You arrive on a rainy night into Mumbai. You ask for a decently-priced (read as little as possible) hotel at the airport enquiry. Soon a nattily-dressed man escorts you to a shady hotel. You are tired and have to rush off early morning. You sign in and resign to your near-empty wallet and beckoning bed. Early morning at 5 am, you rush off for your work to Mumbai Central. And at lunch-time it strikes you! I do not know which hotel I checked into. Gawd! I forget even the area from where I took the auto. This cannot be real!
I thought events like these don't happen till it finally happened to me. And last weekend I was again reminded of this incident.
I was tired after visiting Mark at Berkeley and was on the BART metro-rails back to my brother's place at Fremont. It was already 11-30 pm and I couldn't help dozing off. Suddenly the phone rang. It was my brother asking me why haven't I yet arrived at Fremont. He was waiting to pick me up. I looked out and it was still station Hayward, which is 4-5 stations away from Fremont. I nod off to sleep again. Through the lazy slit of my eyes, I see station Bayfair arriving after Hayward. Something is haywire. Hey! This train is moving from Fremont towards Berkeley. But I took the train from Berkeley to Fremont. Gawd! I slept off so badly that I didn't get up at Fremont, and now the train is on its way back to Berkeley. Kisine mujhe uthaya bhi nahi!
Shit! Shit! Shit! I need to rush out. Thud! What was the sound of that?
Anyways, I rush out of the train and puff onto the platform in the nick of time. Huh! Bach gaya baba! Hey! Wait! Where is my wallet? That thud was the sound of my wallet falling down. Ahhhh! But the train is leaving. Shit! Shittier! Shittiest! How does something like this happen to me?
In the first case, we had only two clues. One, a station that sounded something like vada-pav (in Mumbai places have either Victorian or vada-pavish names). Two, I noticed a lot of Christian residences near the hotel. These two clues took us three hours to locate the hotel. But the adventure with the dear friend was fun. And no, the hotel wasn't listed in the telephone directory nor did it give me a visiting card!
The second time it was a mobile phone and a magnanimous brother. I love you, bro!
The more bizarre incident was however when Sachin and I were travelling from Bangalore to Chennai. At Chennai we were supposed to catch a train for Calcutta. About 1 km away from Chennai, the train stops. Why? Apparently there was another train from the opposite direction on the same track! We had only about 20 minutes left. I guess, dragging describes our motion better than running. (Eight limbs do not suffice for six luggage pieces and a desperate rush, not to forget the mid-way motivation to Sachin ki ham honge kamyaab:-). And when we did arrive huffing and puffing, the Calcutta bound train was 2 hours late.
The look on our faces? Priceless!