Pandemic Life Kolkata businessman to reunite with wife and daughter in Singapore after 22 months
A Calcutta businessman, who divides his time between Singapore and the city, will meet his wife and daughter after 22 months when he takes the Singapore Airlines flight on Tuesday evening. Singapore Airlines resumed flights between Kolkata and Singapore from Monday evening.
The first flight that arrived from Singapore to Calcutta on Monday evening had 130 passengers, an official at Calcutta airport said. The flight scheduled to take off from Kolkata on Monday evening had only booked 12 passengers until late in the evening, the official said.
Gaurav Baid, who is due to catch the Singapore Airlines flight on Tuesday, said he returned from the country on February 1, 2020. His daughter Aishani was then three years old. Now she is five years old.
“I would wake up every morning at 4 am to have a video call with my daughter before she went to school in Singapore,” Gaurav said on Monday. He is the managing partner of a real estate agency. His wife, Rajshree Dugar, works in Singapore. “It will be an emotional moment for me to meet my family. We did not inform our daughter that I would be going there. It will be a surprise for her, ”said Gaurav.
Gaurav has said he will visit his family in Singapore every month for the past six years, before the Covid pandemic strikes in 2020.
“We had planned a vacation in Miami in March of last year. I had a fever so I had to postpone my trip to Singapore until mid-March and at the end of that month India was stranded, ”he said. Since then he has been speaking to his wife and daughter by phone or video conference.
“We were talking three to four times a day. But this is the first time that we have had to spend so many months away from each other, ”he said.
Gaurav had originally planned to travel to Singapore earlier this month via Colombo. But her travel agent asked her to wait a few weeks as there were discussions about resuming Singapore Airlines flights from Kolkata.
Gaurav is expected to remain in home quarantine for seven days upon arrival in Singapore, in line with the country’s health standards. Kolkata is not included in the vaccinated travel queue announced by the Singapore government. Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai are included in the VTL list.
“We expect Kolkata to be included in the VTL list soon so people here do not need to be quarantined for seven days. Then more demand will be created for Singapore, ”said Anil Punjabi, President, East, Travel Agents Federation of India.