I am sitting here in my office room right now and as usual, I came quite early to the office. There is nothing to do in the guest house’s room and its better to come here and check emails, OTN forums and also, have a cup of coffee. Its still 8:40am only at the moment and I was thinking while sitting in my cab, about Chandigarh where I stayed this Sunday before taking my flight from there to Hyderabad, a place which has a deep place within me.
Many don’t know that I had stayed at Chandigarh for few months as well. I was working in my home town, at a very esteemed institute from where I got the initial training of Oracle database and got the honor of being selected there only as a member of staff, something which never happened for any student of it before. I was the first and last one who was offered by the management to join there, something over which I am still so proud because getting a job in that institution was considered a matter of big pride back in those days since it was termed as the finest institute in the entire Punjab! That institute was a small part of a big company which was having its headquarter at Chandigarh and operations in three different continents! I worked there and after some time, when they moved the institute to Chandigarh and merged it with the parent company, I was called there as well. It was a very good opportunity and I did accept the offer. That was the first time probably, when I stayed out all by myself or may be not, because even when I moved there, I did try to not break the daily talk of mine with one person. It was difficult and since I had no laptop at that time, I had to go to some cyber cafe. After few days, I requested the logistics head of my company to let me use the machine in the office after the work hours and after raising his eyebrows and giving me an angry look, he agreed to it. I used to stay in the Sector-8 and worked at Sector 35B and would walk late in the night back to my room. On the way, there is a restaurant where I would stop by and have dinner. That landlord lady was an old lady who used to live in that big house with her husband and would lock the door many times. Since I shared the room with another guy(who worked in a different company), he would open the door for me. But when he used to go back to his home, often the door would remain locked and I had to see whether I would go back to office or to sleep on the bus-stand which was just on a walking distance from the room and it was the later thing which would happen most of the times. That lady would open the door at 5:30am and that’s when I would go in, take a shower, get ready and go to office again. I really wished so much at that time if I just could get a laptop or just an old desktop itself to keep in my room but it couldn’t happen. But then again,I didn’t need either one because I didn’t work at that place for many years too. I met with a very serious accident, so serious that it has given a permanent hairline fracture to my elbow and two marks on the palm of my one hand. I took a little break to get some rest and cure the injuries and right after that, I left for an overseas trip to fulfill a promise that I gave! Just before I had to leave, I did tear a piece of paper about which no one except one person knows about(whom also I didn’t tell about it for so long), something which if anyone would come to know, would make them call me “impractical” , “idiot” etc but I had to choose between two choices and I chose what I termed as most important for me! When I came back, the previous job was already gone. I hadn’t got any chance to visit that office or to meet the people who worked there. I am sure many has left from there already but one is still there, the same guy who allowed me to use the office machine. It was told to me by some other person who is still in touch with him. Not sure that he remembers me still or not but I surely do.Also its been so many years that I have walked on that path again where I used to walk every morning and evening while going to office. For all these reasons, Chandigarh has a special, rather very special place in my heart though in general, I don’t like the people from there or may be I am too big of an idiot to understand them and how they behave. I guess, I won’t ever learn what it takes to act like a professional and to think first about yourself than about anything else, something which I have seen a little too much in many who are the natives of Chandigarh. May be its not true at all and is just my (wrong) perception but still, that’s what I have felt about it when I stayed there.
Its has been many years but I didn’t get a chance to go back to any of those paths, office and to meet anyone over there. Though I had visited Mohali’s bus stand couple of times but that’s about it, I never got a chance to go to Chandigarh since then until this time when my flight booking was done from there to Hyderabad, next day after my arrival from Malaysia. And when I reached there, I had to find a place to stay there. I never stayed in a hotel at Chandigarh. While going for a training long time back, me and my two other friends lived in an inn but there wasn’t any time when I stayed in any of the famous hotels of the place. Since I was going to get a chance this time, I decided to stay in one of the landmark hotels of the city, hotel Aroma Classic.
When I reached at the bus stand, the first thing I did that I took a complete round of it. Most of the routes are now from the Mohali’s bus stand so there wasn’t that much of rush which used to be there on this bus stand. Its always was a very neat and clean bus stand and now it was looking even more clean because of less rush. I even found that bench where I had slept many nights. Its still there and I just couldn’t resist myself to sit over it for few minutes. I took a rickshaw and left towards the hotel. The rickshaw puller told me that I am his first passenger today. I was asking him that is there anything that has changed in the place to which he replied nothing and it was true too. There wasn’t any difference that I could spot. I had no idea how much is right charge from the bus stand to the hotel so I asked the rickshaw puller and he said that he won’t take extra from me. While going to the hotel, he also mentioned that how much tough his life and he does two jobs. When I stepped down from the rickshaw, it was 30 bucks which I was supposed to pay to him but since he told me that I was his first passenger of that day, I decided to pay him a little extra hoping that me being his first customer today would bring him good luck. His joy knew no bounds and I could see so clearly that how much happy he was! Finally, I was at my hotel and it was time to check-in, for the very first time in any hotel at Chandigarh!
Aroma Classic is a landmark property in Chandigarh and people say that its the first hotel opened in Chandigarh in 1953. Even being so old, it still is very famous and now, the management has opened a new hotel just besides it too, which has all the modern facilities that one would expect in a 4-star hotel. I have stayed in MANY hotels by now and based on the experience that I have got from it, I can say that though the hotel is very nice, very well maintained , it still lacks in some areas. But then again, its a 50+ years old property and even being so old, its so well maintained so I guess its okay to ignore those small issues. I know I am so fussy but still, would give it this much of leverage. It was time to take some rest and I just slept off.
In the morning, after taking shower, I stepped outside of the hotel to look at the view outside. If you have never been to Chandigarh, you can’t imagine why its called “city beautiful” and why its mornings are so nice. I stepped out and decided to walk around. I took a walk from the hotel to my office location. Nothing has changed, still there is nothing which I could find as changed! It just felt like I was there yesterday itself. Since it was Sunday, I wasn’t going to get to meet anyone but still, moving around there felt so nice! I walked for about an hour before I came back and had my breakfast.
It was time to catch flight and that was at 5:25pm. I reached airport quite early and spotted Jimmy Shergill and Randeep Hooda over the airport. I am not crazy to run after the stars so I was just sitting watching them and to be honest, no one really did bother about them. It was still some time to check-in and decided to have a coffee and that’s when Jimmy Shetgill also came to the same outlet when we had a little talk. To be honest, I didn’t like him much(or at all may be you can say). When I met Amrinder Gill at Bombay and even forgot his name, it was still a lot of fun. That guy was really so down to earth and we kept on talking for a very long time. But Jimmy didn’t even talk, heck, he also didn’t take off his sunglasses even when we were inside the airport, something which I REALLY hate when people do it! You are not under the sun god damn it, take those glasses off! Anyways, I had to go for my check-in so I just left saying him goodbye.
Though I couldn’t stay at Chandigarh for a longer duration but whatever time I got to spend there, it was so much good! Tears were there in my eyes when I walked on the path of my office thinking many of the things, thinking about the talks over the chat, thinking about how so eager I used to act when it would be Saturday evening so that I can come back home since there would be 4 people waiting for me to come back. Which 4? Well, 3 would be obvious to guess and 1 I wont mention who! All of this came to mind just in a flash like it happened just the pervious day only.
I really wish that I can spend some time either because of work or for vacation. Not sure when but I shall go there again soon, I am sure about it! Its time to wash face and get back to the session now since guys have started coming in.