Thursday, October 8, 2009

Singh a Song of six pence!

I was wrapped in my thoughts, happy at returning home finally after a few faux pas'. I was planning to write a vivid and colorful post, embellished with some very lachrymose moments.

But all I could think of was one word – Incredible.

I always thought that one had to be incredibly stupid or incredibly patriotic to travel by Air India. I am both. I immediately realized my stupidity as I was collecting my boarding pass in Chicago. The call centre expectedly had bungled. He not only gave me a wrong advise regarding my rescheduling resulting in me paying more than necessary, but also I was informed at the Chicago airport that they couldn’t issue my connecting boarding pass from there but had to collect it from delhi airport. What that meant was that I would collect my baggage go through the customs, cross the road again stand in a queue ,get the boarding pass, clear the security and come and sit on the same seat!!

I was fuming as I waited in the seating area before boarding. However my fury lessened considerably as I saw the procession of pretty air hostesses glide gracefully past me like svelte models on a ramp. I saw the appreciating looks of the American passengers. I am no sexist and respect age, but come on ,give beauty its due. I must admit that the only airlines which could give our girls a run for their money is the Thai Airways.

As I entered the plane, I simply gasped. Yes trust me. It had that effect on me.
The interiors are breath taking, the ambience is perfect. I have traveled in almost all the major airlines and I can certify that the service is top class.

I had one drunk passenger stumping me with a rather brainy question. The tipsy guy pointed at the toilet and said that its written that it is a non smoking zone. Then where is the smoking zone? It was a question from either a genius or someone itching for a smoke. A mere mortal like me was certainly not qualified to answer such a profound observation.

I simply said, “ sir I am speechless.”

Again the ground staff at the Delhi airport was incredible. They were polite , efficient and eager. I did cross the road, I did go through the customs. But they ensured to make it as comfortable as possible. They also saved me another customs at the destination.

I must say I am really impressed. What saddened me was the nonchalant attitude of an inept government hell bent on destroying a wonderful carrier.

I sat right in front of the airhostess as the plane descended. I compliment her on their service and we ended up chatting. As the air hostess explained their predicament , I saw the human face behind the glamour. Its not a pleasant feeling when you work hard and are not paid your salary. The pilots and the airhostess do a real hard work. They surely deserve to be paid.

I felt rage. JRD Tata , the father of Indian aviation and the owner of Tata airlines which was then transformed into Air India must be turning in his grave. I think its time the government returns this wonderful carrier to the Tata fold again.

The IITs are one of our venerable institutions. I was proud ,when once the immigration officer in Miami mentioned about that ‘wonderful school’. They bring out the finest brains in the country. And the people who are responsible are the professors.They must be treated with dignity and respect. If they have to come on the road, something is really wrong. Our education minister doesn’t want to increase their salary; The corporate minister wants to reduce the salary of the CEOs. I am waiting for the health minister ,not to be left behind, to majestically declare reducing the doctors' salary.

Ah the queen's men!

Austerity like charity never begins from their home!

There is just one word – Incredible!

Tail piece : During the elections , I had written an article for An irate reader, perhaps a congress supporter, acidly wrote that these NRIs should be kicked on their butt when they visited India.
I am glad he is unaware of my itinerary!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. summed it really well sudhir...
    people do tend to see only the starker face of India while overlooking what it has to offer the world..
    Glad that you had been to here to witness the glory..

  3. yes indeed. Thanks for your comment shashank.