My friend Dev is living wonderful life these days, his nature of work makes him travel often and most of them are of exotic traveller’s paradise. I have been envying him for a long time and he knows this very well thus he often finds simple excuse to tease me by video calling me. If I am to receive a call which is not a usual time when I would expect a call from him I am sure it would be from a new country and that too from a tourist district.
Being a school buddy it was with him that I first had the taste of bunking school and watching a movie and amazingly we had similar taste when it comes to movies. Talking about movies we were that typical Martial Arts movie fans and most of this genre of movies were either set in Hong Kong or in Singapore. We were such ardent fans that we once made a pact that one day we both would visit Singapore and Hong Kong together and visit all those places that were shown in those old martial arts movies.
Yesterday all of a sudden I get a call from Dev and with a sense of excitement he announced that he was in Singapore for some work and managed to find a short break in between which he utilized by flying to Hong Kong. He knew that I would surely be jealous since he managed to click himself in front of the iconic statue of Bruce Lee overlooking the bay.
Quickly he shared some of the selfies that he had clicked and sheepishly asked how I felt. After giving him a mouthful we both laughed it out after all, this is how we always have been appreciating each other for years. Over the video call he wanted to show me something and initially I thought he would show me some memorabilia’s of Hong Kong but instead showed me a fruit something similar to that of Jackfruit that we have been eating for generations. But according to him this was something different and it was the famous Durians and some people might call “Singapore Durians”.
I have earlier read about Durians and know that they are notorious when it comes to smell and also have been restricted to carry them on board an airliner. He wanted to bring back a Durian for me but was not sure if he would be allowed or not. Being a foodie I insisted that he should try to sneak in some to which he assured that he will try his best to figure out something.
During all this while his mobile phone was just focusing on the Durians suddenly something caught my eye, the view from his hotel window was much known to me and as far as I would remember I had seen it somewhere on a documentary feature. On asking his eye became larger and whispered that he was staying at Marina Bay Sands. Saying this he quickly went towards the window to show me the fantastic landscape of Singapore.
Since we had promised each other that we would one day travel together so he reminded me of this and asked me to join him in September since he would this time be again traveling to Hong Kong. I had a family vacation in Europe thus was not sure that my budget would permit to which he surprised me that many Indian carriers like Jet Airways operate regular flights and the tickets are really economical. And since he would be talking up a rented apartment this time thus sharing the room with him for a weekend won’t be much of a hassle for him.
I was definitely interested in joining him but was unsure about the timing as I have some important projects lined up in my office. Whatever it is I made sure that he brings the Durian back to Kolkata on his return to the city.
After about a month I again get a call from him that he is finally returning to the city and somehow managing to bring a Durian for me but to get that I must come to the airport to receive him. Being a foodie I had no choice but to agree so on the date of scheduled arrival I reach the airport and wait for the Jet Airways flight to land. After about half an hour I get a call from him confirming his arrival and asked me to wait another ten minutes as he has to go through a customs clearance for the Durian. This was very much a possibility which I had assumed since getting a fruit into the country from a foreign land can sometimes be challenging.
After arriving at his home he finally sits to unpack his suitcase and hand me a tiny packet proclaiming that it has the Durian. I was very much surprised since I have seen photos and videos of Durians and they are surely not this small. As I set to open the packet I found a small fridge magnet with the words “Singapore Durians” written on it. And for the record, he is still my best buddy.