A little expedition #1

A little time changed almost everything, from a peaceful simple day to an extra adventurous one. And believe me I did not expect this much of being adventurous in less than twenty four hours of time.

So the previous night my cousin called me and asked me if I would help her with her wedding arrangements. It was more of a begging request, the way it sounded to me. And what with so little time, she has now, she really needed someone to calm her jitters and take over instead.

I said yes without even thinking, and realising the fact that she was asking for it instantly, the next day, as it happened. It is Navratri and I had no plans as yet, so I booked the next tickets, and was all set to leave right the next morning.

My packing routine was a disaster with more clothes lying on the bed than in the bag. And to top it my mom kept bringing things to carry for my brother. Yes, as it happens I might have said yes to my cousin also because I could meet my brother. So the night went by and morning brought a fresh day or so I thought. I thought now that the hassle is over; I simply have to fly there.

Oh but come on, this is me, who was I kidding, when has anything ever been so simple for me?

The basic schedule was my train would leave at 8:30, I’ll reach Howrah station by 12:30, and then I will leave for the airport and reach by 2:00 despite the traffic. Even if there was more traffic or my train got late, I could still catch the 4:40 flight that I was booked in. I had enough time in hand. Well, this was the plan!!

So I reached the station in the morning and got to know that the train was 2 hours late! There was no point in waiting there, and I live nearby so I went home, and returned at 10 only to be delayed even more. And that’s when the panic kicked in. I started to do the Math. I was hoping against all hopes. An already delayed train was only to delay even more, not over speed and make up for the lost time. There was only one other train in which I could go and that was late too. So I went to the ticket counter and asked for the timings, which she was ‘not sure’ about.

My dad had come to drop me this second time, so the good citizens that we were, had to go to another counter to buy the platform tickets for him, where the person sitting on the counter was mostly interested in drinking tea and well, gossiping. We were already so restless that we could lose it any second. Little did I know that I’d need that patience for the entire day?

The second train which I could have gone on was nowhere to be seen, and we were waiting on platform 4 where my train was supposed to come. It was almost 10:45 when it dragged along in platform 2 and they started announcing the change of platforms. I hauled my bag along again, to that place, because of course the escalator wasn’t working.

It left at 11.

The running time from my place to Howrah is 4 hours at the minimum, so even if I reached at 3, the chances were really thinning to get onto that flight.

Dragging, and walking the train reached at 2:40 to Santragachi (Right before Howrah) and I got down there. My dad had booked a car for me from there, which apparently was near from the airport, and reduced the chances of getting into traffic. (Sometimes I think so much dependent I am on my dad.) But again the cab driver kept telling that he was 5 minutes away from my place for fifteen minutes. I thought I had earned some time by getting down here, but then I had lost it in that 15 minutes wait. I lost it completely, and booked a prepaid taxi from there which was conveniently cheaper, and right in front of me. I really begged him to drive in a rush and reach the airport before 4. And after almost another 15 minutes the other cab driver called me and informed that he was there but couldn’t find me. I’ll admit here that I cut the call and pretended to not listen, and did not even care to inform him that I had left. But had I waited for him for half an hour I would have certainly missed the flight.

This taxi-man was really sweet and drove me straight to the airport and I reached sharp at 3:55. Even before I could get down, the driver jumped outside and took out my bag.

Well, the check in took 10 minutes and he really requested me to go directly to the gate, as the boarding had already started. With my laptop bag and everything, I went, only to be checked in once again, which took longer than I had anticipated. So by the time, I got in it was already 4:20 and they were announcing for the last calls!

I know, I could have gone straight, but how could I? Of course there was one last thing to do. My best friend had paid her monthly visit just minutes back, and I had things to look into.

I don’t know what I thought, but I made it at 4:25 and entered with the last warning call for boarding the flight! I had done it so many times with the train, the time ticking by, the train already leaving the station, and I’d get in in the last second, but catching a flight this way, was not on my books!

By then I had really lost it. I was exhausted running the whole day, and all I wanted was to go off to sleep. But of course I was huddled between the seats in the aisle and on the window. And the window person kept waking me for his lavatory break every 20 minute or so. Well, I also made a fool of myself, and was so drenched that I fiddled with the seat belt making it look like I was travelling for the first time, and even let a stranger help me with it. I thought then, that I didn’t care, but justly later I assumed, what a fool I made of myself!!

The next thing I knew was that they were announcing that we had arrived early and will land in another 5 minutes.

Honestly I didn’t even care if I had landed in another planet altogether.

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My Sister’s Keeper

Warning: I might end up discussing the story of the book too.

I was reading, so that I could kill my time, I was reading so that I could have a Sunday on a Monday, I was reading so that I could find out what actually happens to Anna, what about Kate? Will she live? Will she die? How is the family going to take it? How will Sara react when she finds out that her own daughter files a case against her and her husband, Brian? What is wrong with Jesse, their oldest son? What kind of chemistry do Campbell and Julia share, and what exactly is Judge, the dog for?

My sister’s keeper by Jodi Picoult has all the answers to it, and I was on the verge of finding them. Hardly did I know that by then I will be left shattered, once again. I really have lost count how many times a simple book has done that to me by now.

Devouring the last few pages of the book, digging my nails into the covers of the book, I realised that I was almost crying, at least on the verge of. I was battling hard to even breathe by now.

I mean, what, how, when, why???

It is then, that I realised that we have absolutely no control of our lives, we may think, we have, but no, we do not have even a grasp over it. I felt like a mere puppet playing the so called game, life.

We think we can control our lives, but all we have is a most shallow form of control, a simple interpretation of life, when in reality it is far more intense with lot many twists and turns which we can never in our rarest dreams anticipate.

Kate was the one suffering with some sort of cancer, Anna was the once conceived to donate her organs to her sister, then how come this end to a story?

The book is simply about Anna fighting for herself, but in the end what happens is really what I did not expect.

I kept the book aside, pages fluttering with the air, the ceiling fan really creaking down on me, and there I slept with the small lamp switched on, for the lightest hope to cling on to.

 

Surprising Monday Morning

How does it feel

When it is raining cats and dogs outside,

When you sit and relax with a cup of coffee,

When you just shut all thoughts out,

When there is a second Sunday for you,

When you don’t have to work on a Monday Morning 😀

 

Yeah, that’s how I feel today. 🙂

A Word is All I Need

I read something yesterday, and I loved it so much that honestly I will not be satisfied unless I share it, post it almost everywhere.

So here it goes-

Touch me with words where your hands can’t reach.

-M. Razon

The Last Name Drama

We were just sitting at the tea table, sipping some tea when the conversation began between me and my mother. Of course I don’t remember how it started, but it ended quite abruptly and not in good terms. And I will admit from the beginning that I might not have been the sweetest and the most patient person then.

Watching TV and discussing about God knows what, we started discussing about the name change of a woman post marriage. All I had said till then was that a woman has the right to decide if she wants to take her husband’s name or not. And just then, she blasted. “What do you mean that it is on her to decide? Are you implying that you want to keep your name after marriage? Do you not understand how your in-laws are going to react when they find out about that? They will only think that you never accepted them if you don’t change your name. And what about your husband, how is he going to feel?”

And that is when I broke the spell, and asked her to hold her horses.

“Mom, please calm down, I am not getting married now. And I just said that it is on a woman to decide, I did not say what I am going to do. And after this you have made me realise that it is almost a rule according to you. Not changing name isn’t exactly acceptable.”

“No, no, you don’t want to change your name, don’t change, you handle your new family then, I will not interfere.” And started the emotional drama.

“Yes, I will see what I will have to do then.” And we continued watching TV in silence, and after a while I left the room.

*

I might have over-reacted but she might have too. I was just passing a general comment. I am really not getting married now, and honestly, I haven’t even thought about such things. Just the fact about getting married scares me now, let alone the thought of changing names.

And yes,, I still stand by what I said, it is on her to decide what she wants to do. Anything forcibly is not accepted.

And honestly, just how much trouble we have to go through to change names everywhere, on each and every identity cards, not to forget the social media where we have the trend of having two last names.

3 Recent Encounters

By now, you all know that I am bad with technology, and yet the irony is I opt for shopping online in almost all the cases. I know there is always a risk attached to buying things which I haven’t seen, and yet I voluntarily want to buy things online or in a supermarket, and evade any store shopping.

The reason is very simple, not only do I get to see innumerable products but also I get to avoid people.

Why do I want to avoid people at the small stores? The reason is simple again. I will relate to you my recent encounters.

1#
I ordered food from a nearest restaurant. We usually order from there, and there has been never a problem. But this time the delivery man seemed new in the area. (he seemed to me a person new to a job itself). Our building is being renovated and hence the apartment name was erased, so he couldn’t find the building. He instantly called the landline number, on which my mom was talking to someone. He might have asked the guard, and came upstairs, but he was already in a mood.

I had kept the door open seeing the restaurant bike downstairs, so that he didn’t have any more trouble finding the house. (And I was hungry too.) but as soon as he came in view he shouted, “Is it your parcel?” When I said yes, he literally started fighting with me. “Can’t you put up a name on your building? Even your house has no number. (That is why I kept the door open!) and then you have to keep your phone busy too. Why can’t you talk some time else. I had so difficulty finding your house. I had to talk to your guard to find out if this is the place.”

That is when I lost it, and the angry me retorted, “That is your problem!!” I took my package, paid him, and banged the door before he could finish his sarcastic ‘thank you’.

Honestly, our building is located at the centre, it is easily located, and even a blind man will find his way to it. And if asking a guard downstairs was so much of a trouble, you could have taken up some other job.

Correct me if I am wrong, don’t you think customer service is a part of any business. Okay, I agree there was a bit of a problem for him, and our phone was busy too. But what about keeping some amount of patience? How can you just shout at a customer which was equally polite to you at the beginning?

2#

I went to the market to find a matching blouse for my skirt, and there is only one shop nearby where I could get the ready-made ethnic blouse that I wanted. And as I went there and told him what I was looking for, he sat there staring at me, sipping his tea.

“What do you want?”

I repeated what I wanted.

And then without even looking at his stock, without so much as a glance behind him, he refused and ordered another cup of tea.

It could be that he really didn’t have the blouse, or the colour, or the material, but just the way he said it, was not at all professional.

3#

I needed to buy some groceries, nothing too much so I went to the shop just down the road from where I stay, instead of the superstore.

There was no customer inside, except for me. And the two staff were just sitting and chit chatting in there Monday gala time, the owner doing his prayer to the God’s to the bless him with… more customers, more money, and I don’t know what else could be in his wish-list.

I started telling them the things that I needed and one of them lazily dragged himself inside while the other one was constantly editing his picture on snapchat. It took him more than 15 minutes to grab a packet of oats, a bottle of jam, some bread, and a small packet of milk. After the long 15 minutes the owner did the billing, and swiped my card with the same lazy and mundane humour. Even tearing the slip off the machine took him more than 15 seconds.

I was just glad to grab the things and leave when the other customer came in asking for a bottle of Vaseline.

The supermarket would have been a better option, I thought.

*

I know that even small stores need to earn their share, they are also handy, but if this is the case, then I am happy browsing for some time, exploring more products and wait a little time for the delivery.

I am not sure why I am posting this here, but where I work if we had done any of the above things, or been even a little rude to our customers, I would have been simply thrown out. I am not saying that customers are always right, but there is a certain professional decorum that has to be followed.

"I think Therefore I am" -Cogito Ergo Sum

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