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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

**********CONGRATULATIONS**********

Cmon now..pls have an exponential graph in mind for ur century :)

My frnds missed their Swizz flight due to flood on train tracks ! And myself had missed train coz their was nobody in the counter to provide tickets booked over fone..so its evrybdy's Swizz story..kwel !

--Bebo

December 16, 2007 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good to see you blogging after a long break :) congratulations for your 50th post! keep blogging macha!

-Laxman.

December 16, 2007 6:20 PM  
Blogger Krishna said...

Congrats on the golden jubilee of posts! is madhusudan that unpronounceable?

December 17, 2007 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

give no modes of commute, a long daunting walk is still a viable option given the amount of training undertaken on that front!
congratulations on a star studded fifty!!

-paps

December 17, 2007 5:47 PM  
Blogger Naveen said...

good work chap..congratulations..

does this mean that u are not going newhere this christmas? :o)

wish us luck coz we are :o)

December 18, 2007 3:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Applause Applause.... All the suspense for the half century eh?

Congratulations!

Hope you have an even more exciting trip, this holiday season:)

December 18, 2007 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Smart Cookie said...

Itz remarkable how they keep failing the 'stress test', every time (and believe me, the railways in UK ice the cake totally) and then continue to hold the typical Indian's impression of 'quality and maintenance'...
Hmm..way to go people!

By the way, you have quite a way with words...highly impressive!
Just keep going!:)))

December 18, 2007 9:05 PM  
Blogger Bikerdude said...

Took a while coming, this one! Well worth the wait nevertheless.

Khannn-grrratulations guru.

December 19, 2007 2:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Work !! Keep Blogging

PM!!

December 19, 2007 3:11 AM  
Blogger Sudhindra said...

Congrats on the half-ton:)....hope the second half is much faster :D

December 20, 2007 8:58 AM  
Blogger Preeth said...

Thank you people. Though I may not want to accept it, the motivation has been the fact that there is someone somewhere reading it :)

December 20, 2007 3:09 PM  
Blogger Piscean Angel said...

Congratulations on ur 50th !!! It's always a pleasure reading ur blogs. Hope that ur 100th comes really fast.

January 02, 2008 4:24 AM  
Blogger Preethi said...

Hi..got here for the first time.. nice post.. and brought back some memories.. I was once stuck in london for a day.. and had to deal with british airways and their ridiculous customer service.... i have woved never to transit via london ever again!! :P
As for your surname.. cant be too bad.. my husband, son and I have 3 different impossible surnames.. so you should watch us when we travel!!

January 03, 2008 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the last post in this space??

-Laxman.

January 04, 2008 1:52 AM  
Blogger Bikerdude said...

Aye, yenu? 50 means thatsaala?
post off I say quickly quickly.
We are Indian so it has to be 101, 51, etc.

OK? OK.

January 07, 2008 2:47 AM  

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