Mar 11, 2010

You guys think you can get away with anything...

Warning: Long story. With some pics, but still too long.


Imagine you are ill for a week. Very ill.

And you take a week more to recover from the after-effects like body ache, sudden headache etc. You are the end of the week, and looking forward to a 3-day weekend thanks to Holi. (Ok, in case I forgot to tell you, the story is set in the last 2 weeks).

Your boss informs you there is a trip to Himachal. Official. All expenses paid. By the client. Not a pleasure-trip, but an official visit to a hydro power plant under construction. But there would be nice scenery all around. And you can take some time off and visit some nice places. And oh, not only all-expenses paid, all logistics taken care of. Like air travel, accommodation, food, local travel in nice Scorpio. You just have to go there, pretend to know stuff, secretly ask our engineering consultant some gyaan, and then, over a nice dinner,  ask some questions which sounds plausibly intelligent. Like, "why is your project behind schedule?". Questions for which the client has no answers. So, they say, "Why don't you have some more kheer?"

What do you do when he asks, "How's your health? Can you make it?"

You don't even blink. Or think. You just utter, "Of course. I have more or less recovered. And 3-day weekend coming up. I'll take full rest and be fit."

Then, in the excitement of your trip, you go shopping around for sweater, thermals, heck, even a bank-robber type monkey cap. All set. Medicines packed. Vicks Inhaler bought and forgotten at home.

Ok, we shift to first person. Because I took the trip. Not 'you'.

Day 1: Flight from Mum to Del at 6.05 am. And my Meru cab driver wakes me up at 3.45 am asking for directions to my place. In the excitement, I wake up anyways. Flight from Del to Shimla at around 10.30. Lands on a small airstrip which probably ends in a sheer drop since it is on top of a cliff. Baggage claim is no conveyor belt, but a bench where they haul your luggage and you go and pick it up. Reach the hotel by 7.30 after passing through roads where snow lay on the side! And I piss and duly 'write' my initials to announce my arrival to the hill gods. (ok, no more gross details! It'll be a clean story).

Day 2: All confidential. Let's just say I was given a lecture on "potential energy" and "kinetic energy" (the bike?) by our enthu engineer. No use. Total bouncer. But the other parts he explained, show and tell style, yeah I got them. Am not that dumb! But it rained at site, I froze and shivered in spite of my thermals, and it got all misty, and I got all misty-eyed. Since I am not a photography expert, no camera, only the one in the kala jamun that my office had thrust on me.
But the pics turned out ok. At least for me.

I loved it so much I just kept clicking...

And oh, we had started at 8.30 am and we came back by 7.30 pm. Back breaking on those unpaved stone roads, I tell you!

Day 3: Again, first half starts at 8.00 am, visit to site, see work progress, ask questions. And this day was sunny. Not a drop of rain.

And there was Satluj flowing all through the way...

Calmly, without a care in the world...

And I tried to capture a sunset. And failed.

Post sunset, we were still driving. To Kalka. (Not Kalki. Kalka!). Which we reach by 10 pm. From where we take a train to Delhi at midnight. Boring itinerary details, but I want to emphasize the amount of time spent on the road. Including the omlate and chai and pee breaks.

Ok, enough pics, back to my sob story.

Day 4 and 5: Spent at friends' place in Delhi (one of those 3 a.m. ones... or at least I hope so!). Slept and slept one whole day, only to gossip a lot in the evening, roamed a bit the next day, did a mad rush between the domestic and the international because of a confusion in the ticket (it was an incoming AI flight from Tokyo; it is a long story; maybe some other time...). All done, reached home, saw it was flooded because the overhead tank in the house had overflowed, but just swept away the water instead of mopping it properly, put fan on full blast and slept off. No stamina for paper boats.

Day 6: Back to office. Reported how a nice learning experience it was. Got back to work and drudgery. In the evening, three full days after the site visit, I get a feverish feeling. By night, I am also coughing. Badly.

And now, we come to the part of the story where we explain the title...

I go to the doc. Tell her about the fever and the cold. And, and, slowly, about the Himachal trip. Only to get a 15 minute lecture: "You people take your health for granted. And when you fall sick, you just land up here. If you had consulted me, I'd have strongly advised you not to go on the trip. Why would anyone take such a physically stressful trip just one week after an illness? You guys think you can get away with anything..."


PS: The fever continues. So does the cold. But if anyone is planning an all expenses paid trip to some exotic location in office and I get invited because I worked on the deal, what do you think I'll do? ;)


  1. Anonymous9:23 AM

    hehe, trust me even I wud have gone on the trip without fully recovering! :P

    Nicely written..and hope you get well soon, take care!

    ps: did you find someone in Himachal/Delhi to fit the 'kanji-making-wife' post? ;)


  2. @ Anon SS:
    Ah, finally I get to repeat the lecture!

    "You people take your health for granted!"

    And, the trip was purely official, no searching for people with kanji-making abilities or otherwise!