Travel: Hope Floats…

Just back from the most perfect holiday… well as the title says it was almost perfect… I am still unsure what was missing but I am sure that as I recount my experiences I will find it…

You know that scene when Rajnikanth finds out that he has two villains to kill but is left with only one bullet… yeah, I know life’s a bitch… so… what are you gonna do?

Something like that happened with me too… I had been planning for a vacation for a long, long, long time and nothing interesting was forthcoming… Some or the other thing always got messed up… sometimes my friends weren’t free, sometimes I wasn’t available, and sometimes the wallets did not permit… I mean going on an intergalactic ride needs a space shuttle and building a spacecraft does not exactly cost peanuts which my company pays… so… I was doomed…

But then one of the training that I went thru’ came to my rescue… the training was pretty unique too… It was about ‘around the world, without a penny’… and that is what I did… I spent rupees… lots of them… the amount would have been enough to pay for a dinner of four at Tandoor (an upscale restaurant) at Bangalore….

So I went home got out all the wedding invitations I had received and did that ‘inky-pinky-ponky’ routine and hooray! I won a chance to visit Mumbai and attend a friend’s wedding (Not my first choice but I was sure that I did not want to spend a fortune on attending a wedding in US)… it was a blessing in disguise… I could visit the glam cap of India… (glam cap means glamour capital which means spaghetti tops and micro minis, stilleto heels and lacy underthings… I am getting ahead of myself here…) So… I was excited…(I am talking about my mood here…)

Mumbai is such an exciting place… I mean who does not hope that they are suddenly going to be ‘discovered’ by Subhash Ghai or RGV? Or chance a meeting with oh-so-glam Sushmita Sen… sigh… I even consulted a fortune-teller about my prospects of ‘making it’… he also said that the wedding venue would be near to a big shooting studio… and it was… it was near to the R. K. Studios… Yahoooooooooo Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe

From Ahmedabad we traveled by the ‘vehicle of the masses’… Train… Second Class Sleeper… It was my first train travel in two years and as soon as I entered I felt at home… that distinct vinyl and metal smell which clings to you the moment you enter the bogey…Hugo Boss, Davidoff Coolwater does not stand a chance… The kind that you can’t fight against… you just give in and wait for it to ravage your nostrils…

Modified Hotel California

On a dark deserted platform, dust settling in my hair
Warm smell of ammonia, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw the usual sight
My head grew heavy and felt bile rise in my mouth
I had to travel all night…

[The Original is here]

Along with travel comes one more thing… the ultimate fantasy… Something which involves a lovely maiden and the knight in shining armor and a rescue mission… my shining armor consisted of jeans, sneakers, and a tee… I would have had my shining armor on but I am sure the Railway police would not have taken kindly to that… not to forget the maiden in question… I am not sure what happened but after checking out three bogeys (the one that I was traveling in and two adjacent ones…) I was losing faith in the fortune-teller…

I came to terms with the fact that she might have missed the train… then again the fortune teller had told me that I would meet Sushmita Sen the very same day so technically there were three more hours to go… (hope floats!) But then he had also told me that my boss will recognize my potential and handover the Head position to me and retire herself… this was three months ago… I am still waiting for that to happen…

Suggestion: Anybody who wants to write a novel with lots of characters… my suggestion is to travel in train… you find plenty of different species there… Like there was this guy sleeping across from my friend who asked who asked my friend not less than 12 times about wanting to exchange the berth… every time my friend would politely refuse… the 13th time my friend told him … “If you want my berth you will have to pay 500 bucks to me…” The guy slept off on his berth forming a deathly grasp around his luggage…

I felt sleepy after Mystery, Alaska and fell into deep sleep to Jagjeet Singh crooning … “Kabhi Yun Bhi to Ho…” (Again, Hope Floats!) clutching at my Sneakers and the bag… not to forget the iPod and curling in a very uncomfortable posture…

I met Mumbai at 6am in the morning. This time there is a daze and you almost feel that the city is bare-naked, minimal… obscure, isolated and bleak… and this was just the beginning (This sentence is a poor effort at copying V. S. Naipaul :-))

Oh and by the way if you have not seen that scene… In the climax of the scene Rajnikanth shoots the bullet and then throws a blade that cuts the bullet into two which kills both the villains… (There was no rhyme-or-reason for me to mention this situation at the beginning or end this post with it…)

Part II will have all the gory details…

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4 thoughts on “Travel: Hope Floats…

  1. Vivid.Keep up the description.I am eager to know ur take on my city.I think I like the idea of clutching on to Sneakers.

  2. Vivid.Keep up the description.I am eager to know ur take on my city.I think I like the idea of clutching on to Sneakers.

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