delhi to mumbai – my most entertaining flight ever!

i was in delhi on work, and friday’s work got cancelled, so i advanced my flight to thursday, decided to give A a surprise. sent him an sms saying i was out with friends in delhi, bad signal, stupid delhi pubs, stupid vodafone, stupid pregnant friend who wanted to go out partying, i couldn’t talk, and would talk to him the next day. 

at the airport, sandwich eaten, customary molten chocolate cake gobbled, I boarded the flight choc-happy, excited to be homeward bound…

‘only a middle seat madam, 122 people checked-in before you’, the check-in guy had said, so I eagerly craned my neck as I walked down the aisle to get a first glimpse of whom i would spend the rest of the flight wrestling with… for the arm-rest! yes, i am one of those shameless people who demand a fair share of the arm-rest, i do not succumb, though i wait for the person next to me to snooze a bit, get distracted, lift his/her hand to turn on / off the light, and then i gently and calmly, edge my way to what i consider my rightful share of arm-rest!

it was a normal delhi-mumbai flight and on air india. but this flight was unlike the others… as i tell you about each of these characters that filled up the 2 hours from delhi to mumbai, i know i might not do them justice, but i shall try… 

so the the characters in this drama…

a harmless elderly looking man with self-centred girth sat on one side… phew one armrest was safe and i will have a comfortable journey home, or so i thought. while his breadth did not pour into my seat, his speech (or breath) did! from the very moment i sat down, he wanted to have a conversation. it started with a simple smile and then went onto a question or two, and then a tirade… i put on my i-don’t-speak-to-strangers + i-am-reading-my-book + i-am-listening-to-music… but it didn’t help!

he spoke about ‘fat’ people. of how the three seated across the aisle were going to have a tough time. he touched upon divinity and destiny. how i seemed like someone always in a hurry and i need to slow down, which he guessed from the speed at which i speak. hmmm… hint hint hint: i was trying to get the conversation over with…

then there was the guy with black sweater, under which a blue & red checkered shirt peeped out, with plain thick black frames, not too cool, but definitely not the fly on the wall types, with an overall flat, plain, face… could pass as a calm, collected sort in a business meeting!

behind him (and across the aisle from Mr. Chatty and me) sat a bald-headed, curt looking businessman. he had that look which said i have made my way up in life, by hook & crook.

beside him sat, a huge man who tried to settle into the window seat, before being asked to move by mr. last person to board (we had been waiting for his flight to arrive.. so as he entered i viewed him with utter disgust, and rather than giving us the pleasure of being angry, he looked positively irritated to be there… harumppphhh). he trooped in late, tch-tched over there being no place in the luggage compartments just above his seat, called the air hostess  watched her reorganise heavy bags and make space for his. the minute he sat down on his seat, he took out his mobile phone and got busy, with a sullen expression on his face…

it was peaceful till the middle of the flight, and then the silence was interestingly shattered…

mr-calm but checkered chose to recline his chair, and mr money decided to fight for space… he said, i dont have space for my legs, so take it back up… checkered said i want to sleep, i can only sleep with it down… it got to angry proportions, the air hostess was called.. then the steward was roped in… i want a new seat, mr checkered bellowed. ask him to be understanding said mr money… both looking up and down the aisle for support from co-passengers… my money started a loud conversation on how people should be understanding and blah blah blah…  both angry, both upset, both didn’t sleep…

this entire flight AND fight was periodically punctuated with loud burps. mr. burper was  informing us periodically about the contents of his meal… these burps were not isolated and fleeting, but wholesome, filled the entire air space with the contents of his undigested stomach, and had a weird way of just lingering in front of MY NOSE! a perfume manufacturer should definitely ask for pointers.

and if that was not enough, just behind him sat a couple of men, one with long grey hair and a beard (the i am talking ‘greater stuff, sadhu’ long hair and not rockstar long hair) and a guy next to him leaning onto his armrest! they were both listening to an audio talk of some spiritual leader, really really loudly. just because its religious / spiritual discourse and things like this are about greater-benefit, doesn’t mean all of us need to LISTEN. but they went about it with that benevolent look on their faces!

AND to top it all, the airline video channel was not working, i haven’t missed that more!!!

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