Friday, December 21, 2007

Back, Sick & Tired....

Yes I got back last night. It was a tiring and little bit odd tour. I managed to finish it with a good note but it has left me a little tired and sick, I can manage being tired but I hate being sick. I have some days with me ( well 3 to be precise ) to have some rest and get myself back on the track. Lets see how will it happen?

There were a lot of new things happened in this trip. The starting of it was the first among them. I normally travel in the day time to catch a flight to my destination. Its tiring but still I manage to get a good sleep at home so its kind of okay. This time it was not the case. Well the first reason was that this time I was not catching a flight but was catching a train. I haven't traveled too much by trains. The last time and the only time which I can recall that I traveled by a train was when I went to Calcutta. I had to go to Malaysia for the first time and  there were a lot of problems that I faced for that. In the series of problems , I went to Calcutta and came back from same by train only. That journey of Calcutta actually proved to be a disaster. With the loss of time, money and in addition to so much mental tension, I saw the real picture of some one whom I thought to be my friend and relied to help me in the visa process of Malaysia as I had no idea how to go for it. It was very first time in my life when I was going out some where and that too to a foreign country altogether. Those 4 days of travel and 3 days in the hotel are among some very long and frustrating days that I ever lived. I expected to be a little bit relieved when I came back but some how that too didn't happen. I heard some words which broke me. Anyways I guess I am going on a rather completely different track which has no relation here so I wont be proceeding any further with that tale. And in any case, I am not going to tell you anything about that story :-). Anyways getting back to track, so after about 3 years, I was again  going to travel by train. This time one difference was there that train was going to be a nice one and also the travel was not for almost 40 hours. But despite being that, I was traveling in full winters and that too in the night. I started at almost 8pm. Though I got the bus immediately but the bus was not at all good and was so much packed. So what I planned that I would have a sleep on my way to Delhi got busted completely and I had to stay up all the night in the bus with cold winds. By the time I got at Delhi , it was 3am. I caught an auto and left for station. I was almost frozen and what ever was left was completed by the open auto running at a speed of 60km/hour. So by the time I got at station, I was almost having no power. Well I got there almost 2 hours before the scheduled time of train so I had to wait. I thought I would get a seat inside the waiting rooms but to my surprise, even it was 4am , still all the waiting rooms were jammed. Great ! So I had to wait outside on the platform. No I didn't sit on the floor,seats were there but they were made of steel so you can imagine how it feels to sit over them at 4am in December. Not some thing which I would like to do often if you ask me. Anyway the train was on time so I didn't have to wait beyond the specified time. Train was ok. I spent the time talking to one of the fellow passenger who was a lady coming back from America to meet her parents. I cant sleep in the travel so no rest. After about 4 hours of this train travel , I finally got at Jhansi. Its a small city ( town is the most appropriate one for it but anyways). I was not going to the main city coz my client's place was almost 16km away from the main city. So I took an auto and got at the place. I was going to stay in the company's own guest house. And just like any company residence, these people were also having timings for meals. So I got my lunch at 12.30 and then I was off to bed as I was going to fall any time if I wouldn't had slept. It was not for long though as I got a call from the co-ordinator who wanted me come along with him to the venue to inspect the setup. Not a good idea but I was not there for fun so I had to go with him and I went too. We spent almost 3 hours there before he dropped me back to my room.

Normally, everything in my trips is ok, logistics, travel and all that but as I said , this time it was totally messed up from the start. So continuing the series fo disasters, I found that my wash room's geyser was not working. I told the house-keeping guys about that. Firstly he tried to convince me that it is indeed working and there are no issues. He explained that there are two knobs , one for cold water and one for hot and all that stuff. Now I don't know too much about every thing but I do know some thing about at least showers and geyser knobs. Heck I am traveling more than 3 times a month! So I told him to come and check by himself which he did and some how with a bitter face agreed that I was right. But this didn't give me any help as I was not going to get this issue sorted out the same evening which means in the next morning,it would be a great issue. Imagine one night old , ice cold water , in the morning of December to be available for bath.  I don't know about you but I guess that's more than enough to give a shiver! Well I had no choice and that became second of the prominent reasons for this sickness of mine. First indeed is the night travel that I did. So with that chilly start, I started the program. Audience was ok I must say that they were rather very easy going and cool. We didn't receive course material for all 3 days but still they didn't make any noise. Good! They liked the program and were happy when we finished it so I guess everything went well with the program.

Now when ever I am staying some where, I am the king of my room as I am the sole owner of it. But this time and that too on the last night of my program, when I got back from the venue, I am welcomed by some one else too in my room. Oh and I forgot to tell that one night before that, I was asked to change my room as some one else was coming and they required my room. What I got in exchange was a common 3 bed room without any tv or room heater. Great! Nice! Anyways I can manage without a tv and room heater but have to share a room, hmm I am not so friendly especially when I am not supposed to do that as I was their guest. Well I did have a little chat with the gentleman who was also not so happy in sharing the room and found him nice. But despite him being nice, I cant share my room with any one else in these trips. No way! So it was time to brush up my talking skills and after about 2 hours I got another room ;-), separate, with a room heater and a tv and completely newly made one. Well my happiness didn't last for long as that another guy also used his talking skills and came into the same room with the argument that the other room was too cold. Hmm ok. I was leaving for Gwalior next morning at 6am( yes I said 6am) so I decided to go back into that same cold room.

So now I was back in the same room. I was leaving at 6am so I had to get up at about 5am to get ready. Now when ever that kind of time is there, I cant sleep normally. So the same happened as I didn't sleep in the whole night. I did call my friend Gaurav who was also traveling from Pune to back home couple of times. Finally got ready at 5.30am and started waiting for the cab to come. Driver came at about 6.15am and we started for a 3 hour long travel to Gwalior, reason being that Jhansi has no airport and I was supposed to catch my flight to Delhi. So off to Gwalior!

After 3 hour long journey, I got at the airport at 9.10am. It was a very small airport where just 2 airlines operate, Indian Airlines which I was going to use and Air Deccan. My flight was at 11.50am so I asked the counter guys that what time they will start check in procedures. He brought me to the airport manager who told me that the flight would be delayed as the connecting flight has not took off from Delhi. Cool! So I was there on the airport and now I had to wait for almost 3 hours. Airport manager though was very nice. He took so much care of me and made me have 2 samosas and coffee. I never saw any airport manager doing that and being so humble. It was good to see some one like him as the airport manager and I wish all the airports get the same kind of managers.

So finally my flight came and I started for Delhi. It was rather more chilly at Delhi when we got there. From there it was the routine stuff. I got a cab and went to bus stand and from there took a bus to my place. But in this whole thing, I spent so much time and I guess I didn't mention that I didn't have anything since morning except for 2 samosas and one coffee.

Finally I got back home. I felt it was rather so much long journey despite the number of days were just three. I don't know why but I just wanted to come back as soon as possible. I was feeling so much tired and weak ( I am feeling the same now too) . I need to prepare some topics and the next program will be a disaster as I know just 10% of it. Lets see what will happen there. At the moment, I shall just have some rest and sleep.

Oh one last thing, on the Delhi airport, Manish Malhotra , yes the same Manish Malhotra, the big bollywood designer. Well he was on the next luggage belt to me. I don't get fancy about this celeb -mania but it was a surprise that no one over the airport recognized him. Not a single person! Hmm not a big deal, just I felt a little odd as it was domestic airport and still no one took any notice of him.

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