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Posts Tagged ‘air deccan’

Star-Rocked

The night before Sunday, I hit the Star Rock pub with some strange fellows. And we drank like fishes out of water. The music was loud. Loud, I tell you. The other morons in the pub were dancing to guitar riffs and headbanging to thrash metal. It was as though they existed in a parallel universe. The four of us, surrounded by vodka, beer, French fries and lamb dishes, had to message each other in order to carry out a reasonably coherent conversation. The music was fuckin’ loud, man.

Early Morning Blues

I had to catch the early morning flight to Coimbatore. At the ungodly hour of 2 am, my body finally accepted the fact that I was drunk. My mind had some catching up to do. The cellphone display clock struck 2.30 am and my head started to feel unnecessarily heavy. Oh yes, I was going to have a hangover in just over an hour.

The Inconsequential 30 Minutes

The trip to the airport was forgettable. I felt groggy and the air-conditioning was just too cold. I was on the verge of frowning.

I Hope You Crash

I really wish that Air Deccan ran itself out of business. It’s a terrible flying experience. It is terribly cheap but still, fearing for life and limb in mid-air is ridiculously scary. The Wright brothers would eat crap and die if they had lived long to see this atrocity. Adding to this miserable feeling, most of the other passengers were first-time flyers. Most of these in-bred dickheads were either ogling at the hapless airhostess or gaping at the passing clouds. The hangover just made things worse.

You Better Google Stockholm Syndrome

The flight landed…er, unceremoniously skidded on the landing strip at 7.15 am. For some odd reason, I frantically reached for my cellphone and eagerly switched it on. I just wanted to sit down and sleep for some time. I think it’s the Stockholm syndrome.

Almost Perfect

It felt nice to walk along the Avinashi road in Coimbatore. The weather was nice and the coffee served at one of local stores was just as refreshing. The hangover persisted but then the coffee started to work its magic.

She

She didn’t look the same for a while. For a good half-an-hour, she looked like her own doppelganger. Maybe one year is a long time. Maybe my brain cells have been fried. Either way, it was unnerving. But like I said, only for a while. Soon familiarity kicked in. And so did the nice old feeling.

Culinary Fright

I have eaten a lot of dosas in my lifetime. Butter dosas. Masala dosas. Cheese ones. Heck, even chocolate dosas. But the one I had to consume at Hot Kitchen on Avinashi road was like none other. Despite her warning that the food sucked at this restaurant, I never expected to eat tamarind-tainted breakfast. More unfortunate was the fact that I had ordered for ordinary dosa.

One Hour And Still No Coffee

Our one-hour tryst with the coffee shop at Nilgiris was cute, to say the least. We sat there and chatted away to glory, completely oblivious to the fact that we were defiling social decency by not ordering anything. Oh what the hell, it felt good to be indecent.

A Refreshing Sigh

It was 11.30 am and the weather was still beautiful. She said it was rather hot. I said, oh my fuckin’ god, I am from Chennai. The Race Course Road was not what I had expected. It was better. The greenery looked picture perfect and the tar gleamed on the road. And no matter what she says, I thought the intricate designs on the pavement were stunning!

Killing Killjoy

Normally, I don’t like coffee shops. The ones in Chennai have harbored my loathing. However the Barista coffee shop on Race Course Road had an ambience, which was soothing to the senses. The cafe-something-with-whipped-cream-choco-chips-something fell short of my expectations. But the lovely wind chimes and dreamcatchers hanging on the ceiling were to die for.

My Friend In Misery

Time flies when misery is amongst pleasant company. All said and done, I had a lovely Sunday. I don’t think she would disagree. If she did, I have bamboo canes waiting to be brandished.

Seriously I Hope You Crash And Burn

The return flight was worse than any other. The plane had a bit of turbulence when it went through a storm cloud. The airhostess was a guy, who smiled too often. Scarily enough, a few of the passengers were ogling at him too. I don’t think gender matters to these nincompoops.

An Uncomfortable Sigh

After landing in Chennai, I felt at home and terribly uncomfortable. I really don’t like where I live and whenever I do leave, it’s just too brief. The Sunday ended on a bit of a sour note. On a melancholic feeling that I belong to a place, which does not deserve to accept me. What can I say? Without company, misery feels left out.

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La-la land, part 1

Run Like Hell

The flight to Singapore was scheduled to take-off at 1.25 pm. At ten minutes past 1, I was stuck in traffic near Guindy. It was hopeless. This was supposed to be my first trip away from India and I wasn’t even going to be on it. Or so I thought without even bothering to consider the abysmal standards of Indian Airlines. Of course there was a delay. Thirty-minutes too. Sometimes it pays to be a part of something that sucks.

On-Board, Very Bored

I am a frequent flyer and accordingly, each flight has been worse than the previous one. My school trip to Calcutta in 1992 was the least frightful despite the airhostesses of Indian Airlines bearing uncanny resemblance to Goddess Kali. And after that, I have traveled in Jet Aiways, Kingfisher, Paramount Air Deccan, all of which did nothing but increase the complexities of my phobias. Perhaps I am being a bit hard on Jet.

Forward to July 2006…and here I was on-board the Indian Airlines. A jackhammer sound followed by a feverish vibration signaled the take-off. I closed my eyes and wished that I were in pretty place. Surrounded by waterfalls, meadows and all that feel-good shit. And we were up and away.

In what could have only been a direct result of utter boredom, I eagerly waited for the complimentary bar service and then proceeded to take many abdominal risks by consuming four glasses of whiskey, the first three with soda and last one with nothing but a mischievous glee. I woke up only a few minutes before we landed. I was supposed to be excited. Instead I had a headache and an intense craving for aspirin. Helen Keller once said, “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” Ah what the hell did she know? She was blind, deaf and mute. Probably not very perceptive either.

Not-So-Fast

My first sight of Singapore was glorious. The sheer enormity of Changi Airport (and its deliriously satisfying Liquor Mart), the moonlit buildings outside and the air-conditioned taxis were a feast for the eyes. Yes, it is true. The roads over there are incredibly clean. Even the goddam tar gleams as if it has been polished for eons. A sad sight it was to see these speed demons go to sleep on the highway.

The traffic flow is as smooth as Barry White’s music. But none of the vehicles fancied taking advantage of such. Everyone seemed to be in bumper-car mode without actually bumping each other. They drove in fine lines and religiously adhered to speed limits. My initial reaction was “Man, those maniacal drivers in Chennai would never be so law-abiding”. Somewhere between the first pop of aspirin and my first sight of the Singapore National Stadium, a voice went off in my head, “Neither would I”.

Ang Mo Kio or Bust

It took almost two days for me to pronounce it without sounding like I had swallowed a diminutive China doll. Ang Mo Kio was where I was at and where I was going to be for the next two weeks. It was an apartment complex, which was stretched to a suburban part of Singapore. It was freakin’ huge, man. I was in block 320. Not a day passed by without wondering if there were actually three hundred and twenty other blocks. I never bothered to ask cause I had more pressing concerns.

Each apartment had a couple of restaurants, at least one ice-cream shop, various clothes stores and a line of ATM machines. The restaurant in my block served the worst rice I had ever eaten. Their two specialties were Duck Tail Porridge and Fish Head Soup. As I later discovered, both the dishes stayed true to their names and mostly contained inedible body parts of mutilated creatures.

7/11 All Day, All Week

7-11 is an international conglomerate, which operates the largest chain of convenience stores in twenty countries. In 1946, it took roots in Texas only to be greeted with lukewarm response from those dam rednecks. After a few years, it slowly grew to be recognizable and by the year 1991, a Japanese-based company Ito-Yokado purchased the majority interest from its original owner Southland Corporation. Staying loyal to the creepy high productivity standards of their fellow chinks from the land of rising sun, the company men increased the availability of branded commodities and made sure that the 7/11 chain of stores were open for twenty-four hours per day and seven days per week.

For me, most of this was trivial. I didn’t care if they were redefining and enhancing consumer convenience. All I cared was that they had freshly-baked bread, cigarettes (mint-flavoured ones but still…), readymade cheese & chilli sandwiches and chilled cans of coffee. The availability of beer would have been a further blessing if not for the horrendously low amount of alcohol in them. They had vodka too. But it was blue in colour with a picture of a kid on the side of the bottle.

Things were starting to look a bit creepy.

Lights Out

I like cigarettes. I really do. And dam those Singaporean bastards for only selling Lights and Menthol. Everywhere single one I struggled to smoke tasted as thought it was stuffed with peppermint and flavourless chips of wood. Even the packets contained help line numbers and grotesque images of body parts infected with cancerous cells.

By now it was apparent that this country had declared many wars on misfits, a category, which unfortunately included smokers who prefer their cigarettes to have nicotine-levels high enough to cause some sort of lung damage.

The Apartment

The apartment was spacious enough to accommodate a herd of rhinos. The room, in which I was in and could not get out of, was barely large enough to offer extra leg space for a family of lemurs. The bed was small. A table fan was breathing heavily in the other corner of the room, trying its best to blow air into an otherwise unworthy cause. It was almost three days before I discovered that there was a spongy slide mattress under the bed.

It was comfortable. Many hours were spent as I leaned my head against the pillow and read quietly into the night. Sleep, of course, was an entirely different matter.

Turn The Page

I would have sold one of my kidneys for a good night’s rest. For 2 weeks, I tossed and turned. The trick, I thought, was in closing my eyes. Alas, even art forsake me in this dutiful battle to get some fucking sleep. Books saved me during waking hours. Them and Johnny Cash.

Mostly I read through the night. So without further ado, I proudly bring to you, the saviours of Singapore Nights…Gregory David’s Shantaram, Douglas AdamsSalmon Of A Doubt, P J Rourke’s All The Trouble In The World, Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Tom Holt’s Snow White And The Seven Samurai and Ken Kesey’s Electric Kool-Aid Test.

And when I could not bring myself to read another page, I softly hummed Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire to myself. I did it almost everyday. In a week’s time, I began singing it loudly enough to arouse the curiosity of a toddler who often sauntered in the floor’s veranda.

This kid had green eyes and his mom (either divorced or back after serving jail time for swinging a pickaxe at her hubby’s face) was really beautiful. She mostly wore bright-blue jeans and her face expressed fewer emotions than mine.

And if my imagination had been on vacation, I would have probably made eye contact with one of them.

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