My air travel..!


I am brown, but unlike many that is not my trouble with the TSA while traveling. I don’t have any real unpardonable trouble as such. However, I still do have a small trouble which makes me smirk once I cross the security.

It is my name, I don’t have a Khan Ninja just like our great SRK. Rather than the contents in my name, it is the sheer length. Whenever I need to show my ID along with the boarding pass at Bozeman (I haven’t had much trouble in bigger airports Airplane ) I have this trouble to explain, make them understand.

In India, My first name has 8 letters and I have got two initials. Easy peasy.

In US, I have the same 8 letter first name, 13 letter first part of last name and an another 12 letter second part. That is 33 with two space in between. The foreign student advisor at MSU showed me the Indian students list, there are some 40 odd names, and one just stands out… Really out. I mean Literally out Winking smile.

I didn’t know that is what my grandpa mentioned that I will stand out in a crowd Black Sheep. The trouble of writing this 33 letters just for a single question in a form is indeed pain. The real killer is that, my driver’s license doesn’t have my full first name. Whenever I shrink my name, I shrink the first part of my last name. What in the end happens is that, I don’t seem to have the same name in the boarding pass and the ID I show them. They will have to call their supervisor to let this cute boy in. My charms and wizardry never seems to work on them Sad smile.

After they did let me in, I am on the assigned seat desperate to catch on some reading (barring my thesis and the satirical book by Jon Stewart, both are funny Rolling on the floor laughing). I take out my B’day gift for myself, yea I am finishing my B’day gift only now which I got in March.

My B’day gift for myself for the 23rd B’day was “A million little pieces” by James Frey. It is a fictionalized memoir by a drug addict written about a time when he was 23. Hence, I bought it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. For the next year, I bought a sequel to that by Frey himself, “My best friend Leonard”. It has got a ‘pink’ cover.


For the color,I did get some ‘looks’. When I started reading it months back, the book was boring and very saddening in the first chapters, more dragging of the same stuff where ‘million little pieces ended’. May be I was going through a rough patch, I actually didn’t want more agony in my reading.

As I was turning the pages, I really enjoyed Frey’s work, about a relationship between a father like figure and his adopted like son. It was a heart breaking book which captured or struck my thoughts when discussing certain things about life. I’d like to reproduce a small dialogue between Frey and Leonard in the book.

“What’s the meaning of life, Leonard? He laughs, says that’s an easy one, my son, it’s whatever you want it to be.”

While I was still sobbing, the flight landed with thuds. The Mexican lady sitting next to me made me laugh with what she said then.

-Santhosh K Ramachandran

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