DAY 0 – Salaam Dilli

Day 0

I have just been kissed my a man I just met.
Wait, let me explain. Its the best end to this day, trust me when I say this.

Okay. The day began at 4 or 3 30 something I think. Amar was up and running and I was still in bed. The reality that we are flying to Russia hadn’t hit me just yet. ( Why?). The previous day I said all my good byes. From Decathlon Teynampet to Perungudi to IIT. Today morning I had asked Illam to come with his car and help us out. So we got ready, and it was the first time we were trying to put our shit on the cycles. ( Did I tell you we are planning to take our cycles to Russia? Yah, we call it Kazhap in Malayalam. Trust me, it has lead to the advancement of civilisation more than anything)  It was a disaster as I realised that I had over packed and that my bag was to big for my carrier, but it was too late to turn back and we had to make do.

So we start cycling towards the airport from Amars house. We did a small Pooja in Amars home before, this time I was really praying. I think it would come in handy at some point. We said our good byes to his parents and his mom kept repeating “ Jagriti”, its Telugu, but  I kind of figured out it means don’t get killed and I kept saying yes. 

Both of us are cycling after a while, Amar- over a month as he is recovering from his knee and I for like 2 weeks as I been away from Chennai. And we reach the airport and start dismantling the Tribans. Trust me when I say this, if there is one person who is good with dismantling a Triban. Its Amar. ( He didn’t become Btwin coach cause he smelled good.) So we took the aluminium stallions apart and said good bye to Illam. If he wasn’t there we would have Kandippa missed our flight. Rajjapan and Manju also came to give the sleeping bag and say good bye. 

While boarding we got a little hiccup when they found the tools for the cycles in our cabin luggage. 

DONT FUCKING CARRY TOOLS THAT CAN DISMANTLE A PLANE WITH YOU.

Lesson learned.

So we had to take care of that and we boarded the Jet airways flight to Delhi. I was sleeping like 80% of the time cause thats what I do in airplanes. Its like when people pass out when they experience too much pain. For me listening to kids cry in a pressurised cabin while stuck in the middles seat with a dude wearing 3x is purgatory with hot girls in uniform who are payed to smile at you. So I pass out into a safe space called  sleep. Peace. We go the best idili I had at 30 000 feet in the air. It was amazing and thank you jet for not charging us. 

We touched down in Delhi, put some stories and Nandhita calls me up ( I fucking misspelled your name on purpose :)). She has a flight to Kerala’s asshole which also happens to be our capital. ( Shit, I shouldn’t type after drinking booze off strangers). So we decided to meet. After a quick KFC lunch we were fast at work trying to assemble and disassemble the cycles so that I can learn the mechanics of it. I soon realised I had failed elementary math lessons on clock wise and anti-clock wise directions when we were trying to tighten nuts and bolts and Amar was like – “ How did this Otha get into IIT?”

I ask myself the same everyday my friend. Then Susmit kept calling and said he would come. ( BTW, where is Susmit? ) 

Nandi called AFTER SHE CHECKED INTO THE DOMESTIC TERMINAL ( Django move) and we had to have a conversation over a glass wall like one of us was incarcerated. So we decided to check into the lounge and soon we were chilling in the lounge. Nandi came and said goodbye ( Photo eduthilladi) and I slept for like 2 hours on 3 chairs which were kept together( best sleep ever this week.) We got up and it was time for the Intercontinental Cup Final and we watched India beat Kenya 2 nil with two goals from Sunil Chhetri making him equal with a certain Argentine footballer named LIONEL MESSI in terms of goals scored for country. It has been a privilege to see you in action Sunil and if I wasn’t going for the WC, I would be there with you machane in Andheri.

After that we went out of the lounge for some food. We went to this place called Vango ( Most fake Tam restaurant in North India ever) and had what they called Masala dosa. Then things went Konjam south (pun unintended )as I was not allowed back into the lounge by airport security as my flights is not 24 hours away but even more than that. So at this point. Amar and I had to part ways. He will fly off to Moscow today morning (11th ) at 5 and I will fly tomorrow morning at 5. Inshallah we will meet each other at Moscow and take things on from there. It has been so far so good where we have been looking at each minor set back as a lesson and slowly we will get things rolling in our stride. 

So I was relegated to the floor from the sweet lounge ( At least till 5 AM today) and I was setting up shop when I heard a dude speak Tamilil. ( Okay, over the course of the last 8 months my Tamil has improved so much that I use every opportunity to show it off, especially when the other person doest speak Tamil :p) So I said Tamila? And then began this conversation with Rebun who is from Marthandam, which means we were speaking Malayalam soon and after a while he invited me to the bathroom for a drink. Usually I don’t do such shady shit ( who Am I kidding ) I said yes even before I knew what poison it was. Two drinks down and we are sitting down and chatting about life, his family, how “The Gelf” is not the mallu heaven it used to be and how our priorities in life changes. His story is fascinating. He went to the Gelf to prove a lot of people wrong ( Reminded you someone ?) and he said he had to work from scratch. He is such a jovial character with a lot of cool traits. Best of which is giving without expecting anything in return. He told me of the many stories of how he got cheated and how his character never holds any grudges. Maan, its the perfect sorta conversation you need before an adventure like this, It reinforces your faith in humanity and makes you believe that, no matter how fucked up things get. There will always be a mallu Chettan with a bottle of Gelf scotch to offer to help you sleep at night. He talked about his two little girls and how he is going to see them for the first time in 2 years. Fucking 2 years man. He gave me a pack of gum which is suppose to be worth a lot and I was so thankful that he gave me a kiss on the cheek and said. …….I don’t quite remember what he said, but I will always remember, Ruben Chettan with the Passport scotch. 

Thats it for day -1. 

See you on day 0.

Good night and passport(scotch)  in the toilet somehow tastes better.