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   A lot of people have decided to travel offices... (October 18, 1996)

A lot of people have decided to travel offices by the new hovercraft. Among them is my friend, who lives on the 21st floor and has just bought all the sleek convertibles and sports coupes on display at the auto show at the NSE Complex.

This morning, when I called on him, he was putting on his swimming trunks. He told me: "Henceforth, I am travelling by the hovercraft. Taking my helicopter to office every day is costing too much in aviation fuel, though, mind you, it is very convenient, being a terrace to terrace service."

"We all have to cut costs?" I said.

"Yes," said me friend. "I will be taking the helicopter from the house to Juhu beach. Then get into the hovercraft. The helicopter will then fly from Juhu to Chowpatty, where I will once again get into it and fly to office."

"Very sensible," I said. "Are you buying a season ticket for the hovercraft."

"I thought of that, but at the moment they don't have season tickets, only don't have season tickets, only daily tickets. So I am chartering the hovercraft on a monthly hasis. That should be cheaper than buying daily tickets."

"Good idea," I said. "I hope you will be comfortable in the hovercraft."

"I am getting it refitted at the Mazagaon docks to ride the waves in the harbour. Some of the passenger seats are also being temporarily removed to make room for a small office. These days, you have to start working on your way to office."

"Will you be using the hovercraft to return home in the evenings?" I asked.

"Of couse. Plus, at lunch time, I will be taking the hovercraft to go home for lunch and return. Nothing like home food. I have got a French and Italian chef, plus one who has just joined from the Welcome Group. There will also be a pantry on board."

"You think of everything," I said.

"You have to," my friend said. "In the interest of safety. I have changed some of the navigation staff. I have hired the captain of a hovercraft which used to ply across the English Channel before they made the tunnel. The rest of the staff is Indian, I like to encourage local talent."

"You are well known for that," I said. "It is a good thing the hovercraft does not require a landing strip, it eliminates all the hassle of constructing one."

"That's true," my friend said. "However, I have to construct landing strips for my helicopter at Juhu and Chowpatty. Work has started."

"There's one things," I said. "This hovercraft was brought for regular commuters from the suburbs. I am wondering that will they do, now that you are chartering it."

"They can take a lift in my helicopter," he said. "After all, it will be flying empty every day, from Juhu to Chowpatty."

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