D  I  A  N  A


It was early morning and chill was still in air. I got up had shower and changed and got ready for my departure to Italy. My youngest daughter Anil came to stay with her mother as she is not well to look after her.


At 4.30 am sharp the taxi came to pick me up to take to Victoria Station. When I reached the station and found out that the train was not running until 6.15 am. People were in panic and hiring taxies to go to Gatwick Airport. Some took shuttle coach. When my turn came the coach was full and the door was shut.


I had no alternate but to wait for train. While I was waiting, there was an announcement to change the platform. I ran for the other platform and boarded.

After a prolong wait the train started crawling like a tired person who walked for miles and wobbling.


At last the journey ended after 45 minutes and I was in Gatwick Airport lounge.

After custom clearance I headed towards to departure lounge. There was still 20 minutes left for the boarding door to open. I decided to do some window shopping.


When I looked at my watch, it was only seven minutes left for the door to be closed. I had the run of my life and finally boarded the plane and the door was closed soon after. I had a sigh of relief otherwise I would have missed the plane.


After 1 hour 45 minutes the plane landed Verona (Italy) and headed towards custom. Thereafter, collected luggage looking for Travel Representative and spotted her as she was displaying her card.


She was a middle age woman stiff like a retired sergeant but she dressed as teen ager and wearing high heel shoes and struggling to establish her identity.


When she saw us she spoke in crocking voice and gave an impression that she was working so hard that her brain was working overtime.


Eventually she gathered all of us and headed towards coach. The driver was a bulky man looked tired and worn out like his coach tires after covering many miles of journey.


As soon As I entered the coach I noticed that it was ¾ full. I spotted an empty seat and invaded it. A strange look appeared on occupants faces.


Poor people – they were trying to escape from unwanted guests. Unfortunatelly one of them escaped and intending to disturb their pleasure. 


The representative brought the last passenger and the coach was moving. I was listening to the representative who was reading from her note the forthcoming programme for that week.


Gradually the ice started melting and a few smiles were ascending on me and I had responded in a friendly manner.


In the evening when we gathered for our meal, people were relaxed and were exchanging their experiences. Eventually investigation started and people firing questions. I gave them my bio data. There were strange feeling on their faces and they were finding it hard to swallow,


After a couple of days I met a four-some, mother, daughter, grander-mother and grand-daughter. Their names were Jackie, Ellie, Angela and Victoria and we became very close friends like honey and bees.


We were always together and enjoying each others company. One day while we were on excursion boat I met Helen, very nice and friendly person but I detected she was not happy. It was evening and the sun was drowning and taking its last breath. I gave her my camera and asked her to take the photo, she took it – it is astonishing. I kept it as a treasure of our meeting.


Few days are left of our holidays thereafter who remember who,? The traces might linger on or might be eroded by the tides of time. (640)