WPC: Focus

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You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus – Anonymous

Drama filled journey

Yesterday I was traveling from Bangalore to Coimbatore to visit my sister’s by flight. It is usually an hour and a half journey from my home. So booked the cab accordingly. When the cab arrived at 10.30 am (for my 1.30 pm flight) I didn’t expect the excitement that was gonna follow.
Just close to my home the traffic jam started. Since I had a 2000 Rs note (finally got one when I had been to a bank), the cab driver requested me to give him the cash instead of using the credit card and he called up his friend at the airport to have some change ready because the travel was expected to cost around 1200/- Rs and he didn’t have the money to pay back the rest. That is when his friend informed him that there was some heavy security in the airport and that the traffic was too high on the roads. Now my estimated time shot from 11.45 to 12 pm. I asked the driver to ensure to drive through less congested routes and got my kindle out. We were hitting traffic every now and then and I tried not to check my time lest I get worried and anxious. But almost close to 1/4th of the distance I heard a ‘bang!’ sound followed by yelling and some cursing by my driver.

Looks like my driver tried to overtake a suddenly stopped car only to have that car not see us and come forward there by hitting our car on the right back side creating a dent. Now the other car driver(another cab) was chasing us and was trying to get us to park the car and sort this out. Both the drivers started shouting that each of them had heavy damage but the other driver was hearing none of it. He threatened my cab driver even though he (my cab driver) tried to convince him that the mistake was on both sides and that his car had the maximum damage and also he was getting late to get to the airport. When the other car driver didn’t relent, my car driver decided to give him a miss and went through some lanes trying to stop him from tailing us and merged to the main road. I was all the while wondering what happened to my day suddenly. Hitting, Chasing, Escaping and Hoodwinking… 🙄
It was already 11.45 pm and I wasn’t even half way through. Now I started to worry, because there is no way I could get in (along with an additional baggage to drop off) and get to the gate before boarding time. I also started to check for the next flight just to be sure that my trip to the airport will not be wasted. By about 12.10 or so, after very long waits every where and the frustration of the driver at having his car dented (which was pretty new by the way) we reached the highways by 12.20 pm. From there the route was quite empty when compared to the roads inside the city. Finally, after that tension-filled will-I-make-or-not moments, I landed at the airport at 12.40 pm and the boarding was about to start at 12.45 pm.
Ran to the counter which was about to close and that girl looked at me up and down, totally disappointed. I told her that I had been through some rough journey and I really can’t help that I am late. Got the boarding pass (which wasn’t necessary because I had it on my phone, but these airline people will give you one on paper anyway) and my luggage receipts and ran through the airport all the time wondering ‘how I will ever talk / comment about people who run through airport at the last minute from here on, when I am doing just the same’ (wonder why I was worried about that…but I was) Thankfully not much queue in Security line. After that when I reached the boarding gate at 1 pm is when I breathed a sigh of relief. And they hadn’t even started to get ready for boarding. The boarding started only by 1.25 pm for 1.30 pm flight and it was 10 min late anyways.
And the whole flight journey to Coimbatore was only 30 mins in air. Reached Coimbatore by 2.20 pm. For a flight journey of 40 mins in total, I had to endure the traffic filled travel of 2 hours, which was OK, but it could have been with less drama, tensions, and suspense. But the highlight of the day: My nephew was very happy with his Thomas and Friends train set which I got for his birthday and we ended up building the big set and play with it in the evening. All the drama was totally worth it.

Getting back to the groove…slowly

It has been a while since I posted (close to two weeks now to be precise) except for those two odd photo posts this week 🙂 Life has been as chaotic and peaceful as it can be. Peaceful at home, Chaotic outside. Perfect balance 😉 Since I am getting back to the blogging groove slowly (work starts only next week! yay!!!) here are some interesting news and events that happened.

The city I live in, Bangalore, had some interesting turn of events of late, mostly related to water sharing and violence, spoiling a lot of my plans for the two week, but eventually we figured our way around those events, as we all usually do, even though they weren’t very ideal. But at least we and all the people we know were safe. That counts a lot. Also got to show my non-Indian close friend how curfew over here looks like at least in this part of the town where we live. 🙂  He takes away with him some very interesting experiences. I hate that this happens every year and people aren’t ready to sit and find an ideal solution. Everyone want their piece of 15 min of fame and a lot of political gain through these situations when common men and women suffer (farmer or not).

Did a small trek in Munnar (was on a day trip there) which was interesting. Will share some photographs later. Witnessed a nasty monkey fight for the first time.  Now, I am very much convinced that we evolved from them. (See above paragraph for more references 🙂 )

Imagine my surprise with all that star signs and Zodiac changing news that came up in between all these. My friend (who knows astrology, mostly Indian, but he does know the difference between western and indian too) always insisted that I am more of an Aries than a Taurean because according to my birth chart (Indian astrological) my Sun is in Aries (or otherwise called as Mesha) and my moon in Virgo (or otherwise called as Kanni) and I would always disagree with him because I feel more like a Taurus than a Aries. And guess what, the new news tells me that my Sun sign is Aries. Now I would have to agree with him. Good Lord! I ain’t changing my tattoo. I feel like a Taurus than an Aries. And I stick by it. And I don’t like the name Ophiuchus. Can’t they have used a nicer one ?

Losing a baggage because of delayed flight, missed interconnected flights etc is not a good experience. Even though I haven’t been there, I got the first class view of the issues around it when my friend traveled to India a couple of weekends before through Etihad. Flight started late due to some or other issues from the source, arrived 2 hours later than scheduled in Abu Dhabi. Missed the connecting flight to Bangalore. Those in economy class were given tickets via Oman Air. So they traveled from Abu Dhabi to Muscat and from Muscat to Bangalore. But their baggage didn’t and they came to know about it only when they landed in Bangalore. Imagine their surprise. It was  very bad customer service. But hey, at least my friend only had one baggage (even though it had some important documents and gifts and we were scheduled for travel in a day or two). One of the other 65 year old passenger not only did not receive her baggage, she did not have a clue about her 75 year old wheel chair bound husband too. Since he was travelling in Business class, he was put in the next flight from Abu Dhabi to Bangalore. And the authorities weren’t sure which one (the one that arrives that night or the one that arrives the next day morning). That was much worse. We hope that her husband was back home the same evening. The baggage did come a day later for us (and hopefully for everyone else)

Sully was a very good movie to watch. We enjoyed it. As soon as I heard those folks in the movie talk about computer simulations and how they conveyed the news that the flight could have landed successfully, the first thought was…it’s just a machine, you idiot. It can’t think like a human being, at least not yet. Well… someone else also thought the same 🙂

Finished with ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – third season’ on Netflix, finally. Also finished ‘Top of the Lake’ series, which was different and interesting. I liked it. Thanks to my friend, I started on a new series of thriller , mystery, detective books by Michael Dibdin called the Aurelio Zen Mystery series. Finished the 2nd book (Vendetta) because my friend was still on the first book (Ratking). Now I have to find out the other ones and start reading them. They were quite interesting. Sadly the TV Series were made only for the first three of them. Have to watch them once I am done with the books.

Well, that’s it from me for now. I hope there is a little less violence in the world. We have enough of the natural disasters to keep us on our toes already. Be safe! Cheers.

Look. A Plane!

“I heard an airplane passing overhead. I wished I was on it.”
― Charles Bukowski

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Stretch, stretch, pretty wings,
It’s a special day;
Soon they will be strong enough
For me to fly away.

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Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.

— George Bernard Shaw

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Lovers of air travel find it exhilarating to hang poised between the illusion of immortality and the fact of death.  ~Alexander Chase, “Perspectives,” 1966

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PS: All photographs taken in Kew Gardens during my last visit to London. I love looking up at these airplanes/helicopters flying.

Do not travel for a day

When I saw the post ‘Data Visualization is a beautiful thing‘ I was reminded of a discussion that happened between my friend and I in London airport before my departure from there. This post is about the air traffic and how the data is visually represented and how they give you a better overview of the travels that happen. I did mention in a post that my friend’s flat or at least the window is in such a direction that I can see the planes flying around every 10 mins. So while I was at the airport on my way back to India, seeing the huge crowd over there, we were discussing how every single day of every single month of every single year, the flights and the trains are always full or at least nearly full of people who are travelling. I have never ever seen an airport or a train station half empty. It is always full. There is so much of flux happening in those areas. What if for a day every single one of us in this world decide to stay put in the place where we are and not travel anywhere. What would happen? Apart from a very huge loss  to the aviation and railways and probably the sales people at the stations. On an average how many days does one spend travelling? I like travelling, flying in a plane, going from one place to another in a train, but I don’t think I would want to spend my money on flights for twice a month or something like that. I would like to do that only once in 4-6 months. The rest I would love to do it through road, like using a Car or a bus, preferably a car. What do you think will happen if all of us decide to not travel anywhere for a day?