So it was my long-due holiday with my first, official wife and my only official son.
The destination was, as not decided by me, Bali.
If you were on the same plane, you could have found me. Don’t believe me?
First things first, where would you not find me? In the Business or First Class. Or Raffle or Waffle Classes, neither.
Next thing: where would you look for me? You would find me in the rear half of the plane, seated by the window. You want to find me, just ask the air hostess which passenger they have NOT served in any way, in spite of fifteen red alert SOS messages sent. Yup, that would be your man!
Other passengers, especially in the Kolkata-Bangkok or Kolkata-Singapore sector, keep pestering the air hostesses for beer and whisky. Now, you will never see me do such things. I have class, you know. I always ask for Cognac, or if I am feeling particularly proletarian at a given point in life, Jack Daniels.
You must envy me for the memorable views of the seas and the city-lights-by-night that are included in my window-seat economy fare ticket. Well, the answer is: yes, the views are
breast-taking breathtaking (as in a sigh), but only in those instances where the plane’s wings are made of glass. When the plane is made out of metal, I can’t even see my own nuts because, you see, I always get a seat bang where the wing is at its most expansive and braggadocious.
So, midway through the flight, the lunch was served and all….
Soon, everyone fell into a slumber, aided by the dim lights. You know how it is.
Suddenly, a guy (the brother of a man who is known both to me and Oemar) in front of me let out a silent stinker. A brief latent period later, a satellite fart was emitted by this gas-bag.
I know, you are going to ask me how I knew it was him. Do I have a GPS For Gas? No, but my glasses fogged up at the very center, and so it had to be he, the one in front of me.
Soon, by a physical process my class VIII teacher had caned me into learning as diffusion occurred, and the stench wafted invisibly, just as would a deadly poison released by a sect of differently sane people, like Aum Shinrikyo.
I believe this is the real WMD that Saddam Hussein had managed to mass produce before the good US President got a whiff of it. When Saddam got rid of it, the Kurds died in silence, and Bush was too embarrassed to tell the world what the real biological WMD was. The subsequent rise in global temperatures was ascribed to carbon emissions from modern society. Ha, the irony of Al Gore getting the Nobel Peace Prize for what has been Bush’s signal contribution to mankind!
If you ever need to explain the term ‘pure evil’, this is precisely the stuff what would need to be bottled and marketed to the world. You know what, those bearded scientists (with traces of the morning’s scrambled eggs on their beards), who clamor against deodorants and vaporizers because they burn holes in the ozone layer, could do with a few of these. A mere whiff is enough to depress the respiratory center in the medulla oblongata of the brain for several seconds. Persistent exposure to this noxious agent is, I am certain, responsible for many cases of unexplained sudden deaths in public places. If, on one fine day, you hear that I have been deservedly conferred the Nobel, like Gore, you know now it will be for my research on this subject. Anyways, let us get back to the episode on the plane.
My wife woke up and looked here, there, and soonest, at me, instinctly wanting to identify the culprit. When my eyes met hers’, my expression was ‘It’s that guy again!’ You know, now that I am bloggin’ and all, I don’t talk much with her; I merely express smileys. Faster and more effective: why waste words? In this case, I used the roll-eyes smiley.
In spite of many years of marriage, or perhaps because of it, she misunderstood me. With her iPod rocking on her ears, she said, “How could you do this?”
Her voice, normally quieter than a jockey whispering endearments to his horse in the hope of hitting the top spot in the race, boomed out from her lips, and ricocheted off the white walls of the plane. The neighborhood and I were jolted, in unison. Damn the iPod! Damn Steve Jobs!!
I closed my eyes in disbelief, thinking how she could do this to me. When I opened my eyes, I saw her waving a handkerchief furiously in my direction. As if on cue, the tourist class of humanity from 34 ABC to 52 DEF were all waving white handkerchieves in my direction, like a bunch of Chinese children lining the streets of Beijing, greeting a visiting General of Myanmar. Only that no smiles improved their ugly faces.
In the meanwhile the culprit got up to go to the toilet.
It was all I could do to restrain myself from throwing an airline specialty, the rolled piece of dough they call a bun or roll, on the back of his head. Good I didn’t. It would probably have killed him and gotten me in jail.
As if this was not enough, my son chimed in with a typical smartass chorus, like a qawwal follows the indignant query of the hero. You know, when the Bollywood hero asks the heroine ‘tuh kab milegi?’ (when will I get you?), the flunkey with the funny cap follows with ‘kab milegi tuh?’, all the while clapping his dirty hands….?
This boy asked, just in case anyone had not heard his mom, “Daddy, how could you do this?”
My holiday, even before it started, was completely ruined in public calumny. Initiated by my own family. Now, how could I not retaliate? I decided to disown this thumb-sucking rat, and divorce the wife….
However, considering that my family has stood by me through thin and thick (mostly speaking in waist-hip ratio terms), I decided to forgive them. Besides, after sulking for one hour, it kinda gets boring in an airplane. Not to say how difficult it is to assume an injured and morally upright posture when the neighborhood treats you like you carry the H5N1 virus.
And the air hostesses think the guy asking for the cognac is a maniac. Little do these insensitive women know he wants to drown his sorrows, and wash away his bad olfactory memories, in the nectar.