Saturday, August 22, 2009

IIM Shillong tour Aug'09 - Twist & Turns and the rains!

What else could be great thing to do right now? I am sitting at the Guwahati airport and just cannot wait to reach home. I had come from Delhi on 18th for a 3 days tour to IIM Shillong. Well! The entire tour was great and adventurous every day. It was a tour of bad weather & constant delays and more delays.

On 18th, I was supposed to reach Shillong in the afternoon. I remember queries were made on what I would prefer to eat in lunch. The flight took off from Delhi with an hour delay, the reason – bad weather. Then the aptain made an announcement before Bagdogra that there is – zero visibility so while us (me & other passengers) enjoyed our stay in the sky, the air hostess told me that in this case we would be reaching Guwahati around 12.15. With this I realized that I am going to miss my helicopter to Shillong scheduled at 12.30pm. I anyways reached Guwaati at 12 only to realize that I have not missed the helicopter, infact, its been cancelled on account to bad weather (heavy rainfall) in the region. Phew! I was so excited about the helicopter ride. Huh! Anyways, that’s what we call life is! Finally the staff of IIM had made an alternate arrangement for a taxi and that’s how I could make it to IIM Shillong around 5.15pm. Did ya noticed that I had a session at 6pm. Well though they had asked me to relax and the delay can be done, I don’t know why it din’t appealed me and as a result my session began at 6.20pm. I am glad to write it, that it was well received and appreciated. So I can say with that half of fatigue was gone with that.

That was just the start of it. That night it rained and next day –it rained again and it rained almost the entire day. This was the reason, why I couldn’t capture the scenic beauty of Shillong in my camera lens. Anyways the session went really well on second day. I was able to help my audience understand the concepts with tints of humor and as a result the journey was worth it. It was a good batch to interact with and I am now returning with good moments with me.

But wait! That’s not the end of it. The real fun was yet to begin. My departure from Guwahati was scheduled at 4.35 pm, the next evening and taking a lesson from how I had reached I decided to start real early as I thought its always better to sit at the airport almost 2 hours before the flight then to make last moment hush. So I started at 10am sharp. And I enjoyed the drive till 1pm, though it was a bit slow because of the numerous carrier trucks being stopped on the way to Guwahati. I never actually enjoyed the car rides in hilly areas; somehow it makes me uncomfortable with certain goose bumps at the curvy u-turns on hill slopes. But since it was almost a not stop rainfall (sometime heavy, sometimes teeming and other times pleasant), the weather was too pleasant and I was actually enjoying the little drops on my face (I decided to keep the window open). The water falls on the slopes were amazing. It was wonderfully beautiful. But what after 1pm – yes, here comes the twist, a traffic jam; a huge one which I found lasted to some 20 something kms.

I am patient.

I realized God has blessed me with immense patience and lot of hope. Though I was praying but I did not panic. The drivers as they are known for, were spreading all aweful information right between the jam. Few were, It’s a 4 days long jam! Almost everybody has returned. People are here since last 2 days! Oh! That meghalaya cabby returned! They say it’s till Guwahati! Almost 60-70 cabs have returned! And what not….huh!

Finally, since they had already made a cartel over there, one of them was able to make his passenger hop on a bike to be dropped at the next town. Indirect suggestion came to me as well. Undoubtedly by then I was scared. I decided to inform the professor at IIM Shillong who told me just not to leave the cab at all. So, now I was sure of one thing. I then called up my husband – who dint looked that vary that time as still there were almost 3 hours left for my flight. Am sure, he too was hopeful that time.

Well, I was tired, hungry, disturbed and alert. Something about the crowd around me made be alert. May be the fact that it was a traffic jam in an absolutely unknown area with no relatives, friends or even acquaintances around. Though the mobile battery was full, I was praying that it should last till this jam.

Finally, it was 3.45 and I was almost 50 kms away from the Airport, very much in the jam when I decided to cancel my flight and I did that. By then, there was some movement in traffic and we were moving with some tiny steps. And finally, I reached the Guwahti airport at sharp 6.50pm only to find out that there are absolutely no flights after 7pm from the airport. By that time almost all the permutations/combinations were explored & discussed with my inviting Prof. from IIM, my husband & one of my friend. The delay had put all in vein. Apart from that my husband was told to tell me that not to roam out in the region and to prefer some government hotel in Guwahati. All this added to my worsening situation, Then the cabby started showing tantrums as he had to go back and the deal was till the Airport (as if it was me who ordered for a JAM to be arranged on the way). Once again the IIM staff came to the rescue and within minutes I was informed of my stay being arranged at the NEHU (North Eastern Hills Univerity) guest house which is just 5 minutes drive from the airport. Though, I was fine but at the same time I was bit panicky by then, thanks to the rains to make the evening dark even at 7pm and then the cabby did the rest.

I reached the guest house and asked them for a quick tea and a vegetarian dinner later (In North East, Vegetarianism is not a common phenomena). Only after reaching there did I realize that I have been sitting in the car for almost 9 hours with just a sandwhich & coffee being consumed at 9am.

Anyways after the tea, I was at peace with all concerned informed & assured of me being fine and also that I will be reaching home tomorrow. Incidentally, right now I am in the flight on the way to home in Gurgaon. I would say I am tired and still disturbed on once again being put to test by God. I wonder why he loves me so much. But then I am assured he makes sure I am fine and at ease all by myself.

I would like to thank the IIM Shillong staff for their kind co-operation & support. And also to those who kept on calling & messaging just to show that I matter 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Be a teacher.

Be a teacher. This is an effort, a try, a pray which is been initiated by one of my friend for a quality education with raised standards, infrastructure & facilitators.

For more details, you can read here.