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Domestic Woes

December 20, 2011

At the outset, for people who think that this post is about the tribulations I suffer go through at the hands of my wife, let me clarify that it is not. My wife has expressly forbidden me to use her as a subject for my post, unless I paid her a royalty (?) for doing so. You would have noticed that the frequency of my posts have trickled due to exactly this reason. There is some good news though. I am working my ass off to save some money so that I will be able to do some posts on her. Anyways this is not about that.

Recently my company worried that I might develop seat sores (see I was serious when I said I was working my ass off) asked me to go to New Delhi. A high level delegation from Sri Lankawas visiting India led by their Minister of Health Honorable Maithripala Sirisena and other important health officials. They wanted to meet the representatives from the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry. The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council, Pharmexcil for short, had arranged for a get together. Since I was handling sales and marketing in Sri Lanka(or it might have been due to seat sores worry) I was nominated by my company to attend the meeting. The venue was ‘The Taj Palace’ The meeting was to start at 11 amwhich meant that I had to catch the early morning flight from Chennai. Getting ready at that unearthly hour is a pain. Especially when you are going straight to the meeting hall from the airport. You need to be all dressed and decked up.  It has been quite a while since I flew the domestic sector. I am always a little weary of it. The flight was at 6.30 and so I had to leave home at 4.30 at least.  All flights that I take out of the country are around mid-night, which gave me adequate time to have my dinner and get ready to go to ‘land of the nod’. It is another matter, that by the time my co-passengers settle down after having the in-flight meal and you are about to nod, that it is time to land.

Anyways I didn’t have any problems in reaching the airport on time. The Chennai airport is undergoing renovation and as I entered the airport I was taken aback by the crowd in the check-in area. The whole area was teeming with people. There was a flight out of Chennai to every conceivable destination. It makes sense to take the first flight out and be in time for business at the destination, saving on hotel bills. Luckily since I had taken a print-out of the boarding pass and I was carrying only my laptop bag, check in was easy. There was a long serpentine queue for the security check. True to Murphy’s Law, when my chance came the security guy got a call and he left me standing like the vitruvian man. Since they had asked me to remove my belt and shoes for scanning, there was an uneasy feeling that my trousers would fall off. I have to do something about the pot belly.  It is situations like this which brings out the prasava vairgyam.  Luckily for me, before I could take a few more resolutions, the security person came and stamped my boarding pass. Since the traffic was maximum at that time of the day, my flight was not connected to the aerobridge and we had to go by the bus to board the aircraft. All these activities(?) made me hungry. I got a window in the first row. There was enough space to stretch my legs and promptly went off to sleep.  I was awakened by a sweet looking stewardess. She was standing next to the food cart. Ah food at last!

‘Would you like to buy something, sir?’ she asked smiling radiantly.

What was I hearing? Buy? Weren’t they supposed to give me something?

‘Pardon me?’, I asked, very sure that I hadn’t heard her correctly due to the grogginess caused by my sleep.

She closed her eyes and instinctively opened page 119, Chapter 19 of the air hostess training manual ‘How to answer dumb as a dodo passengers’. She opened her eyes, gave me a big smile and said, “Sir, you know that we don’t serve any meals on this flight, but if you are interested you can buy something to eat or drink. I asked her the prices for what they had to offer. There appeared to be a huge gap between the prices and the quantities they were offering. I was still undecided. I looked at the elderly gentleman sitting on my left. He looked like a seasoned traveler. He was wired to his ipod and was looking straight ahead, completely oblivious to what was happening between me and the air hostess. By the looks of it, he was not going to buy anything. So I decided to do the same. I informed the air hostess, that I wouldn’t need anything. True to the last line in the aforementioned chapter of the training manual –Remember never show your irritation on the passenger however dumb they might be- she smiled, said thank you and moved forward.

As soon as the airhostess had moved, the gentleman got up, opened the overhead baggage bin, took out a box from his bag and sat down. He opened the box to reveal steaming upma, setting my salivary glands into overwork. I turned towards the window and sat pretending I was watching the scenes outside, swallowing litres of saliva. It was a good thing that my nose was not working as it should; otherwise I would have flooded the aircraft with my digestive secretions. I consoled myself  that I might have my  breakfast in the comforts of a 5 star restaurant, anyways it was the company which was going to pay for it. But when I reached the hotel, the restaurant had already closed and I had to do with a tea and a couple of cookies.

The saving grace was that the meeting started on time. Obviously the Sri Lankan minister has a lot to learn from his Indian counterparts. After the customary welcome, the speech from the minister and other officials, the question and answer session, the meet came to an end in time for lunch. The stomach was grumbling so much, that couple of times the moderator looked at me to see if I had any questions for the speaker. The lunch was sumptuous and tasty. The minister had some other appointment and he left in a hurry. After some small talk with the other members of the entourage I left to catch my flight back.

The Indira Gandhi International Airport is very impressive and I hope that it remains so. This time around I was not going to take any chances, I bought couple of things to eat, in case they don’t serve anything on the flight. Though I will be home for dinner, you can never know what time you will reach home, given the traffic scenario in Chennai. Another thing is getting a taxi at the Chennai airport, you need to stand in a big queue before you will get your turn, unless you preferred the old Ambassador ones, that too without the A/C.

They did serve a light meal on the flight.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2011 09:09

    What a journey of course you had a lil surprises but the funny part was Airhostess taking out how to handle…hand book…loved this article on todays airlines and the juicy humour bits..and am happy they served “meal”…

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. December 20, 2011 09:42

    I don’t know why people fly for business anymore. For the price of a plane ticket and a tenth of the hassle we can all buy a computer and video chat with whoever we want to 😛

    I travel when I get fed up of all the video conferencing :). Thanks Nova for the visit

  3. Savy permalink
    December 20, 2011 09:47

    I agree with JR…. you can have a meal of your own choice and half the price!

    I agree with you Savy. Half the price and more than double the taste.

  4. December 20, 2011 09:52

    Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much.

    Love writing? We would love for you to join us!

    Writers Wanted

  5. December 20, 2011 10:04

    What a journey. I know it wouldn’t have been your best day ever, but the way you described it was really good. 🙂

    Thank you Ashwini for your kind words.

  6. Janaki Nagaraj permalink
    December 20, 2011 10:30

    This sounds familiar. Quiet a regular scene now a days.

    Thanks Janaki. I never knew that they had stopped serving meals in certain flights.

  7. December 20, 2011 11:27

    What! I thought this was going to be a tale of how you had to go hungry for the whole day! A tale of pathos. Instead this is one of plenty. 😉 You got to eat lunch and dinner not to mention whatever you got for the in-case-there-is-no-food-on-flight situation.

    I am very glad that I have a very good friend Grrrrrrrr.

  8. December 20, 2011 11:44

    u r very cruel.y did u disappoint a girl who asked u to buy something?if i were u i would have purchased something.

    Ram, You are you and I am I. 🙂

  9. TheChronicR permalink
    December 21, 2011 03:32

    Haha. Her taking out the book was hilarious. I think it’s unfair that you should pay for the food. It should be free.

    Great post.

    Thanks ChronicR for the visit and your kind words.

  10. December 21, 2011 22:49

    Of course I knew it could not be the travails and the joys of domesticity :D! Have cottoned on to a bit of the “predictive reading” enough, here, to be able to safely say that! Still, it is not that one can predict, so much as what one anticipates, when one comes to Saturday Musings, that makes one smile, and be engaged here!
    Liked the apt cartoon you’ve chosen for this write. Liked, all the more, journeying through vivid pictures in words, your woes. No, I am not being sadistic :D!
    Well, it looks like you haven’t much choice, at the end of the day, when it comes to travelling woes :D!

  11. January 18, 2012 10:46

    Hi Govind I have nominated you for Genuine Blogger Award. Please follow the link to know more

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