Thursday, December 04, 2014

Just follow the yellow sign!!

This was my first trip abroad and as expected I was quite nervous given I was travelling alone too. One of my uncles (Doctor Mama) who has done quite a few travels abroad made a very remarkable statement that I can never forget:
Be Cool Palani. You would need to worry only till you leave the country. Once you are out of India, there's nothing to worry about - everything will happen like Clockwork
It did sound comforting, but never expected that I would first hand experience the truth in this statement during the first trip itself.

Given this was the first trip, had followed the instructions of the Travel Desk guy to a tee - and had my travel pouch with all the relevant documents with the passport - invite letters, hotel confirmation, itienary, air tickets etc..etc..

After going through the checklist a dozen times - reached the airport and waited through the emmigration queue, confidently went to the Officer and handed over the passport with a broad smile on the face - and the first thing he asks, "Can I see your company ID card?" Whaaatttt....That wasn't expected - and I realized my ID had gone with the check-in baggage. Blushed and lamely stammered - "Sorry Sir, First Time, Didn't know". Luckily the Office let me pass with a warning. A big sigh of relief that my travel didn't end before it even started.

That kind of proved the first piece of mama's comment about having to worry only until you leave the country. Just so I don't start getting hate mails and dragged as a topic of debate on the Arnab Goswami show - let me clarify that I am indeed a proud citizen of India - but just that when it comes to dealing with government officials, be prepared to "Expect the Unexpected"

The flight had a stop over at Tokyo Narita airport - I had been sleeping all through and the air hostess had to wake me up to get me off the aircraft. I was still half asleep as I stumbled off the plane - and all that I heard was an official mentioning - "Follow the Yellow Sign". I didn't even look at the boarding pass for the gate details etc.. but just kept following the Yellow Sign blindly. After quite a long walk passing through multiple escalators and dozens of bright yellow signs I finally reach a Boarding Gate that reads "Los Angeles"!!! I still can't imaging how this was possible, with the no. of flights coming out and going out - no clue how blindly following the Yellow Sign took me to the right gate. The first thing that came to my mind then was mama's comments - "Everything will happen like Clockwork".

Hats off to the Japanese - haven't seen this happen in any other airport. Truly unbelievable experience - no wonder a small group of islands is ranked the third largest economy in the world!!!


Palaani's Travels

My penchant for travelling to new places probably comes from my Thatha (Grand Dad). During school days we have had many a trips to interesting places with cousins and each time Thatha would have collected facts and stories about the place we were visiting beforehand and narrate the historical and architectural importance of places as we visit them. Remember this was the pre-google / Wikipedia days. So you would need to go to the book stores - no Flipkart/Amazon either - search for these books and buy them to collect the information.

Fortunately my job gave me an opportunity to visit quite a few places around the globe - so far have been to 15 countries in 4 different continents. Recently when my Mom commented about recording my travel experiences - I thought I should capture them as short blog articles.

So here goes the starting of (hopefully) a series of short write-ups of interesting facts / events / experiences during my travel. Will try to keep these as short and sweet as possible - without turning them into boring essays.

Fasten your seatbelts folks - and hope you enjoy the ride.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

IT Punches

Kannaaa, Panninga dhaan office kku kootamaa 9 manikku pogum..

Singam singleaa 12 manikku dhaan varum... :)

Naan oru singa kuttinu sonnanae ippovavadhu nambareengala

Due to unavoidable reasons, a change in the punch dialogue:

Kannaaa, Panninga dhaan office kku kootamaa 9 manikku pogum..

Singam singleaa 8 manikke poiedum :(

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Make Way For THE BOSS

No of Days Completed: 2 Days
No of Shows in Chennai over the last two days: 216
Average Theatre Occupancy: Do I need to say that!!!
Collection over the last Two days in Chennai: 58,56,804

"Paera kaettaale Chumma Adhirudhulla"

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Have been through quite some airports in the past few months and thought would post my observations about these airports. Well let's start with our very own Bangalore Airport.

Bangalore Airport:

First of all this is not an airport at all ;-(. It is an HAL airbase which is being used as a stop gap solution till the International Airport comes up at Devanahalli. With the terrific growth of IT in bangalore, this airport is crumbling under pressure to handle the huge traffic. If you think I am talking about the huge traffic jams and parking problems in Airport raod and the airport entrance, that is not the only problem. Do you know that even aircraft pilots are cribbing about no parking available for their planes!!! Confused, well this happens almost daily at the Bangalore airport. Lufthansa and AirFrance flights depart within half an hour gap and the airport has only one international terminal gate. So the AirFrance flight has to wait till the Luftansa departs to get the parking spot. Its funny to see the bewildered looks on the passenger's faces when the announcement comes that the AirFrance flight is delayed due to non availability of parking space!!!! Leaves people wondering if that was a Just for Gags trick :-)

But should say there are quite some visible improvements in the international terminal like the new deep blue AirFrance counter, streamlining of the emigration and customs counters. With the number of flights increasing everyday, the authorities are struggling to manage with the limited resources and hopefully the new airport will get ready on time to take the load off the HAL airport.

Chennai Airport:

Haven't been through the international terminal at Chennai but had been at the national Kamaraj terminal a couple of times. Pretty huge and organized compared to its Bangalore counterpart. The time that I was there, there were a line of Kingfisher airlines flights departing around that time and Mallya's ladies in their bright red minis were adding a lot of glamour to the airport. Ya you guessed it, I rate the Chennai airport as the best airport in the world :-). Should say that Mallya's style of calling passengers as "guests" is really unique. Truly stands by his quote that "We are not in aviation business but in hospitality business".

The national terminal has 5 gates and is kept pretty busy with flights continously landing and taking off. Also noticed that almost every flight was leaving "on time", something very uncommon in India. But at the current rate of growth of Indian aviation industry, the airport could soon become a bottleneck. Would you believe it, a small town San Antonio in US (comparable with Salem) had 15 gates in a single terminal in its national airport. Hope the airport authorities realize it and proactively take steps to expand the airport facilities.

Have been away from active blogging for quite some time. Didn't want to start off again with a small post saying "Will try to start posting actively" and get into hibernation mode again. So have started off with a proper post and look out for the next post on other international airports in the world that I have been through sooooon....

Agent Pal

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I'm sure u can imagine its an unimaginable honour to live here...

I know that humanbeings and fish can coexist peacefully...

You can't take a high horse and then climb a low road

And I believe what I believe is right!!!

Not one doubt in my mind....that we will fail..

If you are wondering when Sidhu had talked all these wonderful Sidhuisms, you are mistaken. These were the amazing creations of the most powerful man on earth, Mr. President George W Bush.

Well...that's just not it...Here are a few more...

It will take time to restore chaos - guess that's why he got a second term in office!!!

in order for us to discuss the framework sorry the
ground work not framework, the groundwork to discuss a framework for peace... - now I know why all these peace talks fail!!!

During the last few months I've been trained by AlQaeda... - I thought AlQaeda were very good at training people!!!

I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these "terrorist killers" - Now that's one of the very few meaningful statements he made.

If you don't believe it, have a look at this video.

Don't miss the pat he gives on some female speaker's butt!!! Not sure who she is.

Man I still can't believe that the americans elected this guy for a second term in office.

Guess Bush interviews would easily win the best Comedy Program award!!!

Have fun watching the video.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Whisky Tycoon

Kudi kudiyai kedukkum is a well known adage. But ever heard of "Kudi Cityai kattum". Well to know how, visit Vittal Mallya Road in Bangalore. The huge skyscrapers being constructed by UB group owned by Vijay Mallya called UB city.

One man who consistently appears on both Page 1 and Page 3, Vijay Mallya, the businessman with a difference. While Indian IT tycoons are busy grabbing and executing projects from international firms, the beer boy went ahead and acquired the leading international breweries firm, Shaw Wallace.

When Indian airliners were offering low cost, no frills flights, the high flier launched Kingfisher on the Pay and Enjoy model, making a mark with the quality service and of course the charming (short-skirted, glossy-lipped, cherubic women of mallya - courtesy KK) air hostesses :-).

Can be aptly called India's Richard Branson. Expecting a "Getting the Kick" in the same lines as "Losing my Virginity".

Friday, August 25, 2006

Do you accept?

"I accept the terms in the license agreement"

Does that sound familiar? The small radio button that appears below the neverending text called license agreement. Ever tried scrolling down and reaching the bottom of this text. Based on the latest results, the guiness record is held by an American who kept scrolling for 2 months and 13 days continously to reach the half way mark in the license agreement of Microsoft Vista Beta. Microsoft officials have stated that the Guiness record is void since only half of the license agreement is completed so far and the continous delay and postment in the Vista release is mainly due to the time taken to complete the License agreement!!

Well, I wonder if anybody even cares to see what is written there. I remember seeing user manuals which say "The license agreement screen appears, click the button showing I accept the terms and click next". Even they don't talk about reading the agreement. So what is the use of these huge documents. Is the user bound to a legal agreement just because he clicked the button. I doubt if this can be used as a proof in any courts.

All these industry standards that somehow don't make any sense at all to me.

If you have read the above crap and agree with it, then go ahead and spread my message across. If you do not agree then go to hell.

Robo Pal