around 3k dollars. He was encouraging me to show what I was taking. I didn’t open my bag. I was listening to mp3 player. Mehraj asked what was that, I let him listen it for a while. He asked price and offered to buy it. I politely refused.

He asked where can he smoke. I replied, to the best of my knowledge flights don’t

allow smoking. He said he did travel by flight 10 years back, at that time people

Could have smoked anywhere in flight.

He had shown a packet of cigarette and said “This is American Springs [??], it had no additives.” He offered me one with words “Let us smoke one”. I said I told you we can’t smoke in flight. He argued “no need to lighten it, we can just inhale it, its Fresh”. I didn’t agree. He left one cigarette on 43B and went to sit at 40 B.

1.2 Mehraj and Girls – Did he already knew them?

Once Mehraj went for restroom after coming back, he said. The girl sitting in 40C look like 15 year old.After sometime he went and sat at 40 B. Apparently he was talking to her. Once he came back,he again was talking about age and further added

“She look like 15 however she says she is 30.”

When he was sitting on 43 A, he also asked girl sitting on 42F if she would like to sit

On 43 B.She smiled and said no.He was on 40 B for long time.

It was clear he was encouraging me to leave my seat go to 40 B.

1.3

When He came after sitting second time. I asked Mehraj

“How much they Pay you?”

He was not expecting the question. Then he smiled and said something along the lines [ exact sequence of conversation might not be same.]

“People think there is no American mafia .That is not true. They have changed their way but they are alive and kicking”

I asked him again how much they paid him and I offered to pay him double one year later.

He said 10 K. And asked me to pay right then. I said I don’t have that much cash at the same time I wanted to know what was his assignment and what he going to tell them.

He asked me to give whatever I have. I replied how can I trust him. I also said there should be at least one more guy in flight to watch him. He replied he already knew that guy. While talking at some point I said, probably they killed my mom.

After that he abruptly changed the conversation. He replied I had illusion. And he also asked me where was his cigarette. I replied I hadn’t taken any of them. It should be on middle sit.I also told him -”we have not talked about anything hence there was no illusion, Mehraj”.Mehraj replied he had already forgotten my name , why I was taking his name. He quickly moved out of his seat and sat on a different seat [I think it was 40F or 39F] for rest of the journey.

1.4 It may or may not be related. As soon as flight stopped at Delhi, A Sikh male passenger who was sitting on 44, moved out very fast. Before anyone could

have even stood he was closer to gate.

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