It was totally crazy. The shortest interview ever after the longest waiting time for an interview ever. Literally flying in to the city to pay for the interview on time only to find that the flight was late. The kind bank manager who not only accepted the fee late, but also somehow got it processed very quickly. Getting my finances ready in 2 days time. Booking a ticket in the mean time, taking a huge gamble. Getting all the shopping and packing done in 1 day.
And BAM!!! There we were at the airport, 6 kilo above the weight allowed. i was in quiet a fix when my family came through with a friend of ours – the head of International Cargo Operations at the airport. So, i got the 6kg excess for free and then a business class upgrade for the first half of my trip. Now that was sheer dumb luck!!!
A luxurious first leg from chennai to dubai in business class and a not so comfortable leg from Dubai to New York (I got to see the A380 parked right next to my aircraft in Dubai though). There i was sitting in JFK waiting for Ashwin and Danny to come pick me up. 2 hours and they were still in the subway apparently and i was in a fix cause i had to be in the univ in an hour to attend a mandatory session. So i took the taxi 🙂 Forgot i didn’t have a key, then lugged my luggage along to the univ. Registered myself for classes and got the guys to come back around 6 in the evening to take me back home.
That is the story of my first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Loved it though. Absolutely great!!!
So i had to go to chennai as soon as possible today to pay my visa fees. Right after i came down from kodaikkanal early this morning, i did a quick search for the earliest flight to chennai and there it was, the airline with whom my flying began about 10 years ago. Little did i know that this was the last time i would be flying with them, to say the least.
After a lot of speculation and a lot of time waiting for Gana to receive his passport, we were all set to apply for our visa.
A WEEK BEFORE WE HAD TO FLY 🙂
In the mean time, we were busy taking care of other details. Speculating about the time we would spend there and the cash we would be carrying and the general rants and raves. It turned out we couldnt get the malaysian visa here. TOO BAD. Cause of Gana’s Passport coming in late and me misplacing the visa photos and the general traffic situation in chennai.
Well, there we were in college. Completely oblivious to the fact that we were going to be flying to Singapore later that night. It was like any other day in college, nothing special. Except a couple of leers from Kulla Karthi and a lot smiles and half a dozen teachers not being allowed to teach at our expense. Nothing out of the ordinary.
On we went to the airport that night and through the baggage check, we were 5 kilos over the limit. Off came the coat and on it went on me. Gana reshuffled some of his luggage and voila, we were just 3 kilos over. The good guy behind the counter decided to overlook the extra. Turned out only half the flight was full. After the busy immigration and the security checks and double checking if TIGER AIR really did exist, well our fears were out to rest on seeing the Airbus A3xx standing proudly on the tarmac. Ah, BLISS!!! 🙂
One fine day, ganesh calls me and says, “Machan, paper selected da , Athuvum moonu conference la !!!” and immediately we do the oohing and aahhing gig (Well, not exactly). We were in cloud number nine faced with a dilemna , WHERE SHOULD WE GO?
c) (I forgot)
d) Dont go.
we thought and thought and thought and then thought some more, finally, Singapore it was (Moscow turned out to be toooo expensive). So the options became :
c) (I forgot)
d) Dont go.
That was november 2008, we went to college the next day and found out every single detail about how to get the sponsorship at college. Must have spoken to atleast 20 – 25 teachers about it, not to mention the seniors we called up :). Turned out ours was the only international paper accepted to be presented in this year, Oh La La!!!
After a month of toiling around , running back and forth between the HOD, the review panel and the principal, we finally got them to accept sponsorship for one person.
So there we were, January 2009 – with 50,000 INR from college as funding.
Two weeks ago we realized we had a problem, a small one actually… Ganesh did not have a passport.
Yeah, you read it right, GANESH DID NOT HAVE A PASSPORT!!!