As I said in my previous post, I was asked to visit Rediff Office in Mumbai. I thought Wednesday (25th) would be a great idea. Informed the same to HR. I got the return ticket to Mumbai on Tuesday. This was the first time I was going to Mumbai and also the first time I was boarding a flight. Both flights were Indian Airlines.
Took Aero-Express from Hitech City to Airport. I was at airport (Shamshabad) at 6:15AM. Flight was a 7:50AM. So there was a lot of time that I could waste on the airport. With no idea how to proceed, I kept following a co-passenger (from the bus) and ended up in a queue for international flights 😛 Security redirected me to entrance for domestic flights. I proceeded to check in counters following a very simple approach. Look for counters with hot girls 😛 Among those, look for a counter with smallest number of people in the queue 😀 And it worked out of the box. Got the tickets. Moved in for security check. It was hassle free as I didn’t have any luggage. It was still an hour for the flight to take off. Used the free internet for few minutes. I was a bit nervous 🙂 About half an hour later, we were asked to proceed for boarding.
Ten minutes later, I was in plane. It was Airbus A320. Luckily I got the window seat. I was surprised as there was no in-flight entertainment system and the airbus looked technologically challenged 🙂 Few minutes later, the plane started crawling. It kept crawling at the same speed (20-30 km/hr) for so long that I got extremely frustrated. I was thinking, “Abe Mumbai paidal lekar jayega kya??” (Are we going to Mumbai by foot). I breathe a sigh of relief when it started accelerating. It was a thrilling experience after that long boredom. Things I imagined while playing NFS and other car games suddenly became live. We were on the ground at almost 300km/hr. The feeling while the plane takes off is damn nice. You feel something in the chest for sometime. After the plane is completely in air, things again become boring as the plane looks static with respect to ground. I was feeling like, “Why the hell its not moving??”. As the charm of flying for the first time was over, I picked up the newspaper. It was business line. Couldn’t really figure out a story to read. Then I picked the Air India magazine. While I was turning the pages, saw Katrina on sidebar of a page. Continued reading the story and figured out that both Airbus A319 and Airbus A321 have in flight entertainment systems. It was a real bad feeling to get stuck into A320 when both A319 and A321 were awesome 😐 The food served in breakfast was pretty good. Few minutes later, it was announced that we were in Mumbai. Landing in Mumbai was awesome. Actually, the planes first goes into the sea and then take a U turn. The landing experience was also awesome. It feels great when the plane decelerates.
To Rediff Office (Mahim)
I was warned by Sachin about the taxi drivers charging huge fare for no reasons. So I was a bit careful. But still ended up paying twice the actual charge. I left the airport at around 9:40AM. It was damn hot there at that time. My destination was Rediff office which is located somewhere in Mahim(West). Airport to Bandra (Western Express Highway) was totally jam packed. Taxi wallah turned out to be a bit smart and took the service root and managed to save a lot of time. Still it took almost an hour to reach the office.
In Rediff Office
I met Sumit in the office. He introduced me to a lot other people in NOC team. A small HR interview was conducted which was a surprising element for me as I never expected something like that. But it was fun talking to people from HR department. Then I met Sachin there. He introduced me to a lot other people related to domains I like. After that I had a small chit-chat session with managers from the NOC dept. After that Sachin introduced me to CTO, Rediff. We had a long chat session (almost half an hour). We talked about a lot of things in different domains (mainly open source). After that inspiring chat session, Sachin and me went out for lunch. I felt good to see good north Indian food nearby. We returned to office. Few minutes later, Sachin introduced me to CEO and CFO, Rediff. After that I had a long chat with Sachin about company environment and work culture.
Keeping in mind the traffic conditions, I left for the airport at 4:30PM. Unfortunately/fortunately I didn’t encounter any traffic and reached the airport at 5:00PM which was like 2 hours before the flight. To fight boredom, I headed over to Kingfisher check-in counters and found out a place to sit optimizing the view 😛
I was in plane at around 6:50PM. A321 looked really advanced as compared to A320. We were on the runway at scheduled time. But on the way it halted and waited there for another 20 minutes. By the time the plane took off, it was 25-30 minutes late. This time also I got the window seat. BTW plane was almost empty (only 40% of the seats were occupied). We were above sea in a few minutes. The view of the city in night from the sea was beyond my imagination. Every single light adding to the beauty of it. The view was best when the plane took a U turn. The entire Mumbai was visible and lights increased the beauty exponentially. The highways looked like long chains of light sources intersecting each other. It was a really wonderful experience. As we left Mumbai, the in-flight entertainment system was activated. I was browsing the channels and found one of them playing “Sorry Bhai”, one of my favorite pass-time bollywood flick. We reached Hyderabad at around 8:40PM. Took Aero-Express back to Gachibowli.
All in all it was an awesome trip to Rediff Office and also a wonderful first time flying experience 🙂