New Delhi, May 14 -- A week ago, the Indian government started an enormous operation, the Vande Bharat mission, to bring back thousands of stranded citizens, using its national carrier, Air India, and naval ships.

Rahul Saigal, who runs a shopper marketing and brand activation agency, was on one of the flights, from Manila to Delhi on 12 May. Mint spoke with him about his experience of being stuck in Manila for 54 days and travelling in the Air India flight. Edited excerpts:

I can't tell you how relieved I am to be back in India. I was one of the 250 people who boarded the Air India flight from Manila. I am now staying at a hotel, just 8 km away from my home in Gurugram, eagerly awaiting the mandatory 14-day quarantine period to end.

I...