They say first is always special. The first car, first home, first born. While I was not fortunate enough to be my parents first and yet to learn any joy associated with terms I just mentioned, except for a first loan. It does make a little sense now, recollecting my first step up the gangway.
Pre-joining preparations started weeks ago and lasted as long as few hours prior departing, with me zipping up a 30-kilo trunk and strapped on to a bigger trunk of optimism. All the classroom stories, tom clancy series have spun amongst each other into an illusion(a good one) of what the Shipboard working and culture might look like. As the flying hours shrunk and reality came closer, things felt more engaging. Capt. Neeraj Madhok made sure our hands were never void of coffee and cupcakes, making the journey even more delightful. A kind but commanding master, the one I am looking forward to becoming. The first few things that strike me is his white french beard, 4 golden stripes and a uniform crease sharp enough to cut across you. I am sure Mrs Madhok, who joined later, would gladly agree when I say this, Capt. Neeraj managed to strike a right balance between life and work onboard. He invested a good amount of his time in training/ teaching his underlings. Surprisingly calm during situations and a proactive approach for all activities. Mr and Mrs Madhok were one energetic family, who can make you comfortable just like that. I take this opportunity to let them know I think about them quite often.
The ship was visible from quite a distance, and so was her name, for the font size was as tall as I was. With every meter of approach, Anchor became bigger and bigger to monstrous. Accommodation became prettier and my heartbeat became more prominent.
The crew and chief officers contribution for accommodating me to a fairly new environment cannot be expressed in words and it takes not much time for me to recollect all of their names and faces. Because what THEY say is probably true, first is special. With high and low, work and fun it is a memory that I will cherish for years to come