Saturday, October 11, 2008

Airport Blues .. Part II

We finally reach Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 4 am.
And spot Padhiary at a distance .. Nah , hes not at a distance anymore .. Wait, why is he running towards us .. ?
Padhiary : “Maine tum logon ko bola tha na 3:30 pohoch jane ? Itna late kyun lagaya ? 8 am ko flight hai , agar miss ho gayi to ?!!

Introducing ...Padhiary : Touted to be the biggest brand of XIMB. The ultimate motion man … The constant need to have every appendage of his, moving it his mouth .. his feet .. his hands , is as important to him as breathing itself.

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We wheel our stuff inside and report at the check-in counter and come to know that our flight is running an hour late. . Neways, we move ahead , all 6 of us in a line . Suddenly, Pachis who is leading the human train stops abruptly and the rest of us come to a bumpy halt , almost knocking off the person infront with our trolleys .

Reason : Spotted – By Pachis .. A gorgeous, smoky-eyed Lebanese woman. We all finish off with our turns of blatant , open-mouthed staring and look back at Jajoo .. And there he is .. All glassy-eyed .. Walking on jelly-ed legs in one direction .. his luggage trolley going off in another .. and a silly , ‘baring-all-your-teeth’ grin pasted on his face.

Introducing …. Jajoo : The one of the Kajrare thumkas fame , champion of everything remotely marwari and one of the youngest CFA level 1s of XIMB.

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Soon we are through with the immigration and security check-ins and reach the waiting lounge with over 3 hours to go before we board our flight. I am ravenous and with much guilt nibble on a cold, leathery sandwich worth Rs. 200 . I see Tapan trying to chew a more leathery burger (worth Rs. 250) and I suddenly don`t feel that guilty anymore. (Bwahahaha .. I know im evil ;) )

Tapan goes to the duty free counters to stock himself up with cigarettes for 3 months. Apparently , one risks bankruptcy if he expects to smoke up on French cigarettes even for a month. And Pachis takes out his uber-cool leather trench coat of a jacket , which sadly is a few sizes too large for his skinny frame.

Introducing .. Tapan : Undeclared ‘stud’ of XIMB, the guy who has his own charming way with girls preferably of the firang breed and who was at that t me , dragging himself to his seat (Courtesy : Army-ish Woodlands shoes several sizes too large and too heavy to be adorning his twig-like legs )

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And …Pachis : The scrawny , skinny guitarist and drummer , a fellow IlluminatiX member , with the most likably weird hindi accent and oh yeah , branded as a “Marwari ke naam pe kalank” by Jajoo ; For God knows what reason.

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I promptly doze off, not wanting my already tortured tummy to bother digesting that leathery sandwich . After sometime AD gets really bored and fishes out her camera for an extended photo-session of us tortured and bored-to-death sleepyheads.

Introducing .. AD : The unofficial babe of XIMB , almost always turned out in the latest and trendiest in fashion and yeah .. a certified head-turner.

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I am rudely woken up by an ear-splitting beep-beep. I half-open my eyes and find that the group photosession too is interrupted by this nauseating alarm which seems to have gone off in the entire airport .. Echoing even louder in the relatively uncrowded morning hours at the terminus. People start looking at us suspiciously as though we were some masterminds behind this irritating beep-beep. We give them the looks of fooling-around-Yes- terrorists- No , to no avail. Just as luck would have it, we see a pot-bellied policeman waddling across towards us .

Policeman (PM) : “Idhar cigarette nei peene ka”
We : “Nei, Piya Sir”

PM : “Koi lighter-wighter jalaya kya “
We : “ Bilkul nei jalaya Sir”

PM : “Kuch to kiya hai tum log. Isiliye alarm baj rela hai”
We : We actually lost it, at this level of accusation and enlightened the moron of a policeman that the alarm is ringing throughout the airport and that he had no rights to accuse us without any proof.
< The latter portion was put across in a not-so-nice way , so can`t actually put down the words here.>

Afterall MBA students hain .. Kadke hue to kya , hamari bhi koi izzat hai !

Mercifully , the highly unnerving alarm stops and I doze off once again (as usual) and the others are back to fooling around.

Soon , our boarding is announced. We decide that it was enough of excitement for that morning and that it was time to be achha-bachas.
So we queue up pretty docilely and proceed towards the big bird waiting to whisk us away .. saat samundar paar.

Airport Blues ..Part I

Date : 24th September 2008
Time : 3 am
Venue : Mumbai , Gaurav`s place

Jajoo, Tapan, Pachis and yours truly sitting propped up on a huge bed beneath huge fluffy blankets …All quiet. We were exactly 5 hours away from taking off on an adventure trip of sorts .. To France ! We liked to refer it as the “the trip of our lives”. The days and months of planning finally reaching fruition. We all sit tranquil and contemplative … Suddenly the silence is broken .. Jajoo : “Abey , humko Papa ne ye suitcase diya hai .. ekdum mast wala .. apna saara documents and paeesa rakhega hum isme .. isko hum agar apna bada wala bag mein daalke, peeche taang lega .. tab to ye hamara hand baggage ban jayega na ??
The rest 3 of us turn … and look at him with utmost undisguised disgust …

Context :
We were going to France for a whole of 3 months ! Yeah , 3 whole months and the total luggage limit allowed by our airlines FinnAir (more about the airlines later ) was a measly 25 kgs !!!

Now , I remember , every time I fly back to college from Bangalore , Im fined for checking in atleast 5 Kgs extra luggage than the permissible limit , which used to be 30 Kgs ! Now the situation works out like this

10 days of vacation at home = 35 kgs
90 days of winter stay in a cold european country = 25 kgs ??!!!!

Bahut nainsaafi hai … !!!

Now , what we 4 were sitting and contemplating were not “French men/women (as the case may be) ke sunehre sapne” ; but rather how the hell are we gonna tow all our numerous pieces of luggage, each of them carrying precious quantities of home food , all the way to France … yeah , including Jajoo`s “mast wala” humongous suitcase (which supposedly should be stuffed into another huge bag of his , and this entire ensemble of his, he plans to flaunt as a backpack in order to pass it off as hand baggage !! For Godsakes ….

P.S This should`ve given you an idea about the kinda people we are :) And we were soon to be joined by AD and Padhiary who are extensive case studies in themselves !
France .. Beware .. here we come .