On the way, I stopped at a restaurant to refresh myself and my daughter who was accompanying me.
We had a soft drink each. The bill came to nearly Rs The traffic on the road had more than doubled and the highway was in bad shape at many places. People and cattle strayed on to the road slowing down traffic.
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I have little doubt that in another two years, unless the highway is made four-laned and measures are taken to prevent fleecing travellers, tourists will switch over from the road to rail or air. Not all was as bleak as I am making it out to be. Rajasthan is also showing ingenious ways of seducing foreign tourists which hoteliers of cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi consider too garish to introduce.
We drove to the entrance of Le Meridien a few yards away from the main highway. A huge caprisoned elephant waved its trunk to salute us. A few steps later, a group of Rajasthani folk dancers went gyrating to the sounds of a sarangi and a drum. We were garlanded and had red tikas marked on our foreheads. The expansive lounge was loud with music and song — not piped, but live music. The rooms were lavish and stocked with modern amenities.
After a short rest, I went to the lounge to see the raunaq. Foreigners came in droves looking somewhat bewildered by the reception.
I was left alone for a while watching guests cavorting in the pool. Finding no other listeners, two folk dancers came to my table.
Amitav Ghosh, The Calcutta Chromosome. Gautam Malkani, Londonstani. Hanif Kureishi, The Body. Manju Kapur, The Immigrant. Seminar One. God of Small Things Sem Notes. The White Tiger Sem Notes. Calcutta Chromosome Sem Notes. Londonstani Seminar Notes. The Body Seminar Notes.
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The Immigrant Seminar Notes. Suggested Readings :. The following are really just suggestions: the module will take a broad and eclectic approach to this big topic, and students are encouraged to read widely and wherever their interests on the issues raised in this module takes them. It is hoped that the following will merely be starting points for individual reading journeys. Other times, I remember calling his office to find out what country he was in. For several years, the revenues department at American had been monitoring my father and other AAirpass holders to see how much their golden tickets were costing the airline in lost revenue.
My father was one of several lifetime, unlimited AAirpass holders American claimed had breached their contracts.
A few months later, my father sued American for breaking their deal, and more importantly, taking away something integral to who he was. They fought out of court for years. The story became front-page news. The LA Times. The New York Post. Fox News. A slew of online outlets. The obvious story is that my father was a decadent jet-setter who either screwed or got screwed by American; depends on your take.
Dad has loved to travel for his entire life. His father, Josh, was a navigator in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and ran a company that manufactured paper and artificial flowers, traveling worldwide and telling stories about the places he went. Make sure you have your tie on. He wrote his college application on a typewriter at a hotel beach in Hawaii and mailed it from a post office in Osaka, Japan. He flew to Europe several times a year and went to live there after graduating in That December, he joined the wallet business — a company my grandfather had purchased — doing sales.
He had an apartment in Manhattan on East 89th Street, but mostly, he was at the wallet factory in Oklahoma, or traveling, both for work and play. Transitioning to finance, Dad moved to Chicago in for a stint at Smith Barney, and according to him, became the second highest-grossing stockbroker at Bear Stearns in , where he worked for a decade. Later, he focused on investment banking, and also became the largest shareholder of the financial corporation Olympic Cascade, the holding company of a brokerage firm, National Securities. Through it all, he continued flying.
Airports and airplanes — they were who Dad was. Then, having the cash after a good year at Bear, the investment in an unlimited pass made sense. In September , five months after my brother, Josh, was born, and three months after we moved from downtown Chicago into the north suburbs, Dad bought his unlimited lifetime AAirpass.
My father was 37 years and four days old when he dated the check. Two years later, which was one year before my younger sister, Natalie, was born, he added a companion feature to his AAirpass, allowing him to bring another person along on any flight. This changed the game, not only for him, but our entire family. My parents decided early on to take separate planes so that in the unlikely event of a crash, at least one of them would be alive for their three children.
Officially a customer for life, major U. He knew every employee on his journey — from the curb, through security, to the gate, and onto the plane. None of us has ever met her in person. But Lorraine was family. Her Southern lilt, a speakerphone staple at the dinner table.
Holy Warriors: A Journey Into The Heart Of Indian Fundamentalism
While my father befriended dozens and dozens of American employees throughout his tenure as one of their top fliers, and while we knew plenty by name, and vice versa — from skycaps to Admirals Club employees to people who worked at the ticket counter — no one played a role quite like Lorraine.
Lorraine and Dad became fast pals. Bean tote bag more times than I can count , and magazines from foreign airport lounges. She says they shared inside jokes — a lot.
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Dad gifted the miles and upgrades he accumulated throughout his life — both before and during his AAirpass tenure — to dozens and dozens of people over the years. Once he upgraded my cantor and his wife to first class from Amsterdam. He regularly let relatives and people in crisis come along in his extra seat. He helped get other people where they needed to go. Just that his AAirpass was about more than solipsistic travel. It allowed him to build relationships.
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Form meaningful bonds. And it allowed other people to access the world like he did. M y friend Phil likes to say my father ran his life like a corporation and raised me in it.
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