I haven’t been around for a while….

Forgive me. It has been a month of chaos from every front, the kind of month you wish they had cloned you into multiples at birth so you could inflict yourself on every department that needed your wholehearted attention with said wholehearted attention rather than just rushing around in manic headless chicken manner achieving nothing except as the good bard put it, all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I’ve been travelling. I’ve had events. I’ve had the CSA month. In the midst of all this chaos, the child decides to make life even more uncomfortable and gets into summer vacation mode which takes out a big chunk of my work day and transfers it to the home turf.

All in all, blogging has been the last thing on my mind. But I must write about my travel. Last week has been a round of rather hectic (for me, given that I in normal times, fly out of my city maybe once a year) travelling for me, with back to back trips to Kolkata and Chandigarh. I’m a terrified traveller. If I have an early morning flight, I will set multiple alarms way too early in order to ensure that I don’t miss getting woken up, and then panic all night about not hearing said multiple alarms and therefore end up not sleeping a wink and then oversleeping at the hour one is actually supposed to get up and get sparky, and the spouse waking up randomly and prodding one as to wasn’t one supposed to be out of the door by now and much hyperventilation later I manage to screech into the airport with seconds ticking before checkin closes.

Even notice how entering an airport makes everyone suddenly rabid and snarling. Kind, gentle elderly people get aggressive about whose bag goes on the security xray first. At check in, they keep inching the trolley into you so you eventually become a case of trolley hit and run. There will always be that one genius who will hold up the entire line insisting that the weighing machine is defective and no way their luggage is over 20 kgs, and what, pay per kilo, are you joking. And the security check queue always makes me feel a little guilty, like I have a bomb strapped into my jacket and will be frogmarched into solitary with only huge unfriendly sniffer dogs for company who will snarl if I so much as step out of my single tile space. Of course, once I get through the check in, one deals with the airport gate vultures, hovering around like they’ve sniffed fresh carrion and just about stopping short of getting into fist fights for line space, and the pushing and shoving to get onto the bus, yes, yes, they’re still someplace mentally where you need to get in first to grab the best seats, speaking of which, I spent my flight to and from Kolkata in the middle seat and when I requested both male parties of either side on both flights to exchange, was met with a strident no all four times. Ah well, the days when the male populace would turn cartwheels to amuse me and gain my favour are long gone and I must just accept that sad fact and morph into the bristly bearded matron, with a stentorian bark which would scare any human being into vacating his seat in an instant and pleading to be accommodated at a safe distance from me. Luckily, I got a window seat to and from Chandigarh, the first of which was achieved by landing up at the airport ungodly early for my flight and the return trip achieved by being part of a nice Litfest group where I could bat lashes and bag window seat. Attaining which I then promptly dropped off into a deep dreamless sleep, punctuated undoubtedly by most inelegant snoring, much to the dismay of those in the immediate vicinity. I did get some funny looks when I finally blinked my eyes open, so in retrospect, maybe that middle seat was a good idea.

Am back now from all my travel. For the moment. Hopefully, things should be sane enough for me to post a fair bit more regularly than I have in the recent past. And yes, I even managed to get Kolkata an earthquake and Chandigarh rains in mid April, so I guess, wherever I go, I take the weather with me.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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