First encounter with a p, p.1
First Encounter With A P
By Hiranya Borah
Copyright 2017 Hiranya Borah
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It is a small story how Ajay had landed at P House and how he was able to come out of the house unscathed.
Chapter I: A Foreign Visit
Ajay was overjoyed to visit a foreign soil for the first time, that too on Government funding. He telephoned all his relatives prior to his visit and naturally, all the relatives gave him a long list of articles to be brought from the foreign country. He also took all the lists with a promise to bring those items listed in the lists. Naturally, his wife was not amused to hear those promises to his relatives.
However, Ramen, his evergreen colleague, who visited different parts of the globe, had promised to give a different list to Ajay.
‘So, you are going to Bangkok for the first time. Keep a spare day for Pataya.’ Ramen advised.
‘The approved tour programme does not have any provision for a spare day!’ The novice replied.
‘Oh, I forgot, this is your first foreign visit. OK, it is better for you to return without any manipulation of your tour programme. I do not want that on your very first visit you are black listed by the seniors. But still I shall give you a list of places where you must have to visit at Bangkok.’ Ramen had gone to Bangkok many times earlier on official as well as on personal visit.
‘Sure, I shall consult with you before I leave for Bangkok.’ Ajay told Ramen with a submissive voice.
A day before departure to Bangkok, Ramen gave a list of places Ajay would like to go. From the list Ajay could find out easily that the list consists of places where cheap dress materials are available and few land marks like Baiku tower etc. are located. However, few places were star marked by Ramen which Ajay could not understand, why they were star marked. When he asked Ramen, why some of the places were star marked, Ramen replied, ‘You will know, when you reach Bangkok.’
Chapter II: As Chaotic as Delhi
As he got down from the plane and got out from the immigration counter in the early morning, he realized it is no different from any Indian airport. The taxi drivers were waiting to flinch an unsuspecting passenger like taxi drivers in any Indian railway station or any Indian Air Port. However, in India, he never felt worried; but here he became little bit worried.
He approached the ‘May I help you’ counter and showed his address of the hotel he had booked for his stay. The lady sitting at the counter was a lovely girl and she said in her typical pronunciation, without pronouncing the letter ‘R’ in her words. With little difficulty Ajay understood that if he would hire a taxi from pre-paid booth, the fare would be 400 Baht. But if he would go by the Express way, he would have to pay another 75 Baht to the hotel which is situated near to the Bobey Tower. Ajay was also told if he would take Express Way, he would be able to save at least one hour.
Ajay took a pre-paid taxi and told the taxi driver to take the Express way. When finally, he arrived at the hotel counter at 10 AM, he was told that he would get his room only after 2 PM. The receptionist, not so polite as the girl at ‘May I help you’ counter told Ajay, ‘You will get your room after 2 PM only as you have booked your hotel accommodation from today evening only. Otherwise, if you want your room right now, you have to pay one day’s extra rent.’
Ajay had an impression that being Bangkok a tourist hub, the people must be politer than any place of North India. But after arriving at Bangkok, he got the real taste of Global tourist hub.
But everyone was not like that. A local gentle man came forward and said, ‘Sir are you from India?’
‘You can deposit your belongings at the cloak room free of cost and roam around the city for three hours by hiring my taxi for 300 baht only.’
Ajay quickly thought. ‘I may not find time to see the city from tomorrow once meeting will start. Further, when the person is well inside the reception area of the hotel, he can be believed.’ However, instead of answering the gentleman, he asked the receptionist, ‘Can I keep my belongings at your cloakroom and go for sightseeing with this gentleman?’
This time receptionist became very friendly and told, ‘Yes sir, you can do that. He is our man, do not worry.’
The receptionist told one of his orderly to keep the suitcase of Ajay and he gave a receipt of the cloakroom. He also offered Ajay to use their common washroom to refresh.
Chapter III: The Gentleman Driver
The gentleman driver took Ajay around the city for half an hour and took him to India-market where most of the shopkeepers are either Indian or from Indian subcontinent. In this market one can bargain in Hindi comfortably. But on the very first day Ajay did not want to do any shopping. So, he requested the driver to take him to some tourist place where he can see something very special to Bangkok.
The driver obliged. He took Ajay to a Buddhist temple where he could see a large reclining Buddha statue. He was overwhelmed to see the magnificent golden statue. It was already 12 Noon and therefore both of them took lunch.
After lunch, Ajay thought, ‘As it is only 12-30PM and I have to pay him 300 Baht in any case, why do I not use his car for another at least one hour?’ Then he recalled the list Ramen had given to him. He opened his paper and asked the driver, ‘Where this place is? Is it far off?
The driver with a mystic smile said, ‘It is not far off. Now let us go to the hotel. Take rest. I shall take you there in the evening.’
‘But-’ Ajay wanted to say something.
‘Do not worry sir. I shall take you there without any extra charge!’ Ajay became very happy to find such a gentleman in the driver.
They reached the hotel around 1 PM. As soon as the receptionist saw Ajay he welcomed him, ‘Sir, your room is ready. You can occupy.’
Ajay realized, the people of Bangkok are more friendly to the tourists then he thought a few hours ago, after reaching the city.
After occupying the room, he tried to take a nap.
Chapter IV: The Star Place
The sound of the calling bell in his room awoke Ajay from his sound sleep. Ajay actually slept for more than three hours on that evening. When he opened his door, he found the gentleman driver was standing before his room with a broad smile.
‘Sorry, I fell asleep for a long time. I shall be ready within five minutes.’ With an apologetic smile, Ajay told him.
‘Do not worry sir. I shall wait at the lounge for you.’ He went back to the lounge.
The car took hardly ten minutes to reach their destination.
It is fully illuminated place. But all the buildings are with dark glasses. The driver told Ajay, ‘Take your own time sir. I shall wait for you.’
As he entered to the building, Ajay understood, where he landed. For a moment, he thought, ‘Should I go back?’’ Next moment he thought, ‘I am not a kid. I must go inside, explore fully, whatever may be the consequence. ‘
A young man welcomed him and said, ‘Sir please take you seat. Would you like to drink?’
‘No thanks.’ Ajay told him.
He saw ladies with skinny dress were sitting behind a glass house. Like the beauties of beauty pageant, they were also tagged with a number. Most of them were local young girls. Officially this is a massage parlour. But basically, it is a place where everything is sold. Ajay recalled a story told by one of his friends of his
The young man came again to Ajay and asked, ‘Which number you have selected sir?’
Ajay looked at him with a question mark. He understood something and told Ajay, ‘For one and a half hour 2500 Baht. You can enjoy fully. All are fully trained to give you full satisfaction. For every next half an hour additional 500 Baht you have to pay.’
Ajay looked at the watch. It is the time, when his daughter sits with him for her home work. He stood up from the chair and proceeded towards the glass door.
The author is a Government servant and a man of vivid experiences derived from his official postings across the country, travels across India and numerous visits outside India. He is presently placed at New Delhi.
His earlier publications are:
1.Random Thoughts through a Coloured Prism
2. Dilemma of a Young Mind
3. Funny Statistics and Serious Statisticians
4. Melody of Fragrance
6. Few Cities through the Lens of Hiranya Borah
7. Guilt: Gift of Winter Spring
8. Beautiful Ghost
9. Great Fighters: Grace of God
10. All Blurred
11. Putting kids to sleep
12.How to become unpopular
14. My grumpy Face
15. Love and Worries
16. Discussion of own Birth: A Taboo
18. Indecent Love Affairs
19. My Fair Lady
21. Two Stories
22. My Mother: Dashami Borah
26. First Attempt
27. A father
28. The Portrait
29. Snapped Thread
30. Only He Knows
31. The Stupid Mother
32. The Same Old Story
33. The Old Scoundrel
34. Third Attempt
35. Some of my First Days and First Nights
36. Snubbed Twice
37. Have You Met the God
38. Frequent Flier
40. Forgive and Forget
41. To Win or to lose
42. Call Girl
43. Beyond Blood Relation
44. Lady with a Black Car
45. My wife
47. Diwali Gift
48. Romance with a Lady
49. Open Hear Surgery
50. My First Love
52. Pebbles on My Way Home
53. My First Bengali Book
54. Murder Mystery
57. Make a Habit to Thank God
58. Killing of A Bird
59. The Hero
60. Fantasy versus Reality
62. Road Rage
63. Death of a Friend
64.Cannot Live with Memory Only
65. None Cares for Me
66. A Tribute to My Guru
67. Two Professionals
68. The Choice
69. The Elusive Spouse
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