Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Travel Story….

Yes, I know the title sounds familiar to you(I won’t mention with whom, go figure :-) ) but that’s the best I could think of since this is about the complete travel of mine rather than of either going to or coming back from the tour. And I wish to all Indians worldwide who celebrated Raksha Bandhan yesterday. I wanted to say it yesterday only but I reached home yesterday itself and I was DEAD tired. But all said and done, I am still very happy that I could make it to home (even for just two days)  and was able to spend time with my mom, dad and my sis. Its the first  Raakhi after her wedding and I so wanted to make sure that I won’t miss it and fortunately, I didn’t!

This travel of mine was probably among those tours which were the shortest in time. I went for just two days. But being short in duration didn’t make it less exciting. Right from the beginning of it, it was full of excitement and the icing on the cake was that the session did go so very well! The delegates, though appeared to be quite in both the days of the session but gave me very kind remarks at the end of the sessio and few even mentioned that they would be looking forward for me only in the next sessions of them! Sweet, isn’t it :-) ? I am so very happy and also thankful to all the delegates who attended my session and I hope, they liked it and it was productive for them. It was great to be with all of you and as I mentioned at the end of the session, I am so very looking forward to be with you all soon in some another session :-) .

The travel for this tour appeared to get started with a sort of bumpy start. Normally, I would travel in the bus from my home town to New Delhi in a bus. But I was keen to go a bit early and for that, train suits the best and its much comfortable than a bus too as it’s completely air-conditioned and also, in the train, food is served which is not +so bad+ . All is good with the train with just one issue, being so good keeps it in lots of demand and that makes the availability of the tickets much lesser. The same thing happened with me as well. I got the ticket but it was in waiting and my waiting count was 16, sort of an impossible number to get confirmed. Since I couldn’t take the risk of being late for the flight because of train not being available, I picked a flight which was not so early but wasn’t so late too. I was not very hopeful that I shall get the confirmation but still, I had everything in control, I wasn’t much worried too. I had the flight at a manageable time so my first plan was to check the train and the plan B was to take the bus right away if train’s confirmation wouldn’t have happened. I actually thought that I shall go to station and shall check the status of the train but than, it just occurred to me that I can check it online as well. Nice idea, I said to myself and immediately checked it. Guess what, it was shown as confirmed :-) . Now, I could peacefully go to the station, board the train and reach Delhi in a far more comfortable manner. Things were looking to get sorted out.

In the morning, I reached at the station with my dad. As a last check, I check the final chart of the train and as expected, my name was there in the chart with the confirmed status and also with the information about my seat number and the compartment number. We did reach on the station quite early so there was a lot of time available with us to get ourselves relaxed and be at the required place from where I had to board the train. It wasn’t very crowded since it was a weekday(I was traveling on Thursday this time) but still, there were a lot of people on the station, even when it was just 6:30am. The train was on time( it gets delayed very unlikely). So finally, it came on its time and I boarded it after taking blessings from my dad. It was going to be the first part of my travel. It was about to rain any time and I was just hoping that I shall reach to the airport without getting wet. It wasn’t me whom I was much worried about but it was my stuff that I wanted to remain dry and safe :-) .

Finally, after 4.5 hours of travel, I was at New Delhi. Normally, I would take either an auto or a cab from the station to the airport but this time, I was suggested that I should take the new airport express metro which starts from the metro station and reaches the T3 terminal in just 18 months and the pricing for the ticket is merely 80Rs( less than one US dollar too) . It was a bit time consuming to find the metro station since this was the first time I was going to board this train but with a little help from the fellow passengers, I finally did find the station and got the ticket for the airport as well. For those who would be looking forward to travel via it, you can do a check-in on the station itself 6 hours before your flight if you are flying by  Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Air India. The station is very well maintained and so is the train. There is train staff to guide and help you at almost every place. All what you have to do is to be there on time and board the train, that’s all! In short, it would not be a tough thing to figure out so don’t worry. I boarded the train and within 18months, I was at the airport, about 4 hours early than my flight :-) .

On the airport, it was the usual hustle and bustle which is always there thanks to the millions of people who travel daily to many destinations and since the new T3 airport is so much big, it appears to me that the rush of the passengers is increasing day by day. If you haven’t visited T3 terminal, you must check it out at least for once and then you would realize that its an absolutely marvelous piece of engineering. I was told by someone that Mumbai airport is getting renovated( I knew it already since traveled there when I got bed ridden) but to be honest, its nothing compared to the T3 terminal. It took me a little longer to get cleared from the check-in formalities and after that, I was free to sit and wait for about 4 hours for my flight. Those who know me, they are aware about the fact that I spend a lot of time whenever I shall get a chance to watch and observe what people are doing and this time, since I had a lot of time with me free, I just grabbed a chair and was doing the same. The airport is a crazy place but some people are even more crazy than it. I mean, why on damn earth some people(gals especially if I can say) wear sun glasses on the airport and think that they are cool? And why on earth some gals think that just because they are holding a god damn iphone, they rule the world, planet earth or mankind? Come on, get life you silly dumb gal! That gadget which you are holding in your hand(and don’t even know 10% of its real usage) is not going to make you look cool or pretty! But no, it seems that’s what most people think and its just so annoying yet entertaining to watch them act like complete morons. I was just sitting and watching people and that’s what the most common category of people I was able to find on the airport. But out of all, one lady did catch my attention the most and despite the fact that I was observing her from a long time, I finally decided to move towards her and speak to her.

Those who know me well, they know this fact that if I shall see someone in need or someone whom I think I can help in anyways, I shall try to do that. It can be anything, carrying a heavy bag for someone, getting some one something, anything which I can do , I shall try to do. And I don’t do it to get anything, its just that I like doing it that’s all! Anyways, so when I was sitting on the airport completely idle and was watching aimlessly people over there, I did notice this very old lady from Punjab(don’t ask me how I knew that she was a Punjabi woman,I travel the entire India and I can tell a lot about people, especially about those who are from my place) who was sitting all alone on a bench with a wheel chair placed along her side. She was sitting all alone from the time I entered the departure hall and so far, I had seen just one time an airline ground staff guy talking to her. I am not sure that she had something or not or anyone was with her or not. I was just sitting there and watching people and also was observing her. In that time period of almost two hours, I didn’t see her having anything or anyone coming and talking to her. It seemed to me that she was traveling all alone. When I was going to have a sandwich from Subway, I decided to stop in the way and talk to her and I did too! I asked her that can I get some thing for her to eat or drink? She said to me in Punjabi, “na putt, kuch ni chahida” (no son, I don’t want anything). I asked her again that bebe(stands for mother in Punjabi) , you are sitting from a long time all alone and I think you haven’t had anything and its okay, just tell me and I shall get something for you but still, she said its okay. Well, I moved towards the counter of Subway and ordered my sandwich. After getting my sandwich, while going back to my seat, I again approached her and asked that bebe, if you want something, I shall get it for you! She again said, no son, I am okay. She told me that before she came to the airport, she had her lunch already and now she is waiting for the airline to announce the departure and when it would be announced, the ground staff would make her board in the flight. I asked her that had she taken water, she said she has the water bottle with her so its okay. She didn’t take anything or asked me to get anything for her but she was looking so very happy and I just could see it in her eyes. She asked me, where are you from son and I told her about my home town. She gave me blessings and finally, I moved towards the boarding gate of mine. I don’t know but I felt (and I am still feeling) bad that I couldn’t do anything for her or got her something to eat or drink. Now, when I am thinking about it, its coming to mind that rather than asking her, I could just got something and could give to her but I didn’t do that, in fact, it never came to my mind at that time else would have done it for sure! I hope she has reached to her destination safely and is safe with her family now. It was time for me to leave and I finally sat down in my flight to leave for my session.

The place where I was going, means a lot to me and is so very near to my heart! That’s the place where I traveled for the very first time when I started doing this work in 2006 after getting up from the bed, thanks to a really big time health issue that I faced. That’s the place where I made some really close friends of mine, Pavan, Lakshmi, Jyoti and also met one of my very big mentors whose guidance and support has played an immense part in making me what I am in my professional life at this moment. And that was the first time when I stayed at a place which got just started and a very strong relation got developed between me and the people of that place, right from the owner to even with the staff of that place, a relation which I cherish so much! I actually look forward to stay there all the time and it just feels so good when they tell me that they look forward for me to come and stay there as well. And just for the record, its not for any tips or something that I give to them. In fact, I don’t give them any tips at all. But still, they all give me so much respect, care and affection that it brings tears to my eyes at times. I was going to stay at this place after a long gap since I hadn’t traveled to this place at all in the last few months and it felt so so good when I heard from the staff  that they actually asked so much about me to  my colleagues that when Aman sir would be coming, its been a long time to see him! Can you believe it? These are the guys for whom I haven’t done anything and they also won’t be able to do anything for me, absolutely no chances or place is there for a selfish reasoning to be there for them to be friendly or affectionate towards me but still they are! What more one can ask for to be happy a little in his heart other than this that there are some people who truly feel so affectionate about him in this world full of selfish people who think about them, about their dreams and wishes in the first place than anyone and anything else in this world! They asked me how I am doing and also that whether my sister’s wedding has happened happily to which I answered that I am okay and also the wedding went fine! I decided to give them a small amount as a gift so that they can get some sweets for them and I told them, next time,when I shall stay for a little longer, I shall give them all a treat again! This is the least I guess I can do for them and to make them a little happy from my side. Since, I finally reached at the place, it was time to start the work which would be getting started from the next morning.

The work did start with a bumpy note. I was supposed to share the cab with another person and the timing for the cab was 8:30am. I was ready at 8:15am to start for the work  but there was no sign of that idiot( I can’t help not being angry because he was of that worth only) . It was 8:45am and still there was no sign of him anywhere. I finally got so angry, asked the cab driver to drop me and said to hell with you to that idiot in my heart. When I reached office, one of my machine was appearing to be hung (which got sorted out afterwards on its own) and that just raised my temper to the peak! Anyways, all got sorted out in the end and when I reached my guest house in the evening, I was told that other person had 7 beers in the night and slept at 3am. Need I say more why I called him a jerk in the first place?

The session, as I said already above, did go really well! The delegates were fresher's who just started their career and it was probably their first time experience with the real stuff about Oracle database. Its always so good to be with the delegates who are just starting their journey to learn Oracle database because there is so much that I can tell to them  and help them in getting on the right path, something which I missed completely to get when I stepped first step on this long path of learning oracle database. It was just a two days session so there was so very less that I could tell to the delegates but I tried my best to help them in getting started and gave them all the inputs which if they would use as instructed, would surely help them in their course of learning this awesome piece of technology. That was for them and for me the rewards was to see a smile on their face when they were leaving and all those kind words which they said and wrote in the final rating. Thanks so much guys! I wish you all my best wishes and good luck in your learning path and I hope that I can contribute a little only may be in it too! The session concluded and it was time to start the journey back for home, something which did become a real tough act to complete because of the fury of the mother nature.

I was going to come back with my manager in a cab from New Delhi to my home. The moment when I landed at Delhi and I called him, he said come soon, a bad news is waiting for us. Well, I certainly don’t like such kind of surprises so I was very desperate to know what it this bad news all about. When I finally met him, he told me that there is a really heavy downpour happening at my place(where he was going too)  and he has been told by his family that we must not come on that way. Well, there was no rain at New Delhi at that time and we thought that even there is a heavy rainfall right now,by the time in the morning when we would reach, it would settle down. So we finally started our travel for home. It took us about 5 hours to come to the entry point of Punjab and still there was no rain there so we decided not to stop and carry on our journey. Its when we reached close to Mandi Gobindgarh, the rain started and from that point onwards, the rain just went stronger and stronger making our travel more and more tough. The driver of our cab was driving very carefully and to be honest, we were a little scared to see so much bad weather. There was a time when due to stupid bus driver, who while passing by our side, threw a whole sea on our car and the driver couldn’t see anything at all. He just applied brakes and in a moment, when the water got settled and visibility returned, we saw that we were just inches away to collide with a truck. My forehead got hit with the front seat but nothing bad did happen otherwise. Finally, after a lot of struggle, we finally made it to Ludhiana and somehow, I reached my home. It was yesterday only, the same day when Raakhi was there and that was one of the reasons that I didn’t want to stop anywhere since I knew that I shall be leaving anyways in just two days. I can say that it was a big adventurous travel but its not something that I would like to see happening often to be honest!

I shall be leaving tomorrow for a long and tough tour. I hope that it goes fine. Do wish me luck and pray for me guys because I shall be needing it. Its time to pack the bag and have dinner and also to catch some sleep since its going to be a LONG travel coming ahead tomorrow. 

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