This post pertains to the end of a hard week in my life (during which blogging was a casualty) that saw me catching a flight to Goa today. Nothing much, just a couple of days of conference, after which the world will remain much the same.

I reached the airport in Kolkata, and was greeted by several girls in red.
Kingfisher promises a really different flying Indian experience. I was all set to enjoy this. Well, I was greeted by Bipasha Basu in a suit that looked as if the owner was doing aortic arterial surgery a few minutes back, and wanted the world to know it.
Celina Jaitley ushered me in. Her chest was very un-Celina-like, though. She clearly had forgotten her breasts at home. I moved on to security.

“Anything to declare, Sir? Mobile, shobile kicchhu hai?” the security guy said. His like must make a lot of terrorists very very secure. It is like, when he is checking your boarding pass, he is casting lustful glances at the Celina Jaitleys of Kingfisher.
“Any mobile-shobile, Sir? Please bagey ghusaa lijiye! Aar kono liquid-shiquid you have?”
“No, I have only a bladder full of urine. Can I carry it, or is carrying liquids beyond 100 ml not allowed?”
The humor was lost on him. Bengalis are a humorless lot, it seems.

Inside the plane


Airhostesses: are they called something more politically limp these days? Well, like Airy Juice Assistant, Elevation Provider, Air Supplier, Frown-Air, Global Warmer, Stratojanitor, etc.?

The poor ladies! I am, as of this moment, writing a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Commission to petition the world on behalf of these airhostesses and their customers. After all, eating airline food is bad enough, but is it this bad that these airhostesses look like their backs and tummies are stitched and pressed together by mistake? Can you imagine what it must be doing to the millions of rotund men and women who see them? Can you believe that these people will be able to down their stony parathas and blotting paper kheers with a calm, coordinated peristaltic movement of the gullet muscles? These people will become mental wrecks. And the food being what it is in airlines, dental wrecks, I won’t be surprised!

Are you aware of the Murphy’s Law of Airlines? One of the laws says that the most beautiful girl in the flight never sits next to you, and if you see two of the fattest guys in the flight, you know that your seat is between theirs’. Well, I upped Murphy’s Law.
Well, would you believe who was sitting next to me, right next to me, on the CCU-MUM circuit? No, not Jyoti Basu, not Bal Thackeray, nor Bappi Lahiri.

It was a full-blooded off-duty Kingfisher airhostess, resplendent in bridal red. Actually, it wasn’t really bridal, as she was uniform-clad, but might well have been, the way she was preening for me. She was around six inches taller than me, which made my neurons fire irrationally like in a Neurotransmitter World Trade Fair. And skin, what skin! Flawless surface (as revealed by the high red skirt), pink as a baby’s ass. Skin that allowed my gentle gaze and its contained optical x-rays to penetrate just enough to reveal the blue veins carrying her warm blood to her splendidly located heart. Skin with the hair follicles of a limb waxed last week. Contour was gourmet chicken. Imagine a leg of said bird, with just a little fat under the skin, and ready to eat….finger-lickin’ good!

There is something to be said for chemistry, as Barbara Cartland always used to say. Now, we can officially say the same for particle physics. The particles of the leg of my neighbor and the particles of my left hand were engaged in an insane conspiracy to meet, come Hell or high water. I had to exercise every fiber of my volitional resources, and maintain the Terms of Service of the Kingfisher Airlines. Else, as Russell Peters says, somethin’ would have happened tonight!

Another thing is that I found it difficult to breathe. No, not in a ‘took my breath away’ sort of breathless, but different. Sitting next to such a fetching specimen of adorable Body Mass Index, I had to hold the paltry few kilos of tummy (that had recently made a new entry into my persona) in control, preventing them from revolting against the tyrannical control of my trouser belt. Naturally, with a sinking level of blood oxygen, my smile became glassy and constipated. Hardly the stuff of Fatal Attraction. I can’t lose my touch, I rebuked myself. No more of those wholesome meals and desserts, I promised.
At the end of a long flight, during which I ate some South Indian veggie breakfast and fell asleep, I was woken up by a loving, gentle shake of the shoulder. Not too hard to be matronly, and yet, soft enough to be personal and loving. Ms. Murg Lababdar herself. She was making some gestures. For a moment, I thought she was inviting me to take off my belt and copiously teach her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation techniques. I realised that she was asking me to fasten my seat belt. Eyes met in a millennial instant of recognition of a common passion.

She also seemed to realise our common conundrum, and we smiled: she brilliantly, confident in our common destiny, and I, sadly. Sad that life is only the name of a King-sized game of missed fishing opportunities. I smiled back again, confident that my day would come.

From Mumbai, I had to get to Goa. The connecting flight to Goa was another red airline: Spicejet. In the flight….

Hungry, I ordered a sandwich, which the steward explained to a young boy (in his twenties) near me, was a vegetable cheese sandwich. As I was chewing my sandwich, the boy stared at me for a very long moment. I instinctively closed my mouth and choked as if I was the Queen of England caught with a large percentage of sandwich stuck exactly in the center of the cervical esophagus. Goggle Eyes looked at my sandwich, and asked “Achchi hai?”
I nodded.
“Is it good?” he insisted.
I nodded more vigorously.
“Is it vez?” (veg?)

Now, people will tell you I am a fair man, with no star-like tantrums and no hang-ups. However, I maintain certain principles in life. Like not talking when I am eating sandwiches. The confusion that occurs when air and food both try to pass in opposite directions in the pharyngeal passages can cause minor calamities like death, and major ones like hospitalisation and operations. Hence, I refuse to talk, but more than this, I was generating a dislike for this muscle-bound, black haired cross between Adonis and a dolt. I decided to fix him.
I gestured for him to hold on, swallowing a large bolus of sandwich with as much saliva and gravitas as I could summon.
“?” I asked.
“Is this vez sandwich?” he asked again.
“No, it is actually pot-roasted camel testicles in tortoise sauce. It is a local specialty. Want a bite?” I asked.
Somehow, the conversation never went beyond this point. Sigh. Uncivil people.
For my previous encounter with erotic females, read this post.

(pic: indianinside.info/blog)

37 responses to “GOAN AIRHEAD IN LIFE

  1. If I ever find out I’m gonna die in an aircrash id want the plane to be kingfisher, kingfisher, kingfisher!! Love the girls!!!!! 😀

  2. rambodoc, what will your wife have to say about this?!

  3. Doc, I actually miss flying Singapore, Maylaysia and Viet Nam airlines. The service was anachronistic, in the sense that the stewardesses are called stewardesses, and will ask you, “hot towel for you, madame”, etc. while they were wearing nationalistic uniforms….so lovely. I like the whole experience. Makes flying more pleasurable, although seats are small, even for a small statured person myself. Flights in USA are all about business, man, and they are called flight attendants, not stewards/stewardesses. “I am here for your safety! etc”, as I heard once.
    Food is a joke, if you even get one. Yeah, and post 9/11, it is even more unpleasurable. I assist little old ladies sometimes, to help them get their shoes off. My innocuous name actually came on a terror list – often pulled aside for the embarrassing thorough screening. Yeah, a Scandinavian little nurse is a big threat, I tell ya. The time to get thru an airport is so long, it is actually faster to drive in many cases.
    I know all their tricks now (“Homeland security” that is), and plan for such. Now don’t get me started on this snowy day about seatmates! Except for RDU (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, USA) , I have been seated next to some of the most obnoxious people you can imagine – boring talkers, demanders, sleepers who slide onto you…. I feel your pain, man. Glad you are back home safely.

  4. Doc,

    It took me quite a while to figure out the missing element in your photograph — laddered stockings. Either you specially posed the girls for the shot after they had gone off duty, or you got the wrong airline. Or maybe stockings are no longer on the Kingfisher menu.

    Incidentally, I don’t think I have actually flown Kingfisher, but have waited at enough airports for enough delayed flights to notice such trivia.

    Jackie: In India for any trip that is possible by overnight train (Dep. ca. 2200, Arr. ca. 0630) I avoid flying and take the train if I can (i.e. if the trip has been planned well enough in advance to do the reservations). It’s a much more civilised way to travel. And, if you include getting out to the airport, check-in, waiting in the Departures Lounge, waiting for take-off clearance, waiting for landing clearance at the other end (at Delhi airport there is often the additional ritual delay for something called “VIP movement”), waiting for your baggage to arrive (mine is always in the last lot) and getting from the airport to your destination in town, train is less time consuming and less tiring.

  5. Haha Vivek – I thought _my_ luggage always arrived last! Wish train travel was easier in USA – it is not available and accessible for many. And I live in a very rural area, so train travel would take almost as long as airplane flights.
    You are right though about train travel being a pleasant mode of transport. One of my favored authors, Paul Theroux, has written of many worldwide travels, and he always chooses trains when possible.
    When we lived in Tokyo, trains were ubiquitous and de rigeur. I can only hope one day US of A will have such a network, even for us hillbillies 🙂
    PS: Gals don’t much wear stockings (pantyhose) anymore

  6. “It took me quite a while to figure out the missing element in your photograph — laddered stockings.”
    Vivek: any excuse for you, eh? 😀
    Forget about stockings, dirty-minded people (certainly not me) wonder if they wear anything else at all…

  7. Jackie:

    Pardon me for not being quite au courant with women’s sartorial preferences (or even men’s, for that matter), but what I meant by “stockings” was the item of apparel that starts at the toes and stops just above the knee. Maybe you have a different word for it on your side of the Atlantic.

    Doc: What happens above that altitude is not pertinent to this post and is best left to your monomaniacal speculations 🙂 .

  8. Vivek: Ah! A label at last! “Monomaniac”. Sounds good.
    Here is a bit more about airhostesses that I deleted for the post:
    “Talking of airhostesses, one of the great ambitions of my early life, apart from kissing the lusciously thick lips of a girlfriend who I never managed to confront, was to travel by air. I thought I never would need greater pleasure and sense of achievement than this. My first flight was in Indian Airlines, a Government company, that employs airhostesses who look like what Ravana’s sister must have looked like. Glaring eyes, flaring nostrils, and a blaring voice when provoked, I have no doubt. These flying Amazons put the fear of God in my little mind, and flying was never the same again. When I flew abroad the first time, I thought I would fall in love all over again, especially seeing the fascinating animated dolls in Singapore Airlines. Till they kept serving me those bread rolls that, had I thrown them out the window, would surely have smashed the panes of the Sears or the Petronas Towers. On top of that, when they promised to serve “the classic dry French Beaujolais with hints of vanilla and spices” and I spluttered on what I would have ordinarily called table vinegar, I lost it for them. Nah! “
    BTW: Ravana was a mythological monster (sort of).
    Aniche: welcome!
    Marc: probably nothing more than a shake of the head, and a smile or chortle… 🙂

  9. Doc,

    Given the first three letters of your nom-de-guerre, I’m sure you have a younger brother who would have taken care of the IA ladies through the established precedent — rhinectomy.

    BTW you have committed two serious faux pas — calling Ravana “mythological”, thereby indirectly antagonising the Hindutva lobby, and calling him a monster, thereby directly antagonising me. You don’t have to fear a fatwa or anything like than from me, but it’s sad to see you denigrating the only “real” major character in the epic, who rises head and shoulders above the wimps that otherwise populate the story.

  10. Doc,

    Talking of first flights, mine was in a glider, piloted by a very charming aviatrix all of 20 years old (I was 19; and yes, the cockpit had seating for two!).

    Launched by a winch (no, that is NOT a spelling error) and with hardly any thermal activity (in the lower atmosphere) it lasted (the flight, I mean) all of two minutes, but what a two minutes that was!

  11. Jackie:

    Paul Theroux has in fact written a book exclusively about train travel — “The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia”. If you have not already read it you must. It was, I believe, his first best-seller, and what he writes about Indian Railways (et obiter dicta) makes hilarious reading. A lot of it still holds good, though perhaps not so much on the long-distance superfast expresses that have since been introduced.

  12. If you ask me, all those girls looked uncomfortable in the skirts. And the stitching was bad too. But I guess guys don’t look at clothes! (I added the last anticipating rdoc’s reply!)

  13. Doc,

    After making up the word “rhinectomy” above, I realised it has to be “rhinotomy”, and even that, in surgical terms, does not correctly indicate what Lakshmana did to Shoorpanakha. As a medical person, what would you say is the correct suffix to generically indicate the action of chopping off?

  14. looks like the source of ur tips really works 🙂
    all the stocks u had told me about like
    The stock has almost doubled since u had told me about it.

  15. Vivek: I have read Great Railway Bazaar; in fact I have all of Theroux’s books. Anyone want an extra copy of “Fresh Air Fiend” let me know; I buy them and also receive them as gifts sometimes!
    Doc: sorry to be off topic. Thanks for the additional anecdote. I thought airline food was quite good on Singapore, Malay and Viet Nam…perhaps that has changed now. I certainly never wanted to throw rolls away, but you may be more picky about your food than me. Anyway, thanks again

  16. Is this a sequel to ‘TWELVE THINGS I HATE ABOUT WOMEN’? Shobha De writes baby stuff it seems.
    Nita’s comment surprised me!!You too Nita 🙂 I thought you write only serious stuff. I agree with you although.
    I forgot to mention ‘DEATH BY IMPOTENCE!’

  17. @Rambodoc: How in the name of justice did you manage to get six fascinatingly gorgeous women to form a line waiting for their turn with you? I’ve tried to do that all my life without success yet.

    By the way, I hope I always share your passion for women! If someday I don’t please resuscitate me, ASAP.

    @Nita: Now that you mention it, it’s true their uniforms don’t seem to fit. (On reflection, that makes me yearn to be a tailor.) Isn’t that ironic, though? The airline goes to such trouble hiring them for their physical beauty, but then gives them cheap clothing.

  18. Paul: You want resuscitation (mouth-to-mouth, I presume) from Rambodoc??? Or do you mean the six gorgeous women? 🙂

  19. Jackie:

    Thanks for the offer, but I hesitate to put you to the expense of postage. Talking of travel books, have you read Dervla Murphy? She is delightful in a different kind of way than Theoux.

  20. Vivek:
    Thanks for all the comments. ‘otomy’ means to make a cut on something. ‘ectomy’ means to excise/remove something. Hence, a rhinectomy is part of the grievous hurt committed by Lakshmana on Surpanakha and would have needed a major rhinoplasty.
    Nita, Prerna: 😀

  21. Paul: don’t you trust just that one pic. Their uniforms are simply superb, right down to the last button (as I am nearly done removing ’em now).

  22. @ Vivek: It’s clearly stated in my will that if six women giving me mouth to mouth can’t revive me, I’m to be written off as a lost cause — but not until then! 😀

    @ Rambodoc: I can only say your selfless dedication to helping those needy women remove their uniforms leaves me in awe. That’s my kind of altruism! 😀

  23. Paul:

    I am immediately sending for candles to be lit at the nearest shrine to St. Jude 🙂

  24. I swear I am only going to lust for those six hostesses another 53 minutes and 27 seconds. After that, it’s final: I will cease indulging myself in vivid daydreams of being resuscitated.

  25. Paul:

    Come, come! That is unfairly short notice for me to cancel my order for the candles…just a moment, my phone’s ringing…that was my Man Friday telling me he’s already bought the candles and lit them at the shrine to St. Jude.

    So that’s a fait accompli!

  26. I await the day when male stewards are made regular while flying. I promise to return all the compliments male passengers shower on air hostesses on them boys.

  27. Maami,
    No need to wait for that! There are so many males on board as hosts/stewards….. I can only begin to imagine you commenting on them!

  28. 🙂 rather interesting post and more so the comments … go write a book or something
    ur talents are hidden like a diamond deep in the mines at

    looks like i should take a fresh look at the kingfisher stock …..
    any tips doc?

  29. ur literary talents are hidden like an undiscovered diamond deep in the mines at golconda or something

  30. @ Vivek – thanks for the tip about the book. I don’t mind sharing extra books, but let’s forgetaboutit for now. Evil Santa, I am, bwah ha ha ha. Can you tell I’m looking forward to the holidays?
    @Maami: male flight attendants, er… just aren’t as appealing as their female counterparts, sadly.

  31. Rambodoc:

    //There are so many males on board as hosts/stewards….. I can only begin to imagine you commenting on them!//

    Well, there are also fellow passengers! Much wider range of charm, looks, complexion, physique, age, economic status etc. to choose from.

  32. i m one of the student of frankfinn inst of air hostess traing
    and i imagine tat why only female to be in hostess why can male
    let we have a chance in kingfisher airline

  33. hi gud thoughts…i think sum of u or rather most of u must be well educated….instead of discussing relevent topics…discussing d dress code of airhostess….why blam dem for wearing so terriable uniforms….or looking like ravan’s sis ……blam d shameless paasangers for dere wrong thoughts..fyi-d kind of food u get on d board r nt decided by d airhostess…wether u like it or not …or if u want to throw dn in d bin or out of d window…its upto u …if u find sumthing bad in d services providd by kingfisheter (eg. fud)…why dnt u comlpaint….ohhhh hw cn u guys do dat as….MOST OF D MEN R INTERESTED IN WATCHING HOSTESS INSTEAD D SERVICES….so u r blamed for all dese faults….nw step out ..stop behaving like typical male ….blaming other for ur thought(or orthodox nature…grow up u r in 2008)….change ur sick mind …stocking,,,last button oh good grace dem

  34. your instutute

  35. hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
    i want to aair hostess

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