Pic courtesy Deccan Herald
Then came my second chance to fly, from Chennai to Dammam on board Indian. I was travelling out of the country for the first time with my children and was strictly instructed by husband dear- " No talking with strangers, no glancing anywhere, watch out your passport at the emigration counter". He was so afraid that i might lose the passport or few pages of it, that he told- " You can search your luggage if you lose it, you can search your children if they are lost, but if passport is gone- forget your trip". I followed his instruction verbatim and stood transfixed at the counter clerk. He might have thought why this lady in thirties watches him like a hawk, he stood up, combed his hair which was paltry(!) and then sat again before stamping my passport. Result of my over-sincerity and obedience to my man's words- L junior was chatting up with an elderly woman 200 meters away and L senior was glued to his video game back in the baggage checking section.
After great hullabaloo, i located them both and by the time i pulled them both by hands and entered the security check, that lady over the microphone was yelling my name- "Mrs Nivedita Louis. This is the last call for your security check and boarding". I waved my hands frantically at the security men and tried to jump past barriers with my little ones towing behind. By the time the security check was over, L junior went missing again and this time was located in a gift shop selling jewelery. Cursing dear fate that gave me two kids and the man who had advised me to prioritize my passport more than the children, i got ready to board the plane, exhausted beyond words.
It was refreshing to enter the plane but oh...wait a minute- this lady, why is she still working? The stewardess who stood at the entrance with a wide grinned namaste was probably sixty or more, skinny, almost all the veins were visible and i felt really sorry for her. By the time we settled down in the seats and the next stewardess served us drinks, i was mad- all the stewardesses on that particular flight were above forty and looked scary with garish makeup. Junior L was batting her eyelashes and looking merry at them and i was fuming. The service was slip-shod and so slow that i almost slept before the lunch arrived. And the seats- how convenient! Cattle class is flights are fit for livestock really, i have seen cows transported in open trucks to Kerala squeezing every inch of their muscle inside the truck! Economy class seats are only for size zero people, not healthy people like me! Squirming and turning in my seat, i was so relieved when the flight landed. Or was it thrown? The take offs and landings of Indian leave a bitter taste in one's mouth. The pilots almost throw you at the airport, not land softly.
|Beautiful and energetic- Srilankan|
Picture Courtesy- Google search
Next time, i changed over to Srilankan, so far the best airline i have travelled. The food is great, even cattle class seats have independent TVs with remote. That gives children to be engaged and parents can heave a sigh of relief. There are Tamil movies shown, stewardesses have a great colgate smile with Ayubhuvan. Their costume is marvelous, L Junior loves to dab peacock blue eye shadows just like " Srilankan airhostesses". Srilankan is making huge profits in South Asia when compared to its voluminous neighbor Indian. We don't have the time and plans to develop the airline. All we have got is a few good pilots with fake licenses, few bad pilots with good licenses, few old stewardesses who may die any moment on air, few middle aged ones who are fit (fat) to fly! No wonder, Indian is cash strapped! May be i should resign as Railway Counter staff and work as Stewardess in Indian- I have all the required qualifications- i am not so tall, i am not so slim, i am not fast, i am not patient enough. So i am the Most Eligible Lady to be Stewardess Indian!