What’s in a Number?
What’s a number got to do with your vacation plan? A vacation is sure to ramp up production of endorphins of joy and ecstasy in your body. And what if it is your first vacation abroad, in exotic
? Your body’s endorphin production is going to race into overdrive! Thailand
Now, there are no prizes for guessing how you are going to feel if this holiday is courtesy a complimentary voucher including free stay and, believe it or faint, free air travel. But, you remind yourself this voucher is for two. Two. The wife, the voucher is in her name, sir, and you, the add-on. This reminder drops endorphin production from overdrive by at least thirty percent. This is 2011. The digits add up to four. Four must be HER lucky number.
Anyway, you light the regular two incense sticks and pray. The Lord has been kind after all.
Voucher in hand, the need now is only to confirm the date of departure within a few days, collect the flight tickets from the local airline head office and travel. Oh, the joys of travel! But just like all complimentary offers, this too is a teaser of just three days and four nights, leaving you wanting. The missus declares that this is just not enough. An extension of, at least, a week to this stay and that too at Phuket, in
, is what will mollify her. She then magnanimously hands you that prize voucher which she won at the anniversary party of your vacation time-share company. So resourceful. Just that this voucher was won so long back, Jesus Christ was probably current affairs then. And pray how on earth can it still be valid, you wonder? That voucher was marked only for Thailand Australia and , or, any planet of your choice. This, sweet heart is for Spain . Women…give them an inch and be damned if you don’t start believing they’re the rulers. Phuket, Thailand
You obviously follow wise counsel, head to the vacation time-sharers office and hand over the voucher with a request for revalidation and approval for
. Quite unlikely to happen, you are told, unless the zonal manager, currently on tour, gives his nod. Years ago the missus ensnared me for life, you reminisce. That’s as lucky as she can get. There’s no way that voucher is going to get validated. You get back home and pray with four instead of the usual two incense sticks. The Lord needs to be appeased for madam to pleased. Thailand
The very next morning you receive a call from the vacation time-sharers office with this air of pre-conceived confidence. Minutes later there’s some hectic mental maths going on. Is four actually her lucky number or was it the extra two incense sticks? THAT voucher just got revalidated.
Have you ever felt you could have asked for something more, when something you prayed for has been granted? Well it’s the same even when something more than you wished for has been granted.
You have now confirmed the dates, booked the tickets, and, the visa for
is on arrival. The wait is on for D-Day just a couple of days away and everything is set, save for a small endorsement on the passports. The teller at the window in the passport office examines the passports and says that your passport could be collected on the morrow. As regards missus` passport, well there’s good news and there’s bad news. The endorsement is already done, but she will not be able to travel with this passport as it is damaged. So…what’s the bad news, you enquire? Jokes apart (shouldn’t they always be ‘a part’), you are told this passport needs replacement. You nonchalantly tell him to have it done and he replies nonchalantly that it will take a minimum of four working days and with the weekend approaching, you could make that six. Two days to leave, four days for a replacement. And four was supposed to be her lucky number! Guess she’s four light years away from luck. Back it is to the prayer room. The four incense sticks have become eight and now it is the missus is praying. Lord God, the great leveller. Bangkok
In desperation to complete the passport requirements, a chance enquiry with the passport photographer by the missus (she is even checking with vegetable vendor) leads to a meeting with an insider at the passport office. Grabbing at the opportunity like it was a god sent chance for redemption for some past sins, he assures her he will try his best. But of course, provided his boss at the passport office agrees. Pronto-the prayer room-the eight incense sticks are now sixteen in number. The smoke sensor may well activate the fire alarm.
The duplicate passport is applied for via the insiders` channel in an emergency quota and with a hefty fee, and the mandatory interview is also arranged with his boss. The missus, now full of remorse, she was careless with her PASSPORT for Lord’s sake, goes in and pleads her case. She had dropped some milk on the passport eons ago, and assumed it wouldn’t matter. The boss, a lady, empathises (who else would) and grants the delivery immediately, within four hours. FOUR hours? 2 0 11, four days, four hours, what’s it with four and the missus you wonder?
Passports collected, you rush back home with the wife and head straight to the prayer room. The Lord couldn’t have been kinder. The sixteen incense sticks turn to thirty two and you both pray fervently thanking Him. He seems to acknowledge, but with a strangely familiar sound ….
The smoke sensor has just activated the fire alarm.