October 20, 2017

Journey: Past and Present

Right from our childhood we have seen Arrivals and Departures of our relatives and friends.

There was an era when letters were written with schedule and host family used to wait for their family members. There were times when the train used to be late making it difficult for the person going to decide whether to stay back at the station or go back. There were problems but it was all part of the fun.

One important part of these journey were the food and snack packets. For long journey there were two different packets. One for immediate consumption and the other for second meal. This used to consist of mainly two three types of pickles. While some passengers stick  to home made food there are quite a few who find it difficult to control their taste buds. How can a journey be complete without eating various delicacies at stations en route. Ones who travel by air have to go through routine fast food at the airport but for the ones who travel on vacation, can be identified with their body language and eating habits at the stall. It’s fun to watch such families. The variety of a family of four buys unique stuff. Their table will have south Indian, Pizza, Punjabi dish and what not. Not to forget ice cream, coffee and cold drink too. Trust such families add maximum to billing to jazzy food courts at the airport.

While these passengers are always ready with their boarding pass to be displayed, same people when they travel by train enjoy wasting time when TTE comes. Somehow they are also patient and enjoy the ticket being removed from multiple layers of baggage. I always fail to decide, whether ticket is important or the cash and jewellery they are carrying.

Festivals are important days of life when we either go to meet parents and relatives or we have someone visiting our home. With time and technology we are getting mechanical and slaves of gadgets and application.

Now there is no culture of sending letters or even expecting it. We have reached a stage where even Marriage Invitation Cards are sent on WhatsApp.

Now time is more important and precious than money. Most people prefer to travel from superfast / express trains and by air. This has added value to the time spent with the host. What is missed is the discussion in the train or bus on your return journey. Earlier it used to take anything from 12 hours to 36 hours depending on the distance but now it is matter of few hours. Imagine someone travelling from Jammu to Hyderabad or from Jaipur to Bangalore. There is a sea change in culture within few hours. You hardly get time to think about the pleasant stay with your friends and relatives in a city. By the time you reach your destination and start thinking or even talking few words, your host has already posted photographs and tagged you for doing the customary LIKE on facebook and instagram.

Well past was no doubt glorious but we need to accept the reality and adapt ourselves to the tech savvy world. Bright side of modern world. Earlier carrying perishables to destinations were remote possibility. Now we have the freedom to carry perishables with us and enjoy at home. Though friendly discussion with local tonga wala or richshaw wala are missed we can yet connect with the driver of Cool Cab to understand few things and find out micro level information that they have received from their group. They are highly informative at times and also gives you insight into information that MSM does not cover.

Prepaid Taxi or booking a cab through travel agents are matter of convenience but at times they are nightmares. We keep reading about some nasty drivers in newspapers. While most are still sincere in their jobs. Funny part I have noticed some passengers coming out of airport, in good mood, smiling and trying to zero in on the Pla Card of their driver. Some are unlucky, not to find their driver. The smile turns to worry, followed by couple of phone calls.

Have noticed some family members too going to receive their guests at the airport. Observe some of them and you can figure out whether the flight has landed, or flight has landed but the guest has still not switched on the mobile. Fun is when there are two or more flight passengers coming out and in the bargain to catch a glimpse of your guest, you land up crossing the permissible limit at the lounge. But the security staff are too patient. They understand your eagerness and still remain quiet. At times you may find some party workers of a politician waiting for his arrival. These are the people difficult to deal with. Many may have knowledge about the visitors permissible limits, still they try and walk deep inside only to be stopped by the CISF security and creating inconvenience to the passengers.

Not to forget the big and small celebrity. Some are known faces and enjoy the attention, while the small ones who can be identified (from TV serials, small time politicians, etc) but fail to get desired attention are worth the sight. Why do these people wear dark color sun glasses? Feel like asking them, do they wear these shades while taking shower? Well it’s their life.

Arrivals and Departures are part of our life. They will continue. Fun will will continue. Do find time to show gratitude to all guests. It takes a lot of hard work to reach a destination. Smart phones have taken big share of our lives and we at times compromise on giving attention to our guests.

Next time you are saying bye or receiving a guest, enjoy these moments. Worth cherishing instead of just registering them in social media.


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