This may seem slightly lopsided, but there's simply *got* to be a post about my Bombay trip, so here goes...
Saturday, 30th October was my date of departure by some Air Sahara flight at 2115 hours from Kamaraj Domestic Terminal. So I reach the airport all decked up, through a light drizzle which very, very uplifting. Now I'd bought a bunch of stuff to eat on the flight, you know, biscuits, chips, the usual, in the hope that there may be at least some time to read a bit. After abusing the free phone in the waiting area near the boarding gates, we board the bus which glides over the tarmac towards our winged wonder. And man. First glance, and I burst out laughing while still in the bus, what with everyone else staring at me and all. The plane! Holy krap, was it small! No, scratch that, it was tiny! It looked like a home-assembled dinky craft. This view of mine was reinforced when they opened the doorway, and it drops to the ground acting as a staircase. Woah!
Now, when I checked in, the female at the check-in counter asked me what kind of seat I want. I said aisle, as a window seat at night may not be all that awe-inspiring, save for the city lights during take-off and landing. So she hands me a boarding pass that reads: "Seat: 9D". This had me doing a minor double-take. So close to the front, sheesh...
As it turned out, Seat 9D was actually so close to the rear! All the plane's interior consisted of was - two columns of double seats, with a single aisle. And there were maybe, oh, 50 seats. And I'm thinking that's a bit too much...Seriously, I think all these planes are the private jet collection of Subroto Roy, converted into passenger craft.
Once the engines started running, and after I got over my initial mirth, me and my window-seat co-passenger were mildly shocked to notice fumes swirling around our feet, all the way up to our knees. But the steward assures us it's just the airconditioning. At that point I noticed one more thing. No stewardesses! Double woah! Domestic airline without stewardesses! What am I supposed to look at, for the duration of the flight? What's the purpose of getting all dressed up and smelling all pleasant, when there are no stewardesses to ogle at?!?
I specifically said 'domestic', not because I like the internation carrier guys, but because international flights usually have in-flight entertainment. So there. Put away your "Will Truman, Esq." theories right now...
Beyond that, uneventful flight. Except I never got to eat my snackie-wackies, 'cause immediately after take-off, they served an excellent dinner, which, as usual, I wiped off. Following this, I whipped out the CAT Bulletin 2004, and tried out some of the DI thingies, which I soon gave up on. But apparently, not soon enough, because the pilot was announcing the seatbelt stuff and some other 25°C ground weather matter, which clued me into the impending landing event.
And so we touched down, and I met Dad outside the airport. He had a minor temper explosion when the 1st auto guy demanded 250 bucks for going to the Mulund check naka. We hopped out, picked out another auto guy who quietly took us there without so much as a whisper, and charged us normal fare, which came to around 130 rupees. Only.
Sunday saw me getting back in touch with Anusua and Shinaya. Anusua's birthday it was, so she'd called the 10th gang over to her place for a partay. Unfortunately, only meself, Shinaya, Rupal and Akshar could make it, but it was nice nonetheless. Well hell, it really rocked! I even shook a leg! And this was after refusing drinks! Hmm, sometimes even I surprise myself..
Monday was nice. Sat at home and did nothing.
Tuesday was damn cool. Lunched in Pizza Hut at R-Mall, followed by a spot of shopping, with Gitanjeli. Then came home, only to be informed that I had to go back to R-Mall for more shopping, this time with Dad.
Wednesday was nice. Sat at home and did nothing.
Thursday was my driving test! I was slightly apprehensive, and had the occasional irrational moment, when I imagined the RTO Inspector asking me questions about the Motor Vehicles Act. As it turned out, the entire testing process is one great, super-duper sham. All I had to do for the LMV thingy was release the clutch of my Maruti 800 testbed ride, with my instructor [that's right - not inspector] by my side, and drive in a circle. And come to a complete halt. That done, all I had to do for my MCWG test was sign the RTO register declaring me passed in the same. This after me worrying about putting 8 with a proper mobike, with which I have problems ;) And also after I was told I'd mostly have to drive a Kinetic at the test. And again also after i was told that I'd have to drive some old lady's TVS Scooty. Sheesh...
Friday - watched Sachin play some nice shots before getting out like a cheapo. And then, met up with Manish and Biprorshee and went to Hiranandani at Powai. Which was when the fun began.
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We thought we'd go for a spot of bowling at Hakone, but on entering we saw Australia at 58-6 chasing 107, so we settled for a few eats and a round of Air Hockey, which i lost 6-7 to Manish :( I always lose to the damn guy, and its always that close :( But India won and all was OK :)
Later, Akshar joined us at the go-karting tracks, where we were informed that we'd have to wait a couple of hours for our turn if we chose to drive around. Consequently, we ended up just sitting there making fun of the kiddy riders who kept bashing into the tire-walls, and watching one kid in particular blaze a totally professional trail. Heck, he was better than everyone present there that day. And he was probably 11. And all this while we were abusing Manish's cellphone and singing songs out loud.
When we finally left the place due to Biprorshee's folks screaming at him, me and Akshar decided to go to Manish's place, fool around and go home later. Decent decision, that was, because we ended up staying at Manish's place for the night after inventing some creative stories to tell Akshar's folks, right after we
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had dinner at this Punju restaurant :)
I tried to read Asterix in the night around 2, but the guys were adamant on turning off all lights :( Oh yeah, that could've been because Akshar had an exam the next day, heheheh :-D
Saturday - oh the despondency of it all! Leaving for Madras this day :( But yeah, oh well, what the hell - as McWatt would say. Quietly packed most of my stuff, but left my new Nike shoes behind due to lack of space :( Finally, caught the train at Kalyan and thanked my lucky stars that the reserved seat guy didn't turn up and make my RAC life uncomfortable :)
Reached Madras Sunday night, and went off to sleep almost immediately upon reaching the house. Who cares about some useless practical exams anyway? ;)
- Dan Brown's Deception Point - As usual, a treasure trove of info, but overall, somewhat insipid, compared to Angels & Demons and of course, The Da Vinci Code. But gave me something to talk to my biotech cousin about ;)
- Mario Puzo's The Family - Biography of the Borgia family, forced into a novel. I'm ambiguous about this book, though. Interesting at points, but mostly dull. Unfortunately, not unputdownable :-/
- Sidney Sheldon's Are You Afraid Of The Dark? - Oh God! Mr. Sheldon, why? Surely, his most trite [tritest?] work to date :(