When the air hostess or purser says this they also have a hint of a smile, meant to convey warmth and friendliness I guess. But the reality is that this is a bit of schadenfreude–a German word meaning taking pleasure in others’ misfortune.
Gone are the days when air travel was a luxury, a status symbol, a glamorous pursuit. The leading ladies of the Godrej and Wadia families of India were both air hostesses in a former avatar.
Obviously it is still comfortable for those who can afford the first class but for those of us who travel for work, by economy class, there is a long list of annoyances.
Besides the fact that we have to arrive 3 hours before the flight and then spend most of it shuffling down one queue after another, while you water is taken away and then by removing your trouser/ jeans belt some of the dignity is also taken away, and then we have to sit cramped in our seats for hours and hours after which we are made to suddenly walk or even run a few kilometres to get to the immigration desk.
Recently I made a friend on a flight from Goa. She was reading a book on Mossad and I was reading a Jack Reacher. Seemed like a good fit 🙂 We spoke non- stop and it seemed as though we had known each other forever.
But that is very rare. Usually there is the ‘joy’ of getting the aisle seat when the person in the window seat has a thimble sized bladder, or kids behind you kicking your seat, or idiot adults behind you who jab your seat instead of using the handheld remote, or thoughtless adults in front of you who recline the seat till their head is almost in your lap.
Each airline also has its own personality. Singapore is the best for service and Emirates for comfort. British Airways, despite the racism below a very thin veneer of exaggerated politeness displayed by its staff at least has some great TV shows in flight.
What do I say about Air India that hasn’t been said by millions of traumatized passengers already ?! When I went to Delhi a few weeks ago I heard piped music in T3. Why would they do this to us after all the dehydration and air pockets and low pressure and earache and general disorientation?? But then the notes assembled themselves into some meaning and I realized that they were playing the theme song for Air India and its passengers.
Every word is apt.
Musafir hoon yaaron, Na ghar hai na thikana,
Mujhe chalte jaana hain, Bas chalte jaana
Ek raah ruk gayi to aur jud gayi
Mein muda toh saath saath, raah mud gayi,
Hawa ke paron par mera aashiyana
Din ne haath tham kar idhar bitha diya
Raat ne ishare se udhar bula liya
Subah se sham se mera dostana
( brief translation –I am a wanderer/ traveller, when one path closes, another opens up, I am a friend to the day and the night, going wherever the road leads)
Jet Airways behaves as though the Mumbai-Bangkok flight is a domestic one and gives us no blanket, no TV screen and food that no human can eat. Well, on the way back Thai Airways made up for it and gave us a soft purple blanket. Although the food was only marginally better and they gave us a screen!
But as a wise person has said, be careful what you wish for !!
What is worse than a 5 hour flight with no entertainment?
Having to watch two terrible movies that Jet had saved me from being exposed to !
Ae dil hai mushkil…… I don’t even have words to express how ridiculous a movie this was. I would have said that Ranbir acted as though he had a learning disability but that would be an insult to those who struggle with that issue. Everyone in the movie had some pointless war to wage about love vs friendship. No one cares!!! Get over it all of you. Move on ! Do useful things to leave the world a better place !!
There are two good songs worth watching. But you don’t need to suffer the entire film for it. Here they are:
No one seems to be employed but everyone is loaded. Poets have a living room that looks like the set of Simi Garewal’s show. Mysterious artists aka SRK doing a surprise turn as an estranged husband who still has ‘be-intahaa pyaar’ for his ex –wife, manage to have some super posh venues for their avant garde shows. Young men can hire a chartered flight at a few minutes notice.
Despite this , not a single one of them had any parents or friends or relatives anywhere. A young woman dying of cancer is flying alone somewhere. Terminal cancer. An Indian young woman. I mean, seriously?! Is that remotely believable?? If she had any living female relatives, no matter how distant, or even a single friend, they would be there with her. Then she fakes an attack to get off the flight because Ranbir has managed to not take the direct underground to the airport but has instead rushed around all over London like a fool, taking taxis and running down roads, to get to the airport AFTER she has boarded. By this point I wanted it all to just end, for everyone! Ugh.
So then I saw Badri Ki Dulhania. They meant well. However, despite showing an empowered and brave girl fighting to make a life for herself outside the small town, and yes, there is a boorish, selfish young man who becomes a better person along the way, why is the movie called Badri Ki Dulhaniya, not Vaidehi ka Dulha ? They could also have edited out a good hour from it –the parts which were basically an ad for Singapore tourism. They had so many disclaimers against dowry and then every single wedding in the film centred around the giving of or not being able to give dowry. How is that acceptable?? Every now and then people would threaten to call the cops about the dowry, but no one actually ever did!
It also seemed a bit tragic to watch Chalat Musafir Moh Liyo Re from Teesri Kasam with Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman being transmogrified into the Badri Ki Dulhaniya song…….but I guess that is the way of the world now.
Finally I gave up on these and watched the one good film they had about a reformed villain and his struggles to be a super dad after having been super bad. However, there is a super enemy he has to confront—Bad Guy Balthazar who conducts his heists to the tune of 80s pop songs.
Yup, the redeeming feature film was Despicable Me 3.
Go see it! Buy a ticket for Bangkok if that’s the only way you can get to 🙂
Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight !!