Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Despite my long (self-imposed) exile from blogger.com and the growing concerns over whether I can still write, I finally did make it to the blog-o-sphere. (lol..Now, dat did sound as dramatic as a cricketer making a comeback after an injury). It had been a hectic 2 weeks for sure,not surprisingly since travel has become as much a part of my schedule as brushing.
3 days of a jam-packed schedule & travel in Chennai, covering the length & breadth of the city did ensure I had known enough to give the locals directions to avoid traffic snarls. A non-Chennaite (a non-tamil, as many saw me)like me, pronouncing 14-20 lettered tongue-twisters (Read: names of different landmarks in Chennai) with ease and guiding people was a bit of a shock & shame for many. Thats always been the case here.
In sharp contrast to my past trips which lacked any sense of planning(the ones I have got accustomed to), this one was well-planned. Well planned, in our home terminology,meant booking the travel tickets and letting my father know abt the destination 2 days in advance.
My father had been so overjoyed I thought he would offer a coconut to the temple deity for pumping some sense into me. He thought I had turned over a new leaf.
" My God, thats a whole lot of travel!" he observed with an air of pessimism as i gave him a brief of my itinerary. True, it had been pouring all over Tamil Nadu for the past 3 days; but my development work too wouldnt stop pouring.
The next morning was filled with sights which had become much too similar now: security guards, women decked in colorful "uniform"-sarees & tons of make-up (Needs some taking to invest time to look good at 5:00 am). The guards were loaded with guns and the women with artificial greeting smiles.
People rushed about to their respective gates as bright lights lit the area around. A buzz to go with it. There is something about the airport that brings about a drastic change in the way people behave. Or is it just us Indians! The enormous sense of discipline, hygiene & grooming means much more to us.
Ever observed the "denim" aunties in their mid-40s who seem like an overdose of botox, with goggles on, looking the other way and lapping the meagre attention with the corner of their eyes? Or the junior executive who has donned a borrowed blazer, looking at his swatch with unnecessary urgency & frenzy. Or the marketing manager of a company spelling out orders on his Blackberry with an air of sophistication, anticipating a delayed departure. Truly, we are podium-finishers at the Olympic of deception, if there was one!
As I was just about do give a silent kudos to myself and all fellow-indians when a big burly man in a swanky 'Armani'jumped the security queue and kept walking along as his costly perfume followed. He was too occupied on his bluetooth to realise that there were 10 other men ahead of him waiting for their turn.
I finally settled down in a seat in the boarding area as I saw a couple argue with the "Maggi" counter fellow for charging exorbitant rates for a cuppa. Maybe the fact he served them with hand-gloves and gave them extra sachets of ketchup dint impress them enough to part away with a 100 bucks.
" Flight 164 is delayed by 20 min due to bad traffic conditions. The new departure time stands at 5.30 am. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to the passengers due to the delay." came the announcement; although the jolly tone didn't exactly sound like one meant for an apology.
I took off my floaters,unbuttoned a bit and sat comfortably on the seat with my feet folded as the lady seated opposite me gave a slight "shameless bugger" frown.