An elementary mistake, as I was informed at the check-in counter in Bombay. Since the Bangkok-Samui leg was a domestic flight, we'd need to get visas before boarding it. Recalling how long the visa process had taken on my last visit to Thailand, I recognised there was little hope of making our connecting flight.
But Bangkok Airways and Thai immigration outdid themselves in helping us out. Our plane landed just ahead of time and, as we entered the terminal, I spotted a Bangkok Airways staffer holding up a placard with our names on it. This was 6 am, IST. He rushed us to the counter where visa forms were handed out. By 6.10, we had filled the forms and changed money to pay for the visas. He then led us to a fast track counter, where our visas were stamped in under five minutes (the other counter was thronged with applicants, mostly Indian). In another five minutes we went through passport control. At 6.25 we passed security. At exactly 6.30, we were at the gate from which the Samui flight was to take off. It began boarding seven minutes later, and we touched down on the island by 8 am, Indian time.
I said to myself, "Here's a country that takes tourism seriously".
Despite all their efforts on our behalf, we almost managed to mess things up in another way. We'd completely forgotten that our photographs would have to be attached to the the visa form, whether we filled it in Bangkok or Samui. Luckily both of us happened to be carrying mugshots of ourselves in our cabin baggage. Jabeen said, "There's always so much stuff in my handbag that I don't need but leave inside 'just in case'. Well, now all the junk I've carried all these years has proven its worth".