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Time Flies and How……………!!! (Concluding Part)

April 8, 2010
Try as I might to post the concluding portion and get it over with, I just couldn’t, as another year came to an end in the middle.
Anyways there I was stuck in the airport at 2 in the morning for the 8’o clock flight. As the adrenaline that woke me up started to wear off I started feeling drowsy. I tried to arrange myself into the black metal chair to make myself comfortable, but certain parts of my anatomy such as my beer belly wouldn’t comply. I tried to read a book I had brought along but the pages started to blur after I read a couple of lines. I nodded off into a fitful sleep and would wake up only to find that time had hardly moved. I got up and strolled around the lounge, willing time to move faster, but after 15 minutes my body begged me to stretch somewhere. The worst period was from 3 am-5 am. Every part of my body ached and the limbs felt as if they were melting away. Sitting on the metal chair, the arm rests restricting movement; I had snatches of sleep, my head bobbing around in circles, like someone possessed, snapping me regularly to wakefulness.
At last it was time to board the flight and as soon as I slumped into my aisle seat I had gone to sleep. I would have slept for 10 minutes when the air hostess woke me up to ask if I needed anything to eat. I would have strangled her then and there, but she looked more manly than I was (Now I remember, it was definitely Air India). After 20 minutes or so I woke up again to someone tapping my shoulder. We had landed at Calicut and the gentleman in the window seat wanted to alight. I had to get up to make way for him.
Lots of ‘Gulf Malayalis’ were coming back to their homeland. Unloading took some time. These poor guys have to bring goodies for all and sundry in their native town and each would be carrying 3 or 4 pieces of extra baggage. The craft was almost empty now. I could stretch myself but too many interruptions had played havoc with my sleep. I was wide awake now. The flight took off again. The green Western Ghats were a sight to behold. After some time, I felt sleepy again but by the time we were ready to land in Mumbai. I was also very hungry as I had not taken break-fast.
As soon as we landed, I came out of the terminal. There is a fast food joint right outside the terminal. I think it is called Venkateswara Restaurant. It has been a while now and I don’t remember. The food was good. I looked at the time. I made doubly sure I was wearing it the right way. It was 1pm. Time for me to check in for my Aurangabad flight. When I entered the terminal, I was in for a shock.
My flight for 2.30 pm was re-scheduled for 4 pm. The flight was supposed to come from Aurangabad around 1.30 and fly back to Aurangabad at 2.30, but due to a technical snag, was grounded at Aurangabad. 4 pm came and went and then 5. Yet there was no sign of the flight. People started getting restive but there were no Air India staff to vent our anger on. At 5.30 the flight from Aurangabad landed and we were allowed to board at 6.00. The flight took off at half past 6. The flight was uneventful and finally we landed at Aurangabad at 7.10.
Already my plans for the evening had gone up in smoke. By the time I reached the hotel I was feeling wretched having gone without sleep for almost 20 hours. I was ready to drop dead. Bath, drinks and dinner be damned. The minute I entered my room, the telephone started ringing. It was the Area Manager based at Aurangabad. I told him that I was perfectly alright and that he need not bother to come check on me. He insisted that he will come to meet and make sure if I was comfortable. It was not a problem for him, he said. How can I tell him that it was a problem for me? Maybe he had specific instructions from the Zonal Manager that the guest from the ‘Head Office’ is to be taken care of properly. Field personnel always hold anyone from the HO in reverence, even if it is the office assistant. Or probably he had told his wife that he would be having dinner with the Product Manager. Now he cannot go back and say he wants dinner. Experience has taught me what would happen if he did that, so I sympathized with him and told him that I would wait for him.
I left the door open and lay down on the bed. The next thing I realized was my AM shaking me awake. It was a good thing that I had left the door open for no amount of pounding on the door would have woken me up. I took him to the restaurant. Over dinner he talked non stop about politics, sports, his personal problems always ending each topic on how it was impacting his sales. That is the problem with people in sales. When sales happen HE is the reason and when it doesn’t everything else except HE, are the reasons.
By this time I was like a zombie unable to comprehend what he was saying. I was just nodding my head to whatever he was saying. I told him that it was time for him to go home and get prepared for the meeting the next day. He would have nothing of it. He had somebody to listen to his rambling and he was not going to let go of such an opportunity. Subtly I hinted that I was feeling tired and after some time not so subtly as my chin started hitting my chest. I had been without sleep for 23 hours by now. Finally he was convinced that he had suitably impressed the guy from the HO and bid goodbye. I saw him to the door, doubled locked my door and hit the bed. The next moment I was out like a bulb.
10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2010 10:48

    I really enjoyed this one!! The ending to conclude a perfect disaster of a day!Have a good weekend!

  2. April 9, 2010 15:46

    Finally part II comes and how. Enjoyed reading the drowsy experiences. Sleep has strange ways of making us listen to her.Joy always,Susan

  3. April 9, 2010 17:19

    Enjoyed reading your post

  4. April 12, 2010 10:29

    Govind, Sorry for your travelling woes in India. Better not take an Air India flight. My friends have voted it at as the worst airline in the world. The airports are also the worst. Anyway, all this helps to build your endurance and stamina.Good luck next time!

  5. April 12, 2010 17:53

    You were fortunate you reached Aurangabad, though late. My dad's friend once planned a trip to Visakhapatnam and boarded a flight at Chennai (then Madras). The flight took off on time, but since the climate at Vizag was not suitable, the flight went straight to Calcutta. All Vizag bound passengers were assured they will be dropped at Vizag in their return journey. They reached Calcutta and all passengers were booked in a five star hotel for the night and next day they boarded the Calcutta-Madras flight. The irony was, the flight could not land at Vizag airport and hence they were brought back to Chennai and a full refund was made to them.

  6. April 12, 2010 20:32

    PRG, There are pitfalls even in the most common travels. I remember getting stuck for 24 hours at a most desolate place in Orissa while going to Calcutta on a train. Nothing to eat and drink and no possibility of getting in touch with any one.After that experience I can endure anything.

  7. April 12, 2010 21:03

    Usha, glad you liked it! I had a great week end. Went to Kodaikanal, away from the blistering heat.Susan , you bet she does take us in her vice like grip.Cynthia, thanks for dropping by and for yourkind words.Soumya, I am glad I don't travel much in the domestic sectors. The airports are crowded like Howrah station, VT, or Chennai Central.Charu, your dad's friend is lucky he got to travel to and from Kolkata and stay in a 5 star hotel without having to spend a single pie. I wouldn't mind it at all.Babuman, you should write about it in your inimitable style. It would make for a good reading.

  8. April 12, 2010 21:57

    Govind, what a tale of endurance! 🙂

  9. April 19, 2010 11:48

    Haaahaa…I smiled at so many places, the smile refusing to leave the face even after I have finished reading ur woes! oh! that line about it was a problem for me and not for him…heee heee:)on another note, no amount of pounding on the door can awake me if I'm sleeping because I'm dead to the world too, even without going sleepless for 20 hours straight!! if it was, then I would be another Kubakarna or (kubakarni!) happily sleeping 6 days…who knows… the longest I have slept without waking was 35 hours straight, after an excursion trip from school…:)))u went to kodai, wow…nice chill and rest:))Good day and week Govindand happy new year too

  10. April 25, 2010 21:28

    Interesting travails on your travels. I think the Stewardesses on Air India are quite feminine these days.

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