How May I Have You?
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How May I Have You?
It took just a little impassioned ‘sales talk’ to get my high-spirited elder sister, Poonam, agree to become my co-traveller. My partner-in-crime was born barely two years before me, but looking at us chattering away like magpies, you would think we are twins—Siamese ones at that!
That’s how we found ourselves on a low-cost carrier flying off to a low-cost holiday destination, on a low – budget to what people warned us was a low-moral destination. We were eager to unravel the mysteries of why a woman should not travel alone to Bangkok!
We had decided, that once air-borne, we would leave all our cares behind—she, her Professorship worries and me my PR ones. All we would talk about would be ourselves-and the relaxing time we were sure to have.
So that’s how it was. Like two overgrown teenagers, we giggled in our seats, 33,000 ft above sea level, much to the collective surprise of the other members in the group. We had joined a group holiday package. Being forced to be in the company of 20 more people—mostly men, we felt it was more like blind dating. So we giggled some more when we realized it would have been quite a blessing to have been blind after seeing some of the “handsome” team members. I am sure the feeling was mutual.
We squeezed each other’s hands excitedly as we landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. My sister has this fetish. Others go weak-kneed when they see a stunning person of the other gender. She goes weak –kneed every time she sees a wheelchair.
So, to keep her in a comfortable frame of mind, we had organized a wheelchair for her at the airport. While her happy knees smiled at being driven comfortably around “Duty Free”, I had a hard time on the mirror-shine floors, trying to keep pace with her enjoyable joy ride.
Baggage claimed, visa examined, passport stamped, we headed towards the exit, only to wonder where the others were. (It was later that we learned that we had been swished in through the Privilege Access route far ahead of the hard-working others.) Had we missed the Group Coordinator? Had the group given us a miss?
Worriedly, I walked about in the vast expanse of the massive airport, trying to get my bearings. It would be a good idea to get a local phone card for my mobile, I thought. So I walked… and walked…and walked. Once in a while, I would feel a spurt of anger rise in my heart at my holidaying sister who was comfortably seated in her “foreign” wheelchair, trying to look the part of an invalid, and failing.
Every once in a while, her eyes would light up at the sight of a goody being sold. She would groan, pick herself up, hobble to the stall to buy it and smilingly stuff the “prize” into her bags, while I kept walking endlessly with her mobile and mine.
Just when my anger had reached its peak, I walked across to a counter, hoping the nice young man there would help me.
It happened simultaneously. The historic words he uttered, the squeal of laughter from behind from my sister (who had hurriedly wheeled herself in my pursuit) and my own disbelief at what I heard.
In a very concerned manner the young man asked me—“How May I Have You?”
Mutual anger gone, once again we broke into our giggling spree.
“Well, answer him!” my sister whispered merrily “The poor, innocent guy, cannot pronounce the “P” in “Help”. “P” is “V” here!”
It was a priceless Kodak moment for our threesome—the confused nice young man and the two squealing women.
That’s how we entered the wicked world of Bangkok where it is okay to say—‘How May I Have You?”