Packing one`s luggage is an art. Especially since, as the old Tata Indica advertisement proclaimed, we love to carry the World with us. The Tata Indica ad is so true…when I sat down to make a list of things to be packed…I first wrote down “The Globe.”
Rekha and I spent the whole of last weekend packing and believe me it isn`t something you would want to do. No, I am not referring to Rekha….but to packing.
Who will pack the bag?
After spending a Wednesday & Thursday fighting over who would pack what, it was decided that we come up with our own list of things to pack and pack our own bags. Friday was spent deciding who got which bags. Naturally, I ended up with the worst of the three high-profile luggage bags (for some odd reason we still have the bags that we carried in 2000 B.C. or was it A.D.?). Mind you, any bag that wasn`t part of an Allen Solly or Color Plus deal of ‘buy three formal shirts and get a stylish travel bag free` is a high-profile bag for me.
With the bag decided, I sat down to make my list. The last time I had sat down to make a list was in 2004 while deciding the invitees list to my wedding. Back then, I had focused completely on the list and forgot the bride – and thus ended with the one I am stuck with now. Anyway, not wanting to repeat the same mistake….I drove down to Qutub Minar (20 kilometers from my place)….so that I could focus on the list.
My travel packing list
1) Undies – 2 Numbers (remember to wash after every use)
2) Socks – 2 Numbers (remember to hang in sun after every use)
3) Jeans – 2 Numbers
4) T-Shirts – 2 Numbers
5) Deodorant – 1 Number
6) Tooth Brush – 1 Number (See if it can double up as boot brush – to save baggage space)
7) Tooth Paste – 1 Number (Since the destination isn`t five star they don`t provide tooth paste. When will my mom learn to be as hospitable as the Oberois?)
8 ) Shoes – 1 Number (tooth paste will NOT double up as boot polish. Unless the shoe is white like Mithun Chakravarthy`s)
9) Mobile & Charger – 1 Number
10) Shorts – 1 Numbers (Get the darker one. Can`t afford to carry two)
11) Honey Bottles – 3 Numbers (My mother loves honey, especially when I gift it to her)
12) Wall Clock – 1 Number (Since I don`t wear a wrist watch)
13) Cupboard – 1 Number (That`s where I had kept the tickets but can`t find now. Plan to reach airport early and search for the e-Ticket)
The advantage of getting the list done by somebody else is that when you miss an important item, you can always say: “If I had made the list, I wouldn`t have missed that!” Since, I was making the list I had to be double careful.
Cleaning the Travel Bag
Once the packing list was made, I drove back home and started my bag cleaning exercise. I don`t know how you take care of your bags. In our house, after we are back from travel the bag is kept in an undisclosed locality. Despite our attempts to keep the location a secret, spiders, cockroaches & lizards somehow come to know of the place. Now you know why I suspect my wife to be a double agent.
When I pulled out the bag from the cupboard (oops! I just revealed the place – if you are a spider, lizard or cockroach please spare me!) I saw a thriving civilization. So much so, I even spotted some archeologists trying to unearth secrets from the bag.
Here are some of the items that I had to remove from the bag before I started packing:
– Boarding passes
– An unwashed handkerchief, which had become a mass of cloth (guess I had a terrible cold when I last traveled)
– Some coins & some rupee notes (wish I knew this when I was suffering from money-less-ness and my blood sugar had gone down)
– 6 Cockroaches
– 2 Spiders
The best part of traveling is cleaning one`s bag for the travel. Especially, when while cleaning the bag the settled dust raises a stink and gives me breathlessness and eventually speechlessness. I feel as if I am in love again.
My travel bag & airport security
With my packing done (and Rekha having done her share of packing) we reached the New Delhi airport in time. Everything was going fine till the honey bottles were spotted at the security screening and suspected to be liquid bombs.
After I drank one whole bottle of honey and clutched my stomach in pain, the cops suspected it to be a decoy and ransacked my whole bag looking for the actual bomb. With fifteen minutes for my flight to take off….my packing was undone and I had to start from scratch. Thankfully, I didn`t have to make a list.