Sunday, July 12, 2009

Return to sanity

I am on my way back from Colombo to Bangalore. The aeroplane resembles a flying zoo. The guy next to me, a middle aged Buddhist pilgrim from Sri Lanka is eating paneer kofta curry mixed with gajar halwa. Oh well! I guess if we can make dahi vadas then why cannot he make a gajar halwa paneer kofta? To each his own I say! Next to him is his old mother wearing that lovely Sri Lankan saree. She has spooned the gajar halwa into her pulao and seems to be enjoying it very much. I call the stewardess and give her back my tray and ask for an air sickness bag. Must be the turbulence. After the meal the stewardess comes around with tea and coffee. I close my eyes as a precaution. When I open my eyes I see lots of open salt and pepper packets with the packets of sugar and creamer. Now I am feeling definitely squeamish.

I decide to read the Budget Analysis in the newspaper. Wrong move. Before I could say 'Holy Pranab', I was heaving into the Air Sickness bag. The proposed prices of some commodities were nauseating!!

Middle aged man was now looking at the aircraft safety instruction sheet. I was sure he could not do any thing squeamish with that. But I was wrong. He was showing it to his mom and both were trying to read the Hindi instructions. That’s when I realized that I was in the Twilight Zone. I remember my favorite episode of that ambiguous program called "To Serve Man". And I shudder.

Mama was now opening a packet of freshener with which she cleaned her spectacles assiduously. Her once clean spectacles now had a thin film of Cologne stain. Then she put on her spectacles and tried to read the In-flight Magazine. She gave up after some time. Her glasses were distinctly cloudy now. I was tempted to snatch the spectacles from her and clean it with a dry tissue. With great difficulty I refrained myself as she got up and stumbled onto seats, stewardesses and toes on her way to the toilet. I tried not to think of the carnage in the loo.

Middle aged man got up and went to fetch her. That’s when I saw that they were part of a big group going to Gaya. Everyone was asleep after the big meal of Paneer Kofta Gajar Halwa washed down with tea or coffee with pepper, salt, sugar and creamer. They were all volcanoes waiting to erupt. God save me when we make the landing approach…cos they had stuffed the cutlery and bottle of water into the air sickness bags!!!

I got up and quickly changed my seat. I was told that they had a trouble free landing. Next time I know what to tell people suffering from air sickness. Yes, you are right. It is Paneer Kofta Gajar Halwa washed down with tea or coffee mixed with pepper, salt, sugar and creamer with airline cutlery and bottle of water stuffed into air sickness bags!!

And before anyone here gets ideas, I am patenting this!

p.s. No offense meant to anyone please. Please refrain from giving me gaalis in Sinhalese.

Have a crackling and fun week folks!


mathew said...

LOL!! its common to find weird combos...but this takes the cake...;-D

Unknown said...

i think i can one-up that.. try traveling from any gulf country (where alcohol is permitted) to kerala.. anytime, any carrier.. i can bet that more often than not, you will be surrounded by malayali males competing to deplete the flight's liquor stocks.. and then begging the flight stewardesses for more.. and passing comments whose lewdness is in direct proportion to the number of empty bottles in front of them.. and, if you're really lucky, then comes the piece de resistance: the dreaded group song..

here's a caveat: there's always someone on every flight annoying the hell out of everyone around him/her, knowingly or unknowingly.. if you do not see such a person on your flight, you probably are this person..

"to serve man".. ahh, sweet memories..

Abhi said...

Nice experience. Each flight gives a great experience. I'd an awesome time with 4 kids around me. One wailing and the other 3 start as if on chorus! Had a happy flight.

Hope you get better when you travel next time :)

BloggerMouth said...

Well at least you don't have a morbid fear of flying. Blog-hoppoed my way here. First time. I like what I'm seeing. You're going on my blogroll!


Grayquill said...

These types of flights when fianlly home we scratch our heads and say, "I actually paid hard earned money for that experience - what's the matter with me.
Barley Soup and soda crackers would be my suggestion - Heavy on the soda crackers please.

skar said...

The innocence of the old lady who assumed the freshener was for cleaning her glasses is adorable :)

I think my UK to Hyd leg might be a close match to yours? There was an old grandma who started clamouring urgently for headphones the moment she sat on her seat, while the stewards and stewardesses were still assisting other passengers and tucking in the baggage. This when each stewardess still took the trouble to explain "The headphones haven't arrived yet!" I think she was under the impression the headphones were for radio communication and that she was the pilot! :| Then a lady immediately beside her opened up some pudina biryani type thingy and the entire flight was now smelling like Hyderabad House(the famous Biryani store). Then what with all the people failing to understand the proper british accent. Every steward/stewardess had to repeat every request 10 times. When the lady beside me was asked 'tea or coffee?' She nodded her head in approval. And when I went to the loo I discovered the entire rear half of the aircraft was smelling like a Sulabh complex. So much so when the stewardess was going in to the serving area, I actually overheard her tell her colleague 'Oh god! It stinks SO BAD in there!' And as if all this wasn't enough, during landing there were two young couples with infants who happily fastened themselves to their seatbelts while the kids were on their highly protective torsos! :| This in spite of multiple warnings from the infuriated steward and in spite of his actually manually taking the child and strapping it in along with the dad! (The dad removed the child from under the belt as soon as the steward left)

silverine said...

Mathew: :D I guess the poor folks did not know much about Indian cuisine!

Jackson: Makes me cringe with shame! :( Because those lewd comments are very much alive and kickin on Blr roads by their brethren here!

"if you do not see such a person on your flight, you probably are this person" LOL! Wisdom of the Flights!

Abhi: lol! Kids are perhaps the worst travel companions. But I do not blame them. Poor tikes. Confined to such a small space. But that does not mean that I do not feel like taking and throwing them out of the window! :|

BloggerMoth: Thank you and welcome to my space! :) Nice pen name btw!!

Grayquill: lol! Soda crackers it is next time!! Thanks!

Karthik: Aarrgghh! Horrible! I am sorry I complained about my relatively trouble free flight after reading about yours! :(

vagabond dreamer said...

Try taking train journeys with your mallu neighbors from north India, I kid u not i once saw people lugging along supplies of rice, beef, and other assorted mallu stuff for the entire 3 odd days of train travel. To my detriment i carried only a measly sandwich for the first night.

Oh and gujju's travelling any where is a gourmet kitchen in the compartment. i once saw a family of ample physique with a seven course meal, including desert.

oh and once i got on a flight from bangalore, reached my seat, looked up to confirm the number, and the baby in the next seat sitting in his grandma's lap immediately pukes its guts out all over my seat, his grandma, and grandfather all before the flight takes off.

ahhh good times

Prats said...

Nice one... Was ROFL!!!! till the end

Pramod Abraham said...

Srilankan's have a unique way of wearign the saree.. have you noticed that ?

Blunt Edges said...

"holy pranab" finally i managed 2 laugh on a monday ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh My God! Urgh!! How?

never mind.

Sriram said...

Ugh.. reminds me of the food in Srilankan Airlines... It was the wine that helped me from puking :|

Anonymous said...

Oh God! Thanks for the headsup. I shall take care about whom I sit with on my flight to Hong Kong! Imagine, if SL is like this, how would HK be!
I can puke at the thought of Gajar Halwa and Paneer Kofta together ! Thanks for spoiling my lunch! :P

Anonymous said...

Just read what Karthik had to write. I can only say - :O
No wonder the west think we are weird. Pudina Biryani, Sulab Complex, not getting kids under seat belts! What not we can do to entertain the Goras! Sigh!

Slogan Murugan said...

In-flight entertainment has a new meaning.

Leslie said...

So that nobody writes such things about my parents, I had to give them huge 2hr + webcam lesson on aeroplane etiquette before their first international flight. Having seen many elderly as well as other people behave in unbelievably odd ways, I didnt want them to do such things.
When my parents landed, the first thing my mom told was "I always thought being an airhostess was a glamorous job but it is just hell up there. They have to take so much crap from every other passenger". My dad was sulking too. I had told my mom the horror stories of Mallu men enjoying free drinks. She didnot allow my dad even to have white wine. Talk of whining due to lack of wine.

silverine said...

Vagabond Dreamer: UGH! I have traveled with Gujjus from Blr to Mysore. They thought it was their bounden duty to fatten me up before we reached Mysore! :))

Prats; Thank you dear! :)

Pramos: Yes I have!

blunt edges: :D

indiashoes: A subject well left alone I agree! :P

Sriram: You should have ordered Indian food! :)

Ms Taggart: I guess if a cuisine is alien then you get such goof ups! :p And Karthik's flight is something he should blog about! Will make a nice script for a horror film!

sloganmurugan: lol! Very true!

Leslie: Poor dad! :D But it is good that he didn't drink as it increases the chances of puking during turbulence and landing. I wish we had more people like you!

Smitha said...

Some of the combos people relish! It sure made me bring up my nice strong coffee :(

Unknown said...

Made me remember my train trips rather than anything else.. but then I loved those!

And how was the trip.. what did you do... a travelogue please!!

blah said...

that was really funny......... ROFL

blah said...

and the regarding the combo.... this is better than watching some one try sugar with fried eggs (sunny side up)....

Beauty and the BEast said...

u kididng me!! I should hide this post away , cause it might just be very motivatingly inspiring to some twisted minds (read my boyfriend)...

and while you were stuck on just one flight, I might get stuck with a lifetime of watching him devour this cultivated taste!!!

LOL!! super hillarious.. though I pity your plight some..

Shanu said...

Lol! That was hilarious!

Talking abt weird eating habits my cousin loves eating wafers with jam and cheese!

silverine said...

Smitha: :D I guess they were new to Indian cuisine. :p

Abraham: This was yet another boring official trip! :)

dsk: Sugar and runny eggs = barf :-&

BnB: I bow to thee if you have such a BF. I would have ditched him super fast. I guess you are a bfvrata naari! A first! :| Kidding! Thanks girl! :)

Shanu: Barf!

Alyosha said...

Last time I returned from Singapore, I presented my grandmother with a basket of tropical fruits. Her pleasant looks turned to agony as she politely asked me, “could you guide me through, which one should I eat the inside and leave the outside?” I ended up giving her a hug and cut fruits which are not part of the standard package but optional then given free. Our worlds grew as wide as the longest airline range at a cruising speed of M 0.8 and most, youngsters get to hop on and hop off flights like city buses. There is always a difference between “traveling far and wide” and “going far away”. I think we have all gone far away and it has nothing to do with airlines and their long range aircrafts. Sorry my truly yourself. I found no fun but a hint to other funny incidences in the sky. I love to read your blog when you are focused and so no comments and no fun for me this time. So when can I have my next shot. DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ROLL UP INTO YOUR KEYBOARD, SOMETHING IS SEDUCTIVELY ADDICTIVE OUT THERE. There is some ‘that substance’ in most of her blogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Bullshee said...

Listen Paneer Kofta is gonna get into the old tummy. So is Gajar ka Halwa. They're gonna meet, do a little dance, make a little love and get down tonight.

These nice Buddhist people just gave them a head start! :-)

Destiny's child... said...

Paneer kofta gajar halwa....can't stop heck of a flight it was, wasn't it? :D

Aniket Thakkar said...

I almost had a fight with my flight steward. On my flight to US I was pumped up. First time out of the country. Parents not around to keep in leash. Just my kinda thing.

When the steward came I asked him in total James Bond style, 'What do you have for drinks?'

He smirked and said 'For you sir. Cold drinks and Juices'

I stare at him with a blank face, 'Err. Did I do something wrong to get punished?'

'We serve alcohol only to people 18 and above.' he says.

To which I reply 'Dude. Am on business visa. Am 23'

He then checked my passport, can you believe that! Half the people were watching me with a 6 inches smile, fighting for my booze by then. I know longer felt like drinking when I got my Corona. :(

silverine said...

Alyosha: Thanks for the comment!

Bullshee: That was my bros exact response! :p

destinys child: : It was!! :p

Aniket: LOL!! Take that as a compliment.

Lux said...

ROFL! Do you know the film director - priyadarshan, i think am seeing a priyan in making here...way to go dear...awesome post , as always!

Pink Mango Tree said...

Have u heard of this combo - Calicut Halwa and Malappuram Meen-Curry?! :)

Anonymous said...

I am writing this comment from the Colombo airport, on a transit stop here. I was actually quite surprised by the quality of service of both Srilankan airlines and the Colombo airport. Of course, pepper was supplied with tea. ..