Monday, March 15, 2010

Good 'air Day.

Life teaches you to expect the unexpected. There I was prepared for the worst as I boarded CO-49 on Friday night in Mumbai. Here I am in the 541 Sayre Drive, Princeton basement writing this post at 8:30 am Sunday, 14 March, safe and sound, not much the worse for wear except thoroughly exhausted. I did not sleep a wink on the flight, watched Citizen Kane and a bunch of idiot box comedies including The Simpsons, Back to You and stuff to while away the 15 odd hours up in the skies, not forgetting this traveller’s progress on the Flight Map. The only bad break in the Good ’air Day feeling was the bit of struggle at the baggage reclaim to get one of my two heavy bags off the carousel in Terminal C, Newark Airport, Saturday morning. Help arrived in the shape of a fellow traveller and I was out of Terminal C and into Ashu’s Toyota in a matter of minutes. The CO-49 cabin crew screwed it up a tad by serving cold veggie breakfast and handing out the US Customs and Security forms too close to the landing time. Everybody is happy to see me. Ujwal and Abhi are told of my safe arrival. It's a day of freak rains. After a bath, brunch and a 2½ hour nap, I go with the 3 A’s of the Princeton Mankars to a pet shop to look at crossbred pups who are cute like all young ‘uns. Looking at them reminds me of the 1950s Patti Page hit: “How much is that doggy in the window (arf, arf!) /The one with the waggely tail? How much is that doggy in that window (arf, arf!)/ I do hope the doggy’s for sale.” Nobody but me seems to know of it or the singer. The night is a dinner get-together with Nandini’s friends. Nice and relaxing except for a pinch of excitement added by Aditi and Nupur getting stranded for a couple of hours on their way back for the DVD rental shop because of flash floods. For a country yokel like me, it’s a big surprise to witness blackout and floods in the Land of Milk and Honey. All in all though, as they say, Saturday, the 13th was a lucky day for this 22-born. P.S.: At the end of it all, I cannot help but marvel at the fact that among The Mankars at 233 Khetwadi Main Road, I was the first one to fly in the early fifties. The rest of them, though well-travelled by the then prevailing standards, had done it by rail and road.