Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Old Poem - 2004 - Just came upon it.

Oh I finally got a chance to see the New York City
My brother, living there, was funding my trip with his money
But first there were the Visa hassles and the long queue
"The Photograph should be on a white background", I never knew
So when I reached the end of the line, so long
It was found that my photograph was wrong
The man at the window pushed me out as if I was a dog, and that too mad
And that man was an Indian too, and the fact made me both angry and sad

So well I decided to get a new photograph there and then and out of the embassy I go
and got an auto, whose driver told me he would solve my photogenic woe
He took me far away to a dirty Sarojini Nagar household
which served as a special studio only for people in Visa mold.
I got happy, for my photograph now was okay, the people in the embassy wanted this
but the happiness was temporary, for the photographer charged me Rs. 200 for the effort of his
I got angry, now at the auto driver for bringing me to this place
but then I realised he also must have had his commision to take from my face

He took me back to the embassy and stood in another long queue
Black, white, green and red, my skin assumed different hues
Rage, and anxiety and excitement were just some of the emotions I had
And when I reached the end of the line now, it was not so bad
The woman(another Indian) was not too polite, but atleast she wasnt so rude,
and standing there, getting permission to go inside, I felt like a real cool dude.
The "Interview" was scheduled for 9:00 a.m, and because of the troubled I had faced,
I was two hours late, and feared that I might be rejected, and so fast I paced.

Soon I was down to the final hurdle, a smart American handling my documents,
He was checking my papers, and I waited anxiously for his comments.
My papers were in order, and he asked as I remember his exact words to me,
"When do u graduate?" and as I later realised, the question was the only one he asked me
I replied May 2005,The Interview was over then, and he soon told me
"your visa shall be soon at your door, and happy may your stay in USA be"
Then started the wait for the Visa to come and a long wait it was,
but then it came after some sixty hours, and how happy I was;

Now I came to the question of which airline to fly in
And decided that whichever was the cheapest shall win
The right to take me to the "promised Land"
And finally, to decide, I took a travel agent's hand
He gave me many cheap options but all of them were already full, I was late
I again felt I had faced the terrible hand of fate,
But then an inspiration dawned upon my travel agent Saurabh Bhatia
and soon I had the return tickets to New York of AlItalia.

AlItalia is an Italian airlines, as the name might indicate
There was a stopover at Milan, and there the flight I had to vacate
The flight was late night, and I had to reach the Delhi airport hours in advance
By 11 p.m. I was there at the airport, and there read a book of romance
In some time I had finished ten pages,
waiting for the check in call, seemed like ages
Soon however I heard the check in call
and there my visa was checked thoroughly, and soon I was ushered into the waiting hall

The flight was good, I was on the window seat
Soon over Delhi I was, away from the blitsering heat
Sleeping was my favourite activity there in flight
I read some magazines and had food and alcohol, light
And as the flight progressed further ahead
we were above the clouds, a Cirrus-Columbus blend
Stopped me from seeing the sprawling cities and the vast country side
Even then it was quiet an enjoyable air ride

"Fasten your seat belts" call was later announced
And the tension and excitement on my face was pronounced
Seeing Milan from above the fashion capital of the world
I cursed myself for not having more time on hold
As soon as I stepped out of the airplane and stepped in the airbus
The first rain drops fell as if welcoming us
The rains soon changed into a cyclonic din
And there was another queue for me to stand in

After getting checked in, I found what I least expected
The airplane would be late by an hour I was very dejected
Waiting was hard, besided me was a b'ful girl; on me she beamed
So the hour passed away in a minute, this is how it seemed
I had never expected foreign flights to be late
But now that I had myself encountered this wait
I knew that even alien lands are not Utopias
And what was to follow made me think very low of Altalia.

The flight from Milan to New York was very nice,
and even though, the ticket was of the same price,
This flight offered Hand TV's for an indivivual to see
And I was happy watching movies and drinking tea.
The movies made this flight really very good
And Duplex and First Fifty Dates,improved my mood
So when I saw the New York city approaching
I was in a great mood and I was singing

But when I came to the check out counter waiting for my bag
I found out that the Alitalia administration had a lag
I found out my bag didnt come out from the Customs
The delay at Milan had upset the airlines' system
It was not only me who faced the trouble
I had lost only a single bag, others had lost double
They told us that the bags were left in Milan in the security way
"If you could give the address, we would deliver it at your door the next day."