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Time Flies and How……………!!!

March 19, 2010
My official trips to Sri Lanka would start on a Sunday and end on a Saturday, not necessarily the same week. I would take the morning flight from Chennai and check-in at the hotel around 2 in the afternoon. On my way back there is a convenient flight in the evening which will allow me to tie up any loose ends at work, have lunch, check-out around 3,take the 6 o’clock flight, reach home by 9 pm, rest on Sunday and get back to the grind on Monday.
On my recent trip, I had fixed up an appointment at 10.30 with my associate on the last Saturday of my stay. In the early hours on Saturday, I woke up with a start; something made me check my tickets. My return ticket was for the morning 6.30 flight. I checked my watch and it was 4.45 already. I could never make it to the airport on time. Moreover there was an appointment to keep. Either my company’s travel desk had not informed me about the deviation from the normal or I had not taken note. My brain had registered the change during my cursory glance at my E-ticket and had alerted me. If only it had done it a couple of days earlier! Cursing my company’s travel desk for the goof-up, I called the Sri Lankan airlines, who were very helpful even at that unearthly hour to re-schedule my tickets for Sunday evening as the Saturday evening and Sunday morning flights were full. This meant that I had to cool my heels in Colombo on a Sunday. I never take the ticketing for granted anymore, double checking the details always. A lesson well learnt.
This also reminded me about the time when I was the Product Manager in my erstwhile company. As Product Managers (there were 4 of us reporting to the Marketing Manager),we needed to do field work to assess market dynamics, assess implementation of promotional strategies by the field force and suggest operational changes. Whenever a product was launched we also needed to impart training about the new product and spell out launch activities. During one such launch I was in Kochi. It was 25th January; I don’t remember the year though. I remember the date because the next day was the Republic day.

I finished the training class on the product and had outlined on how we were going about the launch. Not an easy task to keep the interest of the audience alive for a day on something as drab as the technical aspects of a pharmaceutical product, especially when the audience is a motley crowd of 25 salespeople consisting medical representatives, area mangers, a regional manager and a zonal manager. Sales people all over, believe they are born to talk and consider their ears as manufacturing defects designed only to hear themselves talk. Considering all this I think I did a commendable job. My next venue was Aurangabad. I was to take the morning flight to Mumbai and then take a connection to Aurangabad. Since my flight was at 8.30 in the morning and the airport some 30 Km from the city, I decided to have an early night. I packed my baggage, had my dinner in my room, asked for a wake up call at 5.30 am and went to sleep.

I woke up to the sound of my telephone ringing. I picked up the receiver, but there was no sound from the other side. I groped for my watch on the bed-side table. The time was 5.25. It was the blasted wake up call. I got up, brushed my teeth, fixed myself a coffee, had a bath, got ready and came down to the lobby in an hour’s time. The duty manger had changed. I signed the bill and checked out. I didn’t have to pay anything since the bill would be sent to the company. I asked for the hotel taxi to drop me at the airport. The security at the airport checked my ticket and said that I will not be able to come out once I enter the airport. As if I didn’t know that. I looked at the time, it was 7.10 and I would be going directly to check in. Why should I be coming out? My flight was coming from Dubai or Sharjah. Air India I guess. I don’t remember now. It would touch Kochi and then Calicut before reaching Mumbai. I would be reaching Mumbai around noon. My connection to Aurangabad was at 2.30 pm. By 3.00 I would land in Aurangabad. By 4.00 I would be in my hotel room, in time for a quick bath, a few drinks, a sumptuous dinner and a restful sleep to awaken afresh for the next day’s programme. The mere thought was bliss, but it was still 9 hours away.

I went to the  screen displaying the arrivals and departures. What caught my attention was the time flickering on the right hand corner of the screen. It showed 01:55. My first reaction was how can an International airport  be so lax on the upkeep of the clock. I checked some more clocks in the terminal and they all showed the same time. I realized something was terribly wrong. I looked at my watch. Gosh, I was wearing it the wrong way.  I had dreamt of the telephone ringing, seen the time upside down, which meant that I had woken up at midnight and had reached the airport at 1.40 in the morning for the  8.30 flight.
(To be concluded)

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2010 23:39

    Ha ha ha . . . Govind. Enna idhu? Watch upside down. Ha Ha Ha. I always thought I liked to travel but when I read of your traveling so much with upside down watches, I give up.Waiting to read the rest . . . Tales of how Govind saw the time upside down.Joy always,Susan

  2. March 20, 2010 00:14

    Thanks Susan, It is these upside down watches that make traveling so much fun for people like me who live out of a suitcase.

  3. March 20, 2010 09:37

    Get a digital watch and a pocket calendar

  4. March 21, 2010 08:53

    Babuman, I have stopped wearing a watch and as for the calendar I think I carry one all the time. The onlt thing I would need to check if it is the right year. 🙂

  5. March 21, 2010 12:05

    I have to find out which century or millenium I am in.

  6. March 22, 2010 15:11

    haaaaa haaa ente ammachi, entha govind heeee god! reminds me about an airport incident I was in, will blog about it and yes please do continue, I'm waiting… for the next part…watch upside down, 🙂

  7. March 22, 2010 15:12

    on second thoughts, u are working too hard, vacation time Govind, take a break 🙂 but please after u write the next part…;)

  8. March 24, 2010 00:24

    Ashes, Vaalu poya kurukanae polae ellavarayum vacationilu parangnayakanu panni. Trust you are better.

  9. March 24, 2010 21:23

    Lol Govind.. 🙂

  10. March 29, 2010 18:46

    Ayyo, enikku vayya! :))))) But then who am I to point fingers?? I don't even know which day of the week it is and have to keep asking the L & M who rolls his eyes heavenward each time I do.Waiting for Part 2.

  11. April 2, 2010 19:53

    🙂

  12. April 2, 2010 23:46

    PART II PLEASE

  13. April 3, 2010 08:28

    @Sha il, you are very busy,whereas I am not!!!@Chandrika, thanks for dropping by and for the smiley. Made my day!@Susan, the patient shall inherit the world!!!!!

  14. April 9, 2010 10:43

    Time flies…And it lies…:)You make those criesAnd no matter how hard you try(s)Time, got not time, it just flies!Hilarious, just the thought of rushing around with a watch strapped upside down!

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