Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Prince's Diaries

Posted by Varun | Tuesday, July 31, 2007 | Category: , |

I am in the land of Queen Victoria and a place which I always dreamt of coming to. Have you heard the title of my post somewhere …Yes, you have… The title’s inspired by a movie called ‘Princess Diaries’ where a small town middle class girls wake’s up one morning only to find out that she is the next princess of a Kingdom. The journey so far has been ‘a dream come true’ for me too and since am in the land of the Queen I feel no less than a Prince…

I plan to write one day at a time and will update the same post every day… So keep watching this space for more action.

21st July 2007

I had finished the entire packing last night itself which enabled me to get up as and when I wanted without any hurry. My flight (Virgin Atlantic) was at 1.35 pm and I had to reach the airport by 10.30 am. Bhava (Jiju) readily agreed to drop me off at the airport. He might have not realized this, but the moment he agreed to drop me, all my tensions of getting to the airport vanished in thin air. Because I knew I was in safe hands and I would have no trouble what so ever… Thanks Bhava (One with the orange T-shirt).

Chandan and Mimi, undoubtedly two of my best friends were there with me at the airport to see me off. I had assumed that these two would accompany me to the airport without even asking them whether they were free. Would have been disappointed if either one of them had not turned out that day. Luckily, it was my day and everything was going my way… Thanks guys. Whenever I accompanied someone to the International airport the only question that came to my mind was ‘Will I ever be the one who’ll be going into the airport instead of going home after waving good bye?’ Here I was, all set to get inside the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport. I was on the verge of realizing a dream.

We reached the airport at around 10.05 am. Clicked few snaps and waved good bye to Bhava. After Jiju left we had to wait for my team mate, ex- team lead and above all a friend who was supposed to travel along with me till London. He came to the airport at around 10.20 am with his wife, a cute little 10 month old kid and his in-laws. The moment I saw his MIL giving him instructions to keep his passport and visa safe, I told Chandan that it was good that I didn’t have my parents in India to give me instructions and suggestions. But I was just kidding. I badly missed them. I would have loved to enter the flight, my first ever flight outside India waving good byes to my parents. They would be so happy to see me getting inside that flight. I know for a fact that both of them would have missed me that day. I missed you too… Really missed you….

By the time we entered the airport it was 10.35 am. Got in the queue for baggage screening first then for the luggage check-in. It was around 11.15 am by the time these things were sorted out and I could meet my friends again. Waved them good bye and came through for the immigration check. The immigration officer stamped my visa without even asking a single question. The ‘masoom chehra’ must have done the trick :)

Since it was printed in the ticket that we’ll not be served lunch we had to have something before boarding the flight. I had my first subway sandwich that day. It was as though the sandwich was welcoming me to UK. It was good. Not bad actually. After having our continental lunch we went through the security check-in only to find out that the flight’s delayed by 20 min. Meanwhile I had called almost everyone on my phone book and informed them by trip to UK…
The flight started boarding at around 1.45, business class people getting the first preference.

The flight took off at 2.05 IST (30 min delay). My dream finally got its wings…
The in-flight experience and service was brilliant. It was an Airbus 340 with 2-4-2 seats. I had an aisle seat. The seats were comfortable and all the TV screens were working. I ended up watching 2 movies along the way. ‘Bridge to Terabatia’ and ‘Zodiac’ (Very good movies). Kept myself busy with a book ‘Marley and Me’ when I was not watching the television… Tried to sleep for a while but the excitement kept me awake the entire journey… The Zune kept me great company when I was not busy watching TV or reading a book. The food served was excellent too. It was authentic Indian food.

The Virgin Atlantic finally landed at 7.30 pm (GMT). By the time I could complete the immigration and collect my luggage it was 9.30 pm (GMT). The black Taxi welcomed me at the Heathrow with both hands wide open. The driver happily escorted me home (PG) for a whopping 3100 Rupees. Common… it was my first day here… I am bound to convert currencies…

It was one looooong day…Thud… What was that!!!??? It was me hitting the bed… It was 11:30 pm (GMT)…

Currently have 2 comments:

  1. Each day in the same post - :O - It is going to be a loooong post then. The title would have been better if it were Prince's Diaries.

    Catch you soon in UK, Prince!


  2. Great to know your dreams are becoming realities. We are very happy for you. We definitely missed hammering you with advise and last minute tips !! Enjoy your stay in UK and make a mark in your work. All the best from all of us here. Lots of love,