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   Bikram Agarwal
   Consultant Developer,
   T-Mobile USA,
   Seattle, WA

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I'm coming home | Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yayyyy. Finally I'm going home. It's 40 days to count down, but since it's 8 months after I last went home, the excitement is soring again. Not that I totally enjoy my stay home [long story], but still, am looking forward to it.

This trip was long planned. Last time I went home in January to attend a couple of weddings. And this time, it's Diwali. In between I haven't taken a single leave from office. Good, dedicated employee - huh? Guess I should get a special award or salary hike for this. ;) I was entitled to 18 more leaves this year of which I was asking for 5 days. So, I was pretty confidant of getting my leave plans approved without any hesitation. But as there are only two of us in our product, it took me a little logical explanation and buttering to get it approved. Icing on cake is - by spending just '5 days of leave', I'm getting to spend 11 days at home. Buy 1 Get 1 free offer. Actually, 1st Nov is holiday for Karnataka Rajyotshava and 9th Nov is holiday for Deewali. Add 3, 4, 10 & 11 nov to them as weekends - and voila - I have 11 holidays. Pretty good deal, huh?

[ Continued in Full Post ]

Booked my flights yesterday. That's another exciting story. For my round trip journey - I'm going through Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai - in addition to B'lore and Calcutta of course. There's this offer on ezeego1 that gives you one free flight ticket for every flight booked through them. Another Buy 1 Get 1 free offer. It's raining offers, Man. So, I booked my flight for B'lore to Calcutta scheduled 1st Nov. 0745 hrs. That's via Hyderabad. Got one free ticket voucher in return. But alas, flight from Calcutta wasn't in this offer. I had options to pick Hyderabad, Chennai or Delhi as my flight origin. After much debate, I chose the capital, Delhi, as that is nearest to Calcutta. So flight from Delhi to B'lore it is, via Mumbai. And know what....!! This flight was priced @ some 10k [inclusive of all taxes] but I got it booked for just 1.5k. I had to pay just the taxes n surcharge, thanks to the free flight offer. Amazing thing is - the cost of my full pay flight [B'lore to Cal] was just Rs. 3874 [there too I'll get assured 25% cash back]. And I got a flight worth 10k free. In effect, free stuff is worth more than the purchased product....!! What can be better than that? Oh, I forgot to mention that I'll get a Future Bazaar shopping voucher worth Rs. 500 free from ezeego1 for this flight booking. Hurry. Whole offer till 23rd Sep only. :D

One disturbing issue in this whole journey planning was the journey between Calcutta and Delhi on my way back. I opted for a train journey for this, as I've never been to home n back without being in train. All 4 years of college - I've ferried between college and home in train. Approx 45 hours of train journey with friends, building a temporary family with unknown people, train meals or rush for a better food at some big station, 'Chai-Chai', long Godavari Bridge, fast blowing air on face, the train whistle - everything is so much part of my college days' memory. So, it's just obvious that I pick a little train journey this time also. But the timings weren't satisfactory. Picked the best option available. Howrah Delhi Kalka mail that'll reach Delhi @ 2100 hrs. My onward flight is @ 0745hrs next day. So, will have to spend the whole night @ d airport. Have some relatives and friends in Delhi, but not decided yet to bother them regarding this. Guess I'll be catching a Metro for airport. Haven't boarded metro in Calcutta since 5 years, and haven't ever seen Delhi metro. So, another high. :)

Hey, if you have any better idea for my delhi stay - please please let me know. i.e., if you can suggest me any better mode of transportation or if there's any safety concern in traveling in Delhi @ night or any other issue/info you're aware of, please let me know. I'll really appreciate that.

Well, that'll be all for now. Guess most of you are also planning a trip to home for Deewali. Wish you a happy journey and memorable holidays at home. In the meantime, U can catch the excitement at my office through the snaps I've put up on my photoblog. Currently, our office is decorated as a Village. Catch all the action in pics here.

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