Monday, July 21, 2008

Sweetest of all apples

Recently I was in Hartola, a Himalayan village close to Rambagh in Nainital district of Uttaranchal. The event was the annual editorial meeting of my publication and all of my journalist colleagues in Tehelka were present. The village was very beautiful and we were staying in tents erected in an apple orchard. We were there for about five days and eating apples five time a day turned the biggest `extra curricular' activity.(The journey to Hartola was very hectic and at first I had to board a Delhi bound flight from Trivandrum. A night train (Ranikhet Express) took my team from Old Delhi station to Kathgodam in Uttaranchal. From there it was a four hour long bus journey through the steep hills).
On the concluding day, I had asked the owner of apple orchard to arrange a few fine variety apples to take home. He immediately agreed. while boarding the return bus, he told me that an apple container was already loaded on top of the bus for my exclusive use. Only when the bus reached Kathgodam Railway Station, I realised that the container has over 35 kg apple. Then I hired a porter to take it out of the bus and to load in inside the train compartment. The wooden container supported by coir turned a little bit embarrassment to me as most of the fellow travellers were travelling like business executives. In Old Delhi station, I had hired yet another porter to load it in a taxi. On reaching my lodge in GK-2 of South Delhi, I had no option other than spending my own energy to take it into my room. Even in the hotel reception, I felt em brassed over the rough appearance of the apple container. The very next day, I took another taxi and loaded it to reach the domestic airport. At the airport, those who at the security check demanded Rs 100 per kg as freight charge. That Means Rs 3,500 for the container. Then what would be the price of 1 kg apple?There were two options in front. first was to pay the hefty some and ensure the reach my apple bag in Trivandrum. The other one is not paying anything and distributing it among the flight staff and passengers around. No question of paying money. Finally, somehow, the flight crew agreed to transport the apple container without any fee. They were in consideration of my journalist status and also of the efforts I had put in to take the apples from hartola. At last, the apple reached Trivandrum airport. While all passengers were moving out with trolley bags and suit cases, I was the sole exception with such an idiotic wooden container supported by coir. Anyway, those apples were sweeter than any of the imported apples I had tasted before and after the incident.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so you were planning on having the apples for free, literally - no cost, no land/air freight, no effort? and you "journalist" status entitles you to all that?

what a loser!