And here starts my journey as a columnist. Glad to share the first of my monthly column, “Window or Aisle”, in Blink, the weekend edition of the Hindu Business Line.
When The Hindu Business Line requested a monthly column around business travel, I pooped the proverbial crap in my pants. I don’t know much about business. Or travel. Or writing. Or even Hinduism. Truth be told, I just happened to write a book on travel. Once you know how Aisle Be Damned came about, your expectations would be set so low anything after that will seem like Douglas Adams meets James Michener at a PG Wodehouse bunga bunga party.
By day, I’m a boring corporate executive. By night, an author by accident. Churning out a book on the murky world of finance, a yarn on the many mistakes of my life, or a wild tale from mythology were all logical choices. But more talented authors had already done that. So I thought long and hard… And as I looked to the skies for inspiration, an airplane zoomed by. I jumped out of my bathtub shouting “Eureka, Eureka!” And a salesman appeared and sold me a vacuum cleaner. So now I’m an author with a really clean house and a contract to share some monthly perspective on travel.
As a first-time columnist, I’m aware that I’m operating in a highly competitive market for a reader’s attention and won’t waste your time. If you’re a person who hasn’t discovered the world of seats behind that business class curtain, this column won’t be your scene. So answer this one question to gauge if you will benefit from the Piparaiya perspective — how do you breakfast when you travel?
A. I order room service — Dude, you’re not even worth a column centimetre of newsprint. So you take a pen, tick little boxes and hang it outside your door before 2am? Even my lamppost is more entertaining! You’ll get nothing here. Go listen to some audio book. Scoot.
B. I go à la carte — You make travellers like me feel like scum. You order the cereal with skimmed milk, the egg white omelette, or a bowl of fresh fruit, and feel smug about your washboard abs. Yes, you may flip through my column, though frankly, you are better off reading Robb Report while sipping chamomile tea.
C. I am all for quantity — the Buffet. Now we are talking! You have perfected the breakfast buffet reconnaissance, starting from the outside and slowly heading in a concentric circular pattern looking at each table display carefully. As you dabble in the croissants, cold cuts, and buffet dishes, your head is sharply cocked for the ‘live counters’ — real food being cooked in front of your rheum-crusted eyes. And before you know it, you are the United culinary Nations — a masala dosa rubs shoulders with dim sum, scrambled eggs and congee. And best of all, it’s all included in your room rate. You, my buffeteers, make life as a struggling writer worthwhile. You’ll benefit from, and contribute to, this column.
Out of space already? Awesome! Until next month, bon appétit.