Monday, 10 December 2012

My Super Painful Trip (So Glad To Be Back)

I don't know. I didn't think it would be so bad. I go away all the time all over the place, right? I am not too fussed about stuff. I love traveling. I don't even mind flights so much. I fit neatly into the seats, can fall asleep usually fairly happily, and as long as there is veggie food or some sort, and I can run for a bit, I don't need much else.

Kolkata, is where I went - I was looking forward to it. I have some pleasant memories of the place from the early 90s which was when I went last. Pleasant in a vague kind of way. We were there in Kharagpur for the InterIIT. I rocked the tournament despite being a complete light weight (literal) and the baby of the team and was really really exhausted on our train trip to Cal.

I fell asleep in the movie. ("Twins" which I have watched several times afterwards and stayed sort-of awake). We were in a large group but a few of us broke away for the movie. I don't remember much else from the trip.

I wanted to run somewhere there. Walk around in all those places one reads about in Vikram Seth or similar. Enjoy the famed Coffee/Conversation thing. But of course I had to do that thing I was sent there for. And I hadn't figured out where I was going to stay, how I was going to get there, how far everything was from everything else, etc., assuming it would all be fine and sorted out.

On hindsight, it was my fault. I should have figured this stuff out, made proper plans. It took forever to get from everywhere to everywhere, I spent a lot of time waiting for others and then for the transport to show up, things were unclear to everybody, the driver got lost, food sucked, and the promised wireless from airtel was a big joke, and I was completely exhausted by the end of the day.

I was supposed to meet Dipali. As the day unfolded, that looked impossible. I had to attend sessions till 8pm or something and we all know I don't function for much beyond that. I promised to call her. When I travel abroad even, I obsessively buy calling cards or that Matrix sim. Because I HAVE TO TALK TO PEOPLE. Like, top of the list, my baby child.

My phone chose this opportune moment to start dying on me. I had forgotten the charger. I borrowed someone's charger. Its a nokia, for heaven's sake. Everyone and their dog has a nokia charger. My phone rejected the someone's charger. And started accusing me "Battery Low" it kept saying. I was sitting in our exhibition booth for a bit, and the ambient noise was of all sorts and not very high but well.

My head chose that moment to acquire one of those headaches that are so frequent now that even my husband (who is well trained in ignoring mild maladies; and me in general) is getting concerned about them. Right side of head, I hate you. I have stopped eating a painkiller for this thing now, because it doesn't work and in fact makes me feel worse.

I returned on Saturday night and thankfully was able to send one message to my husband who kindly picked me in the airport - I was miserable enough to not want to deal with taxi lines. I was very happy to return back home to the questionable comfort of my upside down home. I ran yesterday morning, a nice long run which made me happy, and momentarily rid me of the headache.

But this morning the memory of my trip is back. I had a neck crick even when I boarded the onward flight and sitting around in various places and riding in the back of a decrepit van did not help much. My stomach has rebelled against the various injustices done to it (sandwich on the flight; weird Chinese food at the conference; weird bread-jam at the Guest House; etc.).

I have retired hurt now. Hope to back on track in a day...or two.. And Kolkata - I owe you a proper visit now. With a clear plan and directions and a list. This time I will bring the child, and a phone charger, and my own damn internet.

(PS: Bodily discomforts and ailments notwithstanding, I went running in a park near my guest house on Saturday. I couldn't sleep after 5:30am or so because of all the cars that seemed to be passing by my window and particularly honking in my ear, and the headache was a few hours away anyhow. It was awesome to see half of the dusty park given to footballers and the other half to cricketers. But it was annoying that people wouldn't follow the unwritten rule about walking in anti-clockwise direction and I had to keep running into them.)

1 comment:

dipali said...

Looking forward to your 'proper' trip to Kolkata, when I can pick you up and host you and take you places if you want to visit them:)