Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Be Indian, buy Indian- never fly INDIAN

Maharaja today!
Pic courtesy Deccan Herald
I have imagined flying in my childhood dreams- a small town girl's childish dreams where you fly in the air. When the opportunity knocked my doors to fly, i was hardly ten years old. The flight was from Chennai to Madurai, by Indian Airlines. We booked the tickets with the help of Jesu Uncle who was working there at that time and promptly boarded the flight. The air-hostesses we saw were very pretty with red lipsticks- thats all i could notice as a ten year old. Putting the seat belt is an art that you can master only after a few unsuccessful attempts and we were helped by stewardesses. I shut my eyes tight and tried to gulp down the bile rushing up my throat. To ward off the uneasiness, i tried to plug some cotton in my ears and taste a few chocolates served. We drank a juice and just when i felt relaxed, the seat belt sign blinked again and we were dumped unceremoniously in a few minutes at Madurai. Alas! the flying time was just 40 minutes. That 40 minutes of flying went somewhere long forgotten in memory as i grew up.

 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.
Courtesy- funnyvisuals.blogspot.com

 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!


  1. Guess wat! Kingfisher is the best Indian carrier I hav ever travelled :-P No wonder the airlines is making money!

  2. Dear Naveen, thanks for the comment dude! No wonder you love Mallya's Kingfisher- lovely girls in red:) King of Good times:P Ulalalaleyo....

  3. hahahaha @ the elderly stewardess.. times have indeed changed. So true about the economy class!Now, don't your kids remind me of some certain kids?;;M-I-N-E!!! :D

  4. A really good one. It is so funny. How come you are still talking about Indian Railways , when I thought you were living in the middle east?

  5. business class is for size sero and that plane not landed bt actually thrown was the best part..LOL..nicely done...kudos

  6. Dear Ibhade:) Thanks for the comment. Children...oh God, they are a handful. Happy your little ones too are hyper;)

  7. Dear Rama, thanks for the visit and comment. I am technically still with Rlys, went to Gulf on 4 yrs Ex India Leave. Have to join in September mid:)

  8. Dear Vineet:) thanks for your time and first visit. Following you straight away:)))

  9. Look at our National carrier - bled to death by an corrupt minister. What a tragedy.

    Never flown Sri Lankan airlines - but then for that I"ll have to go to Sri Lanka first!

    My vote goes to Lufthansa - efficient service and always on time.

  10. Dear Cloudnine,
    A nice post, I appreciate your confidence for being qualified for the post of Air hostess at INDIAN!
    One of my previous bosses from Perth, WA, who travelled on INDIAN flight from Dubai to Kochi stated that the business class seat was more inconvenient than the economy seat!
    Landing a flight is an art; even I have bad experiences with Qantas, Malaysian Airlines as well as Srilankan! It depends on the pilot how much he sleeps during driving (diving?) the flight, to throw the flight on the runway during landing!
    We have lot of options to avoid INDIAN, where we can travel at a cheaper cost! Only thing, they ask, what would you like to buy for breakfast, instead of asking what do you like to have for breakfast! I like the way the hostess asking for it, people don’t hesitate to buy them at 5* rate!
    However, my condolence to you for your miserable experiences on INDIAN!

  11. Nivedita I echo your views about the air hostesses on Indian!! Gosh, some of them are so scary! I once was travelling on work with a colleague- the flight was very cold when we got on so this young man asked for a blanket moments after he settled in. The lady in question glared at him and asked "You are feeling cold?" He was so intimidated that he said "No it is ok". But he did not wait for her to say what she said next "I will ask the pilot to reduce the cooling!!" Heh heh...!!! On a flight from Malaysia by Indian I found that these ladies were behaving like school teachers. But you know I generally find that they are nicer to women travelling with children than to men travelling alone! I have had a more pleasant experience on the take off and landing. Pilots of Indian land smoother than their private airline counterparts...!!!

  12. Please add, INDIAN never takeoff on time, It happed to me to hang up for 23:30 hrs to catch the connecting flight (of course, it was next days flight!) at Hong Kong due to delay in departure (of course, arrival prior to departure). I have travelled four or five times through INDIAN, 90% it never leave on time! Hope, you were lucky to takeoff on time!

  13. agree with you
    never fly

  14. 1.why do ladies of mid40s or 50s not supposed to wrk as stewardess. ??(jus for the sake they re nt looking beautiful??).
    2.Here comparison of SRLYis worth compare wit AI or IA. SRLY is used by Millions of ppl every day.. ( generates some money for Country)..whereas maharaja has hardly some few thousands every day..( whic asks for tax payers moneY in the form of Bail-out package..)
    3.U did nt mention the price comparison of SL AIR and AI>??
    4.really here pilots had taken fake licences..(by passing those Pilot exams by givin money).
    5.one interesting add Up. In tuti Harbour .. there s some ppl called C&F agent. who s certified by CUSTOMS OFFICE as a person who knows A-Z of customs rules.. Now it s Online.. But b4 10yrs only exams conducted by officers manually. Imagine what might have happend?.So ppl who acquired that LICENCE AT THE RIGHT TIME were all jus mintin money wit that certificate.
    5.If u want photogenic STEwardess ..then it is our equal right to demand Size ZERo stenos in SRLYs too and we dont object even if there is RAIL-HOSTESS to make the panparag stained SRLYs coaches look colorful .

  15. I dont know why but all air hostesses just look the same to me! May be the reason could be I have never flown indian;-) Thanks for the advance warning:-)

  16. Purba- thanks for the visit and comment. Of course, yes, Lufthansa is better than our national carrier!

    Louis- sorry about your boss! I have had bad experiences in take off and landings all the time with Indian and at times with other carriers. And regarding b/f, its all about money, honey!

    Dear Meera- that was an interesting story! Arrogance at its best. But i have to agree with you- they are nicer to women with little ones:)

  17. Dear Louis- happy that atleast once your flight took off on time:)

    Dear sm, thanks for the visit and comment!

    Dear Anonymous,
    1. Sl is far cheaper than AI
    2. Ladies above 40 and 50 can be accommodated in offices on land, not fly
    3. I agree with C&F agents, but that doesn't hold water when it comes to AI
    4. Last, Railway stenos don;t cater to the general public, serving them manually:) They just sit and issue tickets. What has size zero got to do with it?:P

  18. Dear Arti- thanks for the comment. Advance notice, escape from AI:P


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