Travel Log : 23rd January, 2012
Trying my level best to open my eyes, struggled hard for few seconds, and then, finally, succeeded to do so. Both eyes are burning, they are not very used to with such short sleep, feel like a patient of conjunctivitis. Went to bed after packing everything at 1 am and now it is only 4.30am. Waking up early is not a easy job on cold winter morning, undoubtedly one of the hardest task of the world. Right now it seems like the most hardest one. But nothing to do, the flight is scheduled at 7:25 am, need to reach airport by 6 therefore have to start from home by 5:15am.
Quickly took shower, had a cup of coffee along with little breakfast and got dressed. Luggage was packed and locked last night thus no hurry for packing. While tying up shoelaces, mobile rang. Atiq bhai calling for pickup, Jahangir and Imran already joined him. Hanged the camera bag on shoulder and looked back for a moment, is there anything left?
It is still dark outside, the first sign of light is yet to show. Therap Micro Bus running to office. We will pick Masum bhai first then Sowkot from Nikunjo 2. It took only 5 minutes to reach office. We are pretty earlier than the expected time, Masum bhai will need couple of minutes more to join us.
Started again at 5:30am for airport and picked up Sowkot on the way. Sharp at 6am, lined up for boarding pass. Counter was not busy at all, done with formalities with in 2 min, but ended up with flight delaying notice. Departure time was rescheduled to 9.25am. There is no reason to wait at airport for next three hours. Most of us did not had their breakfast but it is too early to have any suitable restaurant nearby.
Masum bhai took all of us to his home for breakfast. It is insane to present yourself to someone’s house and wake them up at 6.30am. Moreover, make them busy for preparing breakfast for you, it is really too much to ask for. Bhabi woke up and prepared breakfast for us, better to say, royal breakfast. There were bread, honey, jelly, egg, cheese, banana, peach, two types of sweets, sausage, juice, kebab and tea. It was really unimaginable to have as many items on an unnoticed feast. I am pretty sure, if bhabi could get little more time, she would definitely add parota and ruti to the list.
Eventually, boarded on flight at 9.10am, though the flight departed around 10am. Destination Mumbai, Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Flying with Jet Airways. Our flight is not fully loaded, there were no passengers for last 5-6 rows. My seat is one row before the others, not possible to chat with them. Trying to pass time by watching serial and movies. Started with Big bang theory Episode 7, could not go more. Lack of sleep last night leading to mild headache, hard to concentrate on monitor. Air hostage showed up with breakfast. They have two set of meal, vegetable and non vegetable. Asked for vegetable but she is well aware of our taste, mentioned the menu, it’s Idli. Having idli is not that easy for us, if someone is not very used to with the taste. I tried idli couple of months ago, could not grasp more than a bite. Fortunately, there were no meat in non vegetable meal; a pudding looked, perfectly warmed, healthy sized food made of egg served with small piece of bread and butter.
Landed in Mumbai at 1pm. After passing immigration, swiftly picked up our luggage and dropped for Bangalore flight. During the booking, they claimed it would be a connecting flight to Bangalore from Dhaka. But for some unknown reason we had to carry our luggage and drop again for Bangalore flight. In Mumbai, Terminal 2 is for International flight and Terminal 1 for Domestic. We could not have our lunch because of time as the flight for Bangalore scheduled at 2pm. One hour is not enough for immigration, luggage picking, shifting to terminal 1 and board on another flight.
Flight was delayed 20 mins for us. I guess we were the last passengers to complete security check and board on flight. Domestic flights are not equipped with monitor before the seat. Feeling hungry as lunch time passed hours ago but this flight will not provide lunch. Had a little nap on this little flight of an hour and half. Woke up with the announcement of landing from pilot. Looked out the window, for the first look of the city. The plane is coming down to earth, little toys shaping in to real life objects so fast, got a glimpse of the land beside the runway. It’s red, It’s red soil’s city.
A discount voucher given to all passenger in favor of local shop, Sowkot was not ready to loose the chance, rushed into the shop outside of terminal and bought a watch using that before we ride on taxi for hotel. Taxis are waiting in a queue outside of the terminal building, no need to fix the rent as all run by meter. On the way to hotel, noticed the existence of Silicon Valley of India. Banners are placed on prominent points with big names like Oracle, IBM, Yahoo.
Reached to Ramanashree Hotel at Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road through out the heavy traffic of Bangalore, by spending almost two hour and last level of our stamina. Rushed into the hotel room and took a shower first. Imran removed curtain of the window. A surprising view was waiting for us. The sun was yet to set in Bangalore, a pack of pigeon was flying around the window in the golden light. The window fence and place around is their home.
Every single one of us was hungry, could not wait long for food, quickly gathered into lobby. Hotel’s restaurant will open at 7pm, still one hour to go but none of us was interested to wait that long. On the search of a suitable restaurant, we started to walk along the road. Luck did not favored us, failed to get any restaurant nearby therefore decided to wait till 7pm for hotel’s restaurant to open and eat some pakora for the time being.
Waiting for the dinner to be served at Kudla, sea food restaurant of our hotel. Alu (potato) parota, rice, prawn tandoori and vegetable curry was ordered for dinner. We were their very first customer that day, for sure they will take longer than expected. Utilized the time by planning for the tomorrow’s sessions at JUDCon 2012 India. There will be three session simultaneously in three different hall marked as Main Hall, Hall A and Hall B. At least one of us will attend each session.
Dinner was served, right after the planning was done. All the items are placed on a Banana leaf over the plate. The same custom was experienced at many other restaurants during my 8 day tour of Bangalore, may be this was the part of traditional Bangalore hospitality. I am a big fan of Alu Parata, from my last visit to Shillong, India but here they could not make it up to the mark. Masum bhai ordered four Prawn Tandoori though three would have been sufficient for six of us. As I believe on the principle of not wasting food, consumed most of it. Though prawn tandoori was awesome but was extreme hot for usual Bengali tongue. Jahangir could not finish his dinner because of extra hot flavor. Finally, poured a corner his stomach with fruit salad as desert.
Everyone is tired, can’t think of anything other than a sound sleep. Session will start tomorrow at 10am, key note speech at 9 am but registration time will end up by 8.30am thus will need to wake up earlier. Good night everyone. See you tomorrow!