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Friday, January 21, 2011

Give me Wings!!

I am Blueline Delhi kind of guy, and NDLS, sleeper class most of my life.

When I first got way from home, for my job, it was at Reliance Jamnagar.My first pay, most of you would guess, that I would have bought some clothes, shoes and the typical wish list items.

Well, true partly.

I did buy clothes , but I bought a collection of designer underwear's and vests , much to the chagrin of my Dad and Mom.

 " Does somebody buy an underwear for the amount you get a pant," ? , my dad queried , as he saw me modeling around in an Armani ( yes Armani, I bought one from the boutiques in Gurgaon some 4 years back ...............that was the only place near Noida which had them !! )

My retort ," It is the stuff that sticks to you the whole day, and just let me see if it is really something different"

That took care of around 30% of the net value.The remaining 70% I blew it away on Captain Gopinath.Here is an account of my first journey from "office" to "home" by a flight !!

It was my first experience, away from home and in a new state, in a refinery city. It is a city by itself, we have everything and living there invokes a feeling of structure and discipline in life. But over a period of that time it becomes monotonous, very monotonous. The works, living, all become very predictable. But I loved my time out there.

I loved the place, for its serenity. The firm I had joined had a reputation of style and working there commanded a kind of respect from locals. This was much evident, when we received the red carpet treatment, whenever we walked the local market, not to mention the hyped up prices on non essentials such as clothes etc.

It had a very famous place, for ice creams Ram Diary , and I had never tasted flavors which they had there. Sundays, the entire city and outskirts of it (that is Relaince & Essar !!  ) seemed to be strolling outside.

We had just one Cineplex -Mehul.

It was the time when Malikka Sherawat, and the film Guru was much in vogue, the former I guess still charms a lot of people. The level of her attraction among the masses was seen, when I was in the theatre. My boss, was there with his family, and incidentally had seats in the same row as mine. It was dark and the guy was late, he stumbled across and seated his clan, and just sat down adjacent to me.” Arre bahiya who Sherawat wala dance chala gaya?”, asked my boss in anxious tones.

The kid I was, I couldn’t resist.

Leaning close to him, I replied” No sir, its still to come”. Surprisingly, the look on the strict bosses face was not of shock, when he saw me, but of a full and well intentioned smile.

So I guess it was Malikka Sherawat who helped me get on well with my boss. I spent part of my salary on phone recharges and the remaining on air tickets .Captain Gopinath had made it possible for people like me to fly, so every three or four months a carefully planned 3 days holiday, clubbed with some local festival could give a nice break.

I cannot forget my first flight to home. We had to take a bus to city centre, which was an overnight journey, and from there we had to take a flight. First time around I had limited baggage and it was already the last week of the month, so only pennies remained. Getting down at city centre, I found my way to another bus which could drop to the airport.

“Get down here, no bus will take you direct to airport, you would have to walk”, the conductor told.

I got down, and started walking but soon spotted a bullock cart with some machinery ambling past. I asked the “You going to airport?”

“Yea main gate construction is going on”, came the retort.

I flashed a smile and asked “lift”?

“If you can fit in the machines, “, then sure.

It was not a great choice, but I did not want to walk. The machines were packed, and had some nice designs on inside as well as outside. I leaned back and got some of the greasy designs on myself too. The bullock cart driver was hurtling on full speed, and the bulls, responded to his commands, rather obligingly. 

A bumpy 15 minute ride and the cart stops at the departure gates.

I got down, looking much like the second cousin of the driver. The entry guard frowned at me, as I started to move to the gate. I managed to get out the ticket with a little bit of grease as garnishing for it, and held it out.

Hey I got a ticket pal, I am here to fly, and I retuned his suspicious looks with an inward comment. He examined the ticket and then asked for an identity card. Out popped my employee card, and he loses all suspicions of me being able to afford a flight.

The airport had a bunch of immaculate counters serving food, and surprisingly it wasn’t overpriced. I am always hungry, courtesy a high metabolism rate, and I never begrudge myself any expenditure on food. I must have been a sight, a greasy long haired disheveled guy, eating sandwiches and chocolates, in the departure lounge.