Sunday, August 23, 2009

With time to kill

What do you do when your flight is delayed by an hour and half. You fume, rant, curse and act surly with all around. Twenty minutes into this exercise you realize its futility and decide to do something constructive. You call up your wife and the first topic of conversation is the delayed flight. So, now you have an encore about irresponsible airlines and some words of comfort that this will also pass. So, you wait for it to pass. The only place available is near the Jet Airways baggage screening machine. You settle down and pull out a book to read. But, it is impossible to read. It is more interesting to watch people without seeming impolite. For reason best known to the Jet Airways baggage handler he would look up the passenger and ask "Jetlite?". This even though the machine is meant for all Jet flights - Jet Airways, Jetlite and JetConnect. Jetlite for those waking up to the ways of the aviation world is the Low Cost Carrier of Jet Airways Group which introduced the concept of worldclass, premium service to this sector. The response of the premium Jet traveller is to recoil from the very thought and establish that he can still afford to fly premium by saying in a clipped accent, 'Jet Airways'. Of course, the stately response has absolutely no effect on the handler who chucks the luggage on the belt with equal disdain knowing that in the aircraft hold there is no such distinction between low and full fare. While all this is happening in front of me, beside me was a young malayali mother with her hand stretched out patiently waiting for the just planted mehendi to dry before they board the aircraft. Along with this young mother is her plump daughter. In the hour that I have spent with these companions of mine in adjacent seats, I figured why the kid was plump. She moved from slurping her chocolate fudge to devouring her hotdog to creaming her sandwich clean and ready to go at something else. Only exercise: visit to the dustbin to throw the wrapper. The young mother couldn't do much about solids intake because of the smeared hand in green, pulppy paste. They were accompanied with what seemed a distant malayali aunt, very fair in complexion to the dusky mother and duskier daughter. She had a way of saying "bloody hell" to seemingly shocking things that the young lady was saying. Having exclaimed "bloody hell" she would break into sing-song malayalam in her effort to keep the bloody conversation bloody secret. Statistics confirm that where two or three are gathered there has to be Malu interloper. So, the bloody conversation was no bloody secret to me born Malu but gone astray thereafter. Strangely, there was nothing shocking about anything they were saying if you watch Sach Ka Saamna as your daily fare. Guess what, they have announced the flight. Got to go.

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