9.06.2007

Passage to a Vacation

I stared at the the blank space on my new post space for a long time. And then began to fill it. There is so much to tell. Where am I going to start? I am on a vacation out of India right now but it was the toughest travel to achieve in all these years. First there was this whole process of getting a darned visa. Forms to fill, mistakes to correct and never knowing if everything was there in the right place. What would the visa officers at the hot (no pun intended puhleese) Chennai US Consulate ask me? I had no clue. I have travelled quite a bit on work and on vacation before but here I was with cold feet and moist hands waiting for my minutes of wham at the interview window. For all the hullaballoo all I get to stand in front of is a counter? No chair to sit, no coffee to sip. Just a long queue in front of a counter. The visa officer was an extremely chirpy person and had had a good morning I guess because she was being nice to everyone approaching her. She was extremely nice to me and said Aye to my visa request. So I said Yay. This was the easy part. The tough part was to get my passport back on time for my flight which was 3 working days away. Believe me, my life became a tale of two cities. I would wake up and go to sleep in Bangalore but the rest of the day I spent in Chennai! 4 days out of a week.
On one of the flights I came upon an irony. Captain Gopinath (MD of Air Deccan) was in the seat in front of me in a Paramount Airways flight to Chennai!! He was very intrigued about the fact that in a small airliner Paramount offered Business Class seats as well. I could hear (without over hearing) the conversation he was having with the gentleman who boarded with him, about it. They also kept repeatedly counting the number of seats they were offering in Business class and it amused them somehow that it was 16. All this intrigued me as well. As we, the other "normal" people on th flight would wonder later, after we got out of the plane and he was met and escorted by his Air Deccan henchmen, had he missed an AD flight or it had got delayed as usual or cancelled as is also the practice? I do remember laughing out loud. What an irony!
As luck would have it, I did not get it till the day I left. My flight to NJ was in the night and in the morning I called from Bangalore to confirm if my passport would reach at all that day. To my delight I found out that it would, and I took the next flight out to Chennai. I got my passport and got back to my city 2 hours before I took off for the phoren shores. A lot of last minute rush and a lot of airport waits later I was snoring in my seat on a plane with a pilot extra ordinaire. Kudos to Jet Airways for their staff selection and pilots! There was a point when I dozed off just before the plane taxied and when I woke up I was in the clouds and hadnt felt inertia at all!
But you know what? It was all worth the effort because on the other side of the ocean there was a beaming smile and a warm hug that was waiting for me. I felt like I had just found my favourite teddy bear that I had lost. Ok, it was notches above that feeling really :)
Here I am now in suburbia whiling away my time and not having an iota of guilt about it. I have lot of time on hand to think about my life and goals. I have come to realise life beyond the workplace and am glad about getting this break.
Life is also about making our dreams come true. They dont miraculously happen all the time.
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