Thank you Captain Panicker, and Jet Airways for transporting my body safely back to Chennai (The soul, in case you are wondering, never left Chennai in the first place). Work had beckoned (actually, more like “ordered”) me to Mumbai for the last two days.
It started with a call-taxi ride to the airport. While some hazy early morning cyclists and dogs (it’s the mating season apparently) bravely offered to end their lives, my taxi driver graciously declined by swerving away just in time. The Kamaraj domestic airport then welcomed me in with the fresh air of it’s air conditioner (against whom the Oxford dictionary has filed a suit for blatant and misleading misuse of the word “conditioner” and partial misuse of the word “air”).
Boarding pass, and the mandatory Titanic-pose-without-Kate-Winslet later, I was soon ushered into an identified (9W482) flying object and welcomed by some smart young people who must have undergone surgical procedures to permanetly flex the muscles at the ends of their mouths to create permanent deadpan smiles. They then offered me some food. Normally, cookery books tend to contain recipes with instructions such as “salt to taste, or grill till brown”. I think aircraft meals will contain the instructions “Microwave to Oblivion”.
Having partaken of these victuals (thank you, Mr Wodehouse), I proceeded to attempt to push my seat back. Upon it’s complete failure to budge an inch, I called the Inflight Executive (Note: Not Air Hostess, Stewardess, Aisle Babe, Flying Waitress, Plane Wench, Cabin Lass or Economy Class Chick. Those, I am told, are inappropriate.) and asked her why my seat had a reverse gear problem. She told me with a straight face that they were “Non-reclining” seats. I wanted to ask her if how she would feel if her company told her that she had a “Non-paying job”. But I didn’t. I think that’s why my wife agreed to marry me. I try my best to build small dams against powerful torrents of irrational rage at trivial things. I don’t always succeed, but we are digressing. Let’s get back to 9W482, which landed at C Shivaji (Mr Thackeray. I love him. I swear. Don’t beat me) airport, and we walked out and got into an auto rickshaw.
The auto we got into had the largest, bad-ass, mega speakers one could fit into the thing. Our auto driver could have played Shakalakalakalakalakalakalaka Boom Boom by Himesh Reshamiyya and blown our eardrums away. But he mercifully did not. So we were now in the majestic, sprawling, grey concrete jungle of Mumbai with it’s wild underworld animals, showy Bollywood animals and docile, herbivorous middle class animals leading highly patterned and regulated lives governed by variables of nature such as local train timings and monsoon rain.
The local newspaper, I fail to recall which one, informed me that while a few people were dying due to heavy rains, Akshay Kumar rode a horse into a prominent industrialist’s son’s wedding party. Shame on you, The Hindu. You never tell me if T Rajendar rode an auto into a Chennai based industrialist’s son’s wedding. Asal Tamizh Penn, you must do something about this when you become chief editor.
So after 2 days of work in my office at Malad (which in TamBram tamil refers to a sweet object that is designed to crumble into choke inducing powder in one’s mouth), I took the flight back to chennai. I even managed a blog post using Airtel’s free wifi at the Mumbai airport while waiting for Jet to tell me the truth about the departure time. They always seem to change the departure time 10 minutes before the previously announced departure time. Ad Infinitum.
But hey, it’s nice to be back in a city where bedrooms are not the size of closets. Make that one shelf of a closet. Home Spicy Home (I am not much into sugary things).