The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Last Christmas Part-2

Er…so where were we. Ya, the weather. It was rubbish. When I walked into office that morning, haversack and all, BBC was still discussing gloom and darkness. The man in front of me in the bus was reading the weather section despite Wayne Rooney having scored a brace or some such thing in page 48. What was wrong with everyone? And why should flights get cancelled in shitty weather? Once you take off and reach 1500 feet, you don’t see anything anyways, do you?

But then there are worse things that you can do. Like for example - it’s a dumbschmuck idea when you decide to go on your Christmas holiday direct from office. When it’s time to leave, it all turns out that you are the most important person in the whole darn world. Applications crash, some fool who should be on his Christmas break, wants inane information immediately and everyone whom you know, even if it is blokes whom you mumble ‘how are you’ at the coffee vending machine, has an awakening that tells them that you (of all people) need to send them some document. What fuckin document?

A few abuses from the rest of the gang later, we realize that when its 24th of December, cab drivers are not twiddling their thumbs and waiting for you to be driven down to the station. ‘One hour mate’, the man at the cab office said grumpily. And even before you could negotiate and tell him that the train by then would be coasting past Ipswich, he bangs the phone down in high octane irritation. Merry Christmas.


What followed later were moments of sheer madness. What do we do now? Did you tell the cab guy to come anyways. What for? The train would have gone by then. So what? What so what, you fool. How about the bus at Peachman Way. Never seen one in the last 12 months. Oh look its coming. Why is this fool carrying so much luggage. Oh fuck the handle broke. Does it go the station please? Seven tickets. Wait I am coming. Eight. Phew!!! just made it da.

But the driver of route number 18 was not a god send. Neither was he in a hurry. So what if it takes 22 minutes to reach the station instead of 20. Thank you very much for the false hopes, driver of the bloody bus. It’s always a great sight to see a train disappear at the far bend into the horizon. Except ofcourse when you are supposed to be on it. But 25 more quid and we were all aboard the next train to Heathrow. We had missed the cab, missed the train and now we had a flight.


Heathrow terminal 4 was a refugee camp. Long serpentine queues. Policemen at their wits end. Airport officials distributing blankets and coffee. Can I have Café mocha please, two sachets sugar? The newspapers had talked about the blankets. And I have a strange feeling that some of the boys had brought along bigger bags keeping the blankets in mind. But as it turned out, it seemed more like a foil used to wrap your sandwiches rather than yourself. But we weaved past a few policemen and cleverly made it to the make-shift shelter. A young man in official uniform stood mike in hand, announcing like he were the MC at the Tyson-Holyfield bout at the Mandalay Bay – BA flight SX146 to Geneva …….cancelled. And there would be a sigh. And a few screams. And a few German abuses. The Swiss Air flight LX714 to Frankfurt……cancelled. Emotions repeat.

‘But how can they do this’, the German lady standing alongside was telling me. “I want to be with my parents for Christmas’.

‘Where are you heading to?’, I asked in cumulative interest.

‘Zurich’, she said. ‘What? I asked.

And just then, the man with the mike continued – ‘Swiss Air flight LX315 to Zurich….(pause)…..Delayed. Phew!!!

Probably it was our joy. The German lady who had booked BA looked at me and said – ‘You going Zurich? Not cancelled? How can they do this?’ WTF.


More serpentine queues. More waiting at the airport lobby. And the usuals at the boarding pass counter. Ya, that’s my surname. Ya that’s unpronounceable. Ya just fuckin give me the ticket. But we were there at last. Strapped snug in our Swiss Air flight. And through the window we could see nothingness. But they took off never the less. And they served good sandwiches with good cheese and also gave more Swiss chocolates when shamelessly asked. And Zurich was sunny and beautiful. And everyone who was less than 100 meters away was visible. What joy. Merry Christmas.


P.S: Incidentally, a small milestone has been reached – this was the 50th post. Thanks to all who’ve bothered to come back. If you’ve bothered to comment as well, then you’re a star.