Day 1, June 23, 2015
By 3am we had successfully failed for 4 straight hours at booking a trip to the concrete jungles of India- Bombay, Delhi and Bangalore.
Anyone who’s ever lived in small town will tell you how suffocating clean air and a peacful life can be.
Bring on the crowd and chaos.
It now reminds me of Balram Halvai’s dream of moving to the big city and wearing a uniform and blowing a silver whistle, the protaganist of a fictional novel The White Tiger, which I began to read on the flight later during the day.
[Wait, I forgot to elucidate the ‘we’ up there.]
Frustrated, we took a bite out of the salami sandwhich my sister had prepared for us.
[That makes it three people. Unless, otherwise specified.]
She was amused by our prdicament. Every now and then she’d walk by the table, pause, look over our shoulders and see the booking page screen stuck in a time warp.
If Nippun had had his way, we’d be trekking in the Himalayas or what people refer to as the outdoors. I, on the other hand, feel otherwise. No cell connectivity, no go.
A compromise has been drawn.
Relieved, we (Nippun, a friend who happens to be a musician and teacher) punched in our itinerary short of 2 weeks. After much deliberation, the flighst were booked, added to Passbook on our iPhones and tucked neatly away under “Trips” in my Cleartrip travel app.
That morning, I not only had to pack my bags but go for my workout and before returning home make a pit stop at the office to pickup the Macbook Pro charger.
Luckily, on my way back home, I recieved a text from GoAir informing me of a 50 minute flight delay due to heavy rains and wind.
With that text, I now had the luxury of covering a few more errands and feeling impressed by GoAir’s courtious service.
No. They don’t pay me to write good shit about them.
You know what, little things make me happy. I think it’s meticulous attention to details that catches my fancy everytime.
Design. Design. Design the tiny experiences. Someone’s got to give a shit and really care. It shows. Trust me.
Tyres inflated, check. Toenails clipped, check.
Nippun arrives in an Uber and we’re off to the airport. Not having to print out a ticket seems so obvious now when only a few years ago, it couldn’t have been imagined.
We’re checked-in (not on Facebook and Foursquare) and waiting for a boarding announcement.
In other news, Nippun hasn’t slept or had anything to eat this morning while adding another absent to his workout calendar. He makes a beeline for the coffee and sandwhich stall.
Spotify numbs me from crying babies and the loud chatter of passengers. I keep telling myself, this moment is not a rehersal to a kindergarten school play.
I love kids in adult bodies only.
I turn to page 46, pull out my left ear piece to make sense of the announcement and look out towards the tarmac. At first, I see grey tones but as I adjust my lense and earpiece, the romantic downpour appears to be trees in the depths waving their arms up in the air like they just don’t care.
The smell of rain, cheap coffee, a pair naked toes and the sight of an aircraft, in the longest time, appear in slow motion towards boarding gate 2 is bliss.
Allow me to better describe “bliss” here.
As the plane made it’s way towards the gate, my chin raised itself by an inch, back straightened to get a better glimpse of the fuselage of this Airbus 320. Only women do this chest out, back straight, flirt-body-innuendo better.
A feeling of awe.
Even upon landing, on the shuttle bus towards the terminal, I’m consumed with plane livery, picking my favourites and drawing mental sketches of how’d they could be designed better.
Turns out the first Uber I book out of the gate belongs to an American-English-accent speaking driver. He requests me to rebook as he’s about to end his shift. Something about white people language… I let him off the hook.
The next Uber took us via SeaLink and Haji Ali, as requested. We arrive opposite to a minimal sign labled ‘Abode’. I striked off the hotel from my “places to visit” mental Foursquare checklist.
We’re greeted to a beautiful lobby…