- October 25th, 2010
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After missing the flight once on my Mumbai trip and almost missing it second time on the same trip, I have decided to see the airport bus timings beforehand (hope I maintain this practice). So for the Madurai trip I reached a little too early(almost 1.5hrs before).
I was flying to Madurai for the first time and Kingfisher red was the airline. I took a print of the ticket at the airport and rescheduled the return flight to a day before. And the process took a little too long than expected. The lady at the ticket counter tried to search the key for the cash box, everywhere in her shirt. It reminded me of the small towns where women keep valuables inside their blouse, here the pockets were outside(Not really sure if the shirt design was part of marketing strategy). Then eventually she figured out it was not there. And asked her colleague to handover the key to her. Finally my ticket got rescheduled.
I met Sammir Dattani aka Dhyaan, an actor. Also saw Kannada actress Sanjana. Now I headed to security check. Simple process as usual. The security personals at Bengaluru airport don’t promote you to do modeling/acting(like police guys at Mumbai airport do). For them everybody is a software engineer.
A good thing about Bangalore airport is you can dine with Sparrows. There are lots of them, and they hover mainly around the south Indian food counter, I don’t think they have taste for continental food and burgers. Having lived in smaller towns, I am used to seeing them and like their presence. After hogging biryani I headed for the flight.
A small airplane, I saw it for the first time. And it was also half empty. I heard few people talking in english with rolling tongue, and it made me feel like I was already in Tamilnadu. One gentlemen had come from mumbai and was traveling to madurai via Bangalore, he was quite worried if his luggage will reach Madurai or not. I told him not to worry, Kingfisher is usually good at their services.
In the flight they served some sort of veg cheese sandwich. I spotted one hair inside the pack, and reported it the air hostess. And she was like sorry, sorry, sorry.
Though I have long hair which sometimes come into my mouth(which is indication for me to have hair cut), I don’t really like eating hair, I think nobody does. When the flight landed on Madurai airport, the airhostess asked me for my visiting card and told that the customer care will call me regarding the hair which was found in the sandwich pack. I am not sure if Kingfisher gives some kind of HAIR-SPOTTING-AWARDS.
The temperature outside was 36degree Celsius. And since I had running nose, I found this weather very pleasant. Madurai seemed like a big town from the flight with lots of water bodies. And I took a taxi from airport to the hotel where I was supposed to stay, Grands Central (Not really sure why they could not manage with the name Grand Central itself, must be some kind of copyright issues).
Madurai seemed like city of God (God=Rajanikanth). His recently released movie Robot had presence all over the city. And there were many big big banners with all local politicians on them, I find these kind of posters funny, as they put 10-20 heads side by side making it look like Ravana’s head (Politicians==Ravana??). And also I could not figure out what contribution these politicians had in the movie.
I checked-in the hotel, Grands central, and decided to take a single room. A decent hotel (not the Jab-we-met types decent), but a complete contrast from the hotel from my last assignment (Lakeview Grand Ashok, Bhopal). And I was pretty much sleep deprived and slept for long time. After waking up in the evening, I decided to head out in the city. And figured out that Meenakshi temple was very close to my hotel (300m). I think the good sleep gave me too much energy, and while locking the room, the door knob came into my hand. And I had to shift to a double room.
I walked towards Meenakshi temple, and when I was just about 50m from the temple. It started pouring like mad, and it reminded me of bangalore. As it flooded the space very soon. And it rained for a long long time. And to protect my camera and my running nose, I could not afford to get drenched. And I could not visit the temple. Also one gentleman helped the flood by making his son susu in front of one of the restaurant. I saw one shop selling Mecca Medina paper weights there, a symbol of national integration.
After the rains became lower, I decided to walk back to the hotel. But took a cycle rickshaw instead, the guy asked me for 30Rs. Listening to figure of 30, I immediately agreed. Being in Bangalore, you get a habit of listening to figures of 100s from the auto guys. Once I got into the rickshaw, I realized that my hotel was just 300 meters away, and that almost made it 100Rs/Km :O. This became the costliest ride of my life by moving my ride in Haridwar to second spot. (The earlier one was in Haridwar, at 100Rs/1.8Km).
Coming back to the hotel, I turned on the TV. And saw Discovery and Disney channels in Tamil, and came to know the power of the language. It reminded me of my bus trip from Salem to Bangalore, where I got a chance to see Harry Potter in Tamil.
So nothing to watch on tv, and no internet, I decided that I should start blogging about my trips. So this completes Day-1 report.