Winged India

Dateline Delhi. Or rather, Gurgoan. In a guest house somewhere. Travel on work is interesting. You get to see whats happening with another part of the country on corporate India’s money !

The lazy Sunday is a misnomer for Bangalore’s airport ! It seems perennially busy. Serpentine queues greeted me. There were uncles, aunts, children, grandparents. The first time flier all complete with the traditional yellow bag ( manja pai). The suited booted corporate clad. The semi clad. VVIPS. Ordinary blokes. Students. You name a genre. And you can find it any of India’s airports.

In a way, India is consuming air travel with a vengeance, for all the time lost between the time planes started flying till about a few years ago. When flying was a luxury and formed part of long term goals. Something like “I will buy a house. I will marry my daughter. I will fly to Chennai” !

With flying in some cases costing, as much as bird feed, everybody seems to have developed wings ! And the airports are becoming a cultural melting point of sorts. With infrastructure struggling to keep pace with the wings that the nation has suddenly got, we see strange scenes.

Passengers curled up on the ground ( scenes that instantly took me back to Chennai Central). Overflowing bins. Crowded coaches. Funny announcements.

Sample this. “ ladees & Jhentelmenn Air xyz ees proud to hannounce depharture of its flight …… to Treeeh-Van-Drum. Hall pahsengerrs….”. I didn’t catch it the first time. Not even the second time. When I did catch it, I smiled. Good luck Trivandrum. So what if the Kerela government changed the name to Thiruvananthapuram !

Well, the only absent element is the ‘my-kerchief-drop-seat-mine’ reservation system that one sees in bus stands and unreserved coaches of the railways. On second thoughts, NO. I remember, on a trip by Air Deccan to Hubli a couple of years back, a colleague sprinted to the aircraft, across the tarmac as soon as he alighted from the transit coach.

I was puzzled. But I sprinted too. Because everybody was sprinting. I didn’t quite know why. Only when I got into the aircraft did I realise that my colleague had got in first, to get himself a good seat and reserve one for me. Air Deccan has no seat numbers. So the good old kerchief can come in handy for a reservation!

This time around I travelled Jet. The food was surprisingly bad. But the inflight entertainment was well done. Who cares if it was Kingfisher got them to change or they changed on their own! As we approached Delhi, I listened to some sufi music and thought, we have come a long way.

It was music to the ears !

11 thoughts on “Winged India

  1. priya says:

    Kavi- When you said baout the yellow bag, people here (new immigrants) do carry the rice bags cover. Here you get rice bags with a zipper and people do use it to take it to consulates full of files and passport. No wonder people change??

    As long as we can relax with less talk and no snores, who cares isn’t it.

  2. Keshi says:

    I hate low-fare Airlines. I travelled just once in Virgin Blue and altho it was comfy I didnt much admire the service. So I dun fly em anymore 🙂


  3. come to think of it, the kerchief technique has come a long way !


  4. Jeevan says:

    I dint have a chance to fly!
    luckly u got ur colleague to put kerchief for a seat 🙂

  5. LOL… the kerchief technology has come to the flights too. Where are we yet! I remember once I became so wild on seeing the kerchief while getting on a bus, I took the kerchief and threw it behind or on to the luggage shlef. The one who had put it felt embarassed.

  6. Ashish says:

    I know, each time I think of travelling, the pleasure of travelling in a non-low cost seems so appealing, but then one looks at the fare difference

  7. nice blog. somehow i am chancing upon only bangalore blogs…wonder why…:-).

    a friend once told me that air deccan had once asked passengers to help load the luggage coz they had no ground staff…hehe…can u imagine….

  8. Shiva says:

    Good observation. I would appreciate if our traditional yellow bags and jute bags replace all these polythene bags we get even when we buy a peanut.

    It feels good to see most indians are getting equipped with wings at a reasonable cost.

    The kerchief sequence in Air Deccan was hilarious

  9. nice travelling sar. Airline food is always bad they say…maybe coz out tastebuds doesnt work in air!


  10. Kavi says:

    Priya: The yellow bags have indeed made a journey. Havent they?! Now they are making waves in air !

    Keshi: When the financial options are low, low cost airlines are good !

    Sundar: besides being used in tamil movies for igniting love affaris !!

    Jeevan: The time to fly is now available for everybody ! I am sure its coming your way soon too !!

    Balaji: You did that !! Wow ! I am wondering what you would do in a Air-Deccan flight !

    Ashish: The options between full service and low cost are extremely interesting. But then, so are the costs !

    Sunshine: Thanks. That was a nice thing to say !

    Air-Deccan did that ?!? Possible ! Perfectly possible !

    Shiva: How thoughtful ! Yes, if the yellow bags and jute bags replace all of polyethene, it would do us all better ! And the bags themselves would have come full circle

    GP: As long as other organs like the brain works, i guess we can manage with the taste buds !! 🙂

  11. priya says:

    Kavi- Yellow bags are always special coz of our tradition or just feel cool.

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