This is an incident which took place about 22 years back. I was a small but established entrepreneur. Once, I had planned a tour to Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia for some business purposes. I was travelling on my own. I reached Hong Kong by a flight from Dubai. From there I had to catch another flight to Thailand. On the Hong Kong airport I stood near the conveyor belt waiting for my luggage to arrive. Tension began gripping me as I could not find my suitcase. It had not arrived by the same flight, perhaps misplaced somewhere in the transition.
When I registered a complaint with the airline desk officials, they admitted that the bag had mistakenly not been loaded onto the flight cargo hold. They assured me that it would arrive by another incoming flight. I was terrified as my clothes, medicines, documents, flight tickets and -even worse- my wallet was inside that bag. I had made a big mistake by putting all my money in the wallet. Thankfully, I had my passport in my pocket.
There were no credit cards, ATM or net banking in those days. The passengers had to carry either cash or traveller’s cheques. I was caught in a dilemma. What was I going to do without money? I was a bit relieved to know that in such cases according to airport rules, the passenger is entitled to get some amount as temporary help. But when I received the currency, I was even more disappointed as they were not American dollars but Hong Kong dollars. The amount was only sufficient to purchase some food.
I felt hungry. As the food inside the airport was costly, I came outside. The clothes I wore smelled of sweat, so I first purchased a cheap shirt and trousers from a street vendor, ate cheap street food and returned to the airport lounge with almost nothing in my pocket. How astonishing! Destiny had compelled the Managing Director of a company to become a helpless and penniless man in a flash. At last I spent the remaining amount and made an overseas call to my hosts in Thailand from the airport booth. The gentleman acted promptly and made the next part of my journey easier.
Friends, remember – we must always have enough money to safeguard our dignity in times of challenges.