How many different modes of public transport have you used in a single day? 2, maybe 3, or a max of four. But my trip last weekend to Goa via Bombay ( yep, i still prefer 'Bombay' over 'mumbai'..in some contexts ) was more than a myriad of transport switches. The whole thing went something like this...I biked from my office back to the flat, picked up an auto from there to airport, boarded the flight off to bombay, caught a 'mumbai' local train to churchgate, took a yellow-black taxi to go to my friend's office, and finally got up on a bus off to Goa. Huh..!! so much for a day isn't it. Though the list is not exhaustive, but it still covers almost all of the feasible conveyances which anyone would take during a trip, only that it was a bit uncommon in a time span of a single day journey.
The rides look simple when i say, "i picked, boarded, got up etc etc on different modes"...but each of them has its own story behind the the groovy scenes...so I would start with my bike..
The most important thing i feel for a biker is to ensure that he doesn't run out of fuel and be stranded in an place without a pump ;). It turned out as I was returning from a place in the outer of the city that the bike had run out of fuel...I was already under the impression that the bike was running on reserve fuel, so those jerks from my bike's fuel starved engine gave a 'jor ka jhatka' to me, and only when I pulled out my hand for the reserve knob I happily realised that I was wrong and there was enough reserve to take me back home.
Searching for the auto next, to hop to airport was torturous. I was amazed as I came out of the flat with a 8Kg bag on my shoulders, at the scorching sunny daylight at 2 in the afternoon. The whole morning it was lightly clouded with no anticipated signs of a ray of sun for the whole day. But as luck would have it, the conspiracy was mid-way, and the drivers of the very few autos which were there, refused to earn in lieu of the relishing siesta they were having. Eventually had to walkdown almost half-a-kilometer to catch one of the empty moving autos. :((
At the airport, I was there well before the departure time of my flight. With a single bag as cabin luggage you can be more than comfortable in hanging around at the airport without bothering to keep an eye on your heavy luggage pieces. Certainly being there well before time, saved me from the serpentine queue for the boarding pass and I proceeded for the security check-in. There a CISF security in-charge put me on hold at the check point for I don't know why, becaue I dont think I was looking so pathetic to be put on hold for an informal interrogation. The in-charge asked me where did i work, how much did i earn and all sort of impertinent questions. Having answered them with a broad smile on my face he asked me to move on. As I moved to pick up my bag, the bag scanner pointed out a small bottle of scent I had packed in my bag which eventually I had to throw away in the dustbin kept there. And thus came the end of one of my longest kept bottles of perfume and of course one of the most cherished ones. :((
I took my bag and rushed to the wating lounge. After a boring half-hour wait, the boarding was announced. Seeing the length of the line, I decided to hold on and wait till the line gets shorter. You can do this except for an Air Deccan Flight which is a free seater, and wherein people would not mind even running on the taxi-way to get their coveted seats. Any how, seeing the last few passengers in the line I moved and waited in line for my turn for the last security check. When I reached at the check point, the guard pointed out the missing security check stamp on the tag attached to my baggage. This probably happened as I collected my bag unaware of the missing stamp, because of the perfume bottle. I kept cussing myself for making a fool of myself, as I moved to get that stamp on the tag.
The journey continued in the part - II