Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Roof is falling

Imagine your phone rings on a regular weekday, around 6 in the evening. You look at the screen and thanks to something called CLIP (Caller Line Identity Presentation) I knew its my neighbour. Now, I’d called my neighbour, Aunty T earlier in the day to ask her to pass on a message to my help at home, and well assumed this call would be some clarification on our dinner (that was my message).

I put on my most cheerful voice, answer the phone and the conversation goes something like this:

Me: Hi Aunty T (from hereon referred to as AT)
AT: Snehaaaa ( her was quivering..I assumed it was age..she must be atleast 90) … there’s been a huge your house
(Me Thinking: Oh no! Maybe Tripps (my help) had made peeli dal instead of kaali)
Me Speaking now: Yes Aunty, what happened? Has Tripps not turned up? Or is she asking for something..
AT: No Snehaaaa…your roof has collapsed!!

The rest of the conversation is all a haze, mainly because it happened about 1.25 years ago and I have now forgotten.

Going back to the roof. My immediate thoughts were not of horror or dismay or consternation (and just incase you’re wondering, no I did not use the thesaurus). My brain just pictured the damn thing. A gaping hole in our roof (given that we live on the top most floor). Allowing the starts & moonlight (and god knows what else) to flood our living room, where the roof had collapsed.

I zoomed the fastest our car could zoom (the Alto starts trembling once you hit the 60 kmph mark).

Well what troubled me more was that T & I were to leave for Chennai (where my parents live) the next day. Whatta pain! The thought that this trip might get cancelled troubled me all the way to Bandra.

And thanks to Cool & his cooler N76, I am saved the task of describing the condition of the roof & living room.

Our house that evening became a mini tourist attraction in Bandra(W) with more than half the building visiting to see the fiasco. Most of them appeared more shocked than T and me, some egging us on to sue the Society/Land lord etc. etc.

Anyway,..our trip happened, the roof got repaired (thanks to the landlords daughter partly moving to our house in our absence) and finally cracks have started reappearing.

They say "Alls well that ends well" – well, we are waiting & watching.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Flights of Fantasy

For all those from the ICSE Board, no am not referring to the poetry book which formed part of our English curriculum. This is an effort to recap all the bizarre incidents that I can recall at airports/ on aircrafts.

- Your name being called out in an aircraft full of passengers, with the steward announcing – “Will the woman carrying this bottle of alchohol please identify herself”

- The Captain announcing “We are having some problem landing, there is a dog on the runway – our ground staff is working at its level best at chasing it”

- Flight not taking off due to a “tachnical wather problem” (refer earlier blog)

- The seat indicated on my boarding card being allotted to 3 other people. I completed the journey sitting on one of those collapsible seats on which the airhostesses sit. (They have a name, which I am unable to recollect)

- On landing in Heathrow, in the city of my dreams, the first sentence I hear on entering the airport.” In saare gore logo ko danda maar kar line mein khade karvana hai (I apologise for my Hindi here)

An old granny flying for the first time insisted on opening the window saying “khidki kholni hai” (and I am not making this up)

Ok I can't think of anymore, and I guess have overblogged. So adios for now.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

First Impressions

This write-up saw its beginning on a train to Rome..the first time I saw an Italian fight – and by that I don’t mean a single Italian – but an bunch of them fighting – amusing it certainly was. There were the both of us watching them bemusedly!

Italy, France – I’ve always thought of traveling to – somehow never thought it would materalise – even after sitting on the KLM flight – even after landing in Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. The whole experience has such a surreal feel to it. One always visualizes something and now all of it was right in front – some different – some quite the same.

We have decided to take a long yearly holiday (to clarify long is defined as around two weeks). Europe we picked to start with. Too broad, so the search was narrowed down to Italy, France, Holland, Germany & Austria. Too many countries to fit in our ‘long vacation’, so we knock off the last two places and juggled around the first three!

We landed in Amsterdam at around 10 AM on 1 June 2007. The series of events prior to all this were not a very encouraging start to a vacation. Our flight was to take off at 12:50 AM – which meant we’d have to leave home around 9:30 PM. I was home at 8, at 8:30 there was no sign of Tarun. Finally, at 9 he walks in drenched! Guess what ! as fate would have it we were to witness the first monsoon of 2007! Mumbai’s way of bidding adieu – a very messy one at that!

Well with the rains, taxis and autorickshaws alike are choosy about where they’re headed. The International Airport was clearly off limits – except for one lone chappie – God bless him – although he added a disclaimer to the journey – “Meri gaadi mein wiper nahin hai – bahut dheere chalaoonga” Well, did we have a choice?!
Looked like Mumbai’s farewell party was to last the entire journey to the airport.

Wet bags, wet jeans, not the best way to land up at an immigration counter. Anyways we got over the usual formalities etc etc – we’d web checked in therefore swooped to the luggage counter. Point to note here, we are thoroughly pampered lot – all our automated counters are manned!

Anyways at this point the passports & visas came out. Our visa commenced on 1 June 2007 – and here we were standing at the counter at 11 PM on 31 May..immigration here we come was very far away. To say the least, CS Airport has nothing of amusement value, and the little there is, is on part with European rates. I guess they’re doing the least they can to prepare us for the days to come.

We the Cinderellas finally arrived at the immigration counter and crossed over! Yay yay! Our holiday had started! Announcement “ The KLM flight to Amsterdam has been delayed – please remain seated until further notice! What!! All we had to keep ourselves busy were a bunch of lousy duty free shops and a highly overpriced handicrafts shop – which even foreigners were looking at in the most peculiar manner.

Speaking of peculiar, listen to this bit! Our ground steward was a cheerful sardar who insisted on making 2 sentences of conversations with all around. With our turn coming up, we asked him the obvious, about the flight delay. With a fairly dumbfounded blank look he starts with..”Sir, there is a tachnical (to be read technical) problehh…the knitting of eyebrows & the stern expressions he was countered with made him immediately change his statement to “ there is a tachnical wather problem sir – and we are working on rectifying it” !!!!!! Luckily, KLM had thrown open the entire food court, much akin to a food court helping us divert our attention to more important things – free food!

Well apparently, about our flight, it’d been diverted to Ahmedabad as it ran out of fuel - so it spent three hours there refueling, then another 2 hours hovering over amchi Mumbai and then finally landed. Aaaaah..4 AM finally saw the announcement..which I can’t quite remember but it said something about the flight taking off..Finally..

T is very good with the words..hence asked him for his thoughts on our trip to Europe, here goes.

It was like an oasis in the desert ~

It was like an egg before boiling ~
I take your leave here, requesting you to ponder on the second statement..