{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}



Monday, May 08, 2006

Simpli-fly !


I had a privilege to board an Air Deccan flight after a gap of 2.5 year. It has changed a lot. The air plane has got bigger and things like that. This time it started only 30 minutes late, practically on time and all the passengers looked happy and rushed to the plane to catch hold of their seats in the free seating arrangement, which near matched the rail-coach frenzy. The flight from Hyderabad to Ahmedabad ascended the air taking a mini India with it.

My interaction with co-passengers started in the boarding pass line itself where people with the printouts are shouting at Air Deccan staff for no apparent reason, its one of the ways to fight the heat outside and forget family tensions. Some young guys even chatted with the young girl at the Air Deccan counter, inquired about her working conditions and asked her to take a better job and gave some tips too. It was like flirting but not as effective. She smiled and smiled like a true girl. As usual, middle aged men cribbed how precious their time is and they have connecting flights, and older persons talked about how flights used to on time at their times and the whole bit about privatization, other have nothing to talk about so they talked about hot weather and how this time is even worse than last year and AC sales have gone up, they discussed more such unimportant things. The young ones were crying as usual. Its a good omen for flights because children sleep after a good cry. Some mother even slapped their children to make them sleep later but such practice are rapidly going extinct with the advent of over-protective super-moms.

The person behind me in the line was happy to the core, especially when he saw my print out and saw I bought the ticket for 2K+, he showed me his, it was a Rs 500 ticket. He was as happy as a lottery winner. Later I realized that he booked the ticket early this year and he is not alone but has a whole marriage party with him. It seemed that they fixed the marriage date depending on the tickets availability. Truly Indian. But the real fun was still to come. As our flight moved above clouds and people loosened their seat belts, party time began.

Flamboyant gujjus were every where. All relations and all friends. Pure delight and full fun. I was literally shocked when I saw three girls moving all over the plane with handycam photographing each passenger and even clouds outside, I even thought of taking out my SLR and flaunt, such was the passion on plane. The good smell of eatables and sound of munching was everywhere. Since Air Deccan doesn't offer anything except the good flying experience, so they have come loaded with all sorts of namkeens and beverages. They sang and if space were sufficient, no one in the world would have stopped them from dancing. Only kids danced in the narrow pathways. I was pleasantly surprised how the whole plane was hijacked with love and affection, song and dance.

Next was thing that my friend told me long time back and I never believed it. Where there are gujjus, there is antakshari. The whole aircraft was soon divided into two groups and antakshari started. As a customary for warm up, they did the 'Maine Pyar Kiya' version in chorus first. Its a satisfying experience to hear songs from the long forgotten films like 'Police Mujrim' and 'Dulha Dulhan', also they sang some of favorites. When it was announced that we are moving through the turbulent weather, they sang situational songs. The guy who is going to marry, was on the plane, his name was Mayur and girl's name was Mansi because they were replacing the original names in the songs with Mansi and Mayur. It bought back the memories of buses with stickers 'Mayur weds Mansi' or 'Mansi weds Mayur', from bus to airplane, 'Baaraat' is the same fun. They sounded like professional, singing full songs with dialogues in between (do you remember the dialogues from 'Ijazzat', they did, all of them). Air hostess were mesmerized and didn't even attempt to interrupt. They just stood near the toilets and heard the concert. Hope Bharjatiyas would have seen their impact on society and probably conceived a film on marriage in air, near god and heaven and then we can get such out-of-world experience more often, films mirroring life and vice versa.

With all this going on, I tried to read Kafka to keep the air-plane on balance (or balance on air-plane). I usually carry Kafka on flights, to fight the fear but this time there was no need of Kafka. The guy next to me didn't like the songs nor the Kafka. He cribbed and tried to sleep. Later he even asked the flight attendant that where can he fill the feedback form. God knows what he will complain - ban the families on board. As for me, I really loved the experience. These one hour and forty minutes were the best one can do to fight the altitude nausea and the relative disorders, its a therapy like a Bollywood movie.

32 comments:

Indrajith said...

Maaaaaannn....!! it sounds crazy...

I understand you have hyerbolised a lot and lot. Though there are usual stuffs like delineating yourself as a voracious reader and well-informed critic who lives on Kafka and other super-ordinary stuffs among all on board.... :)

I trust the intention was to make people who never travelled on flights feel good that it is no different than a train journey in India.

I feel that AirDeccan are the guys who made peple feel that they can also afford to fly. I also feel that making fun out of Gujjus are also excogitated.

Brickbats to you.

anurag said...

Dear Indrajith,

I am not a voracious reader, I wish I were. I am not a well informed critic, I wish I should never be. I am not supreme, which I know I can never be. Anyway, what problem you have with Kafka. The best therapy for you is to read Kafka

I had no such intentions.

Your mind is bad, I never made fun of them, i just talked about how they had fun and gave it to the fellow passangers like me. They are as good as Telugus and Tamilians ;)

Tomatoes to you, buy the bread and make a sandwich.

Thanks for your comments, keep visiting :)

Indrajith said...

Is it true that the name of the couple were the real... I mean atleast the bride's????

anurag said...

The spellings are different, if you noticed. ;)

ventilatorblues said...

:) :)
Very amusing. You need to ditch the Kafka. But then perhaps you wouldnt be able to write such stuff. :)

km said...

Anurag,

I started the post expecting to read a usual "cheapo airlines attracts cheapo crowd" rant and was pleasantly surprised with the way it turned out. Lovely stuff.

You wouldn't mind if I nominated it to Desipundit, would you?

Anurag said...

Hi Anurag:

Nice to read your post about a fun flying experience. I work with Air Deccan where I am responsible for Revenue Management.

Hope to read more in future. And yeah, do write about kafka-esque life experiences too sometime!

Anurag

Alok said...

Man, I never had such a colourful flight journey...

or was this a kafkasque fantasy of yours? :)

anurag said...

vb, I too want to ditch Kafka at times, but it seems its somewhere in my system now :(

km, Thanks a lot, sure, I won't mind :)

Thanks Anurag, I will try sometime.

Alok, Hope Kakfa were there on plane, he would have forgotten some of his despair for some time :)

GREATBONG said...

Excellent. Happenns only in India. And very glad to see someone remembers songs from classics like "Police Mujrim". Did they sing "Chand ka dulhan layoonga tujhe anan panan anan panan" from Govinda's "Hathkadi"?

shub said...

hehe...simply India:)

Nirav said...

Where there are gujjus, there is antakshari

Lol! Being one of them, I couldn't agree more... I can imagine what the experience would have been like :)

Ishit Vachhrajani said...

Ha Ha very nice...happens only in India...!

Mridula said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mridula said...

You are the same Anurag whom I also met on Epinions, right? Enjoyable post, this.

AD said...

Simpli-unbelievable!!

Or, shall I say you can now be qualified as a pro? ;-)

Good one, this. Wish you had covered your experience on the return flight too...

cheers.

anurag said...

Greatbong: I am great fan of your blog and it is nice to see you here. Not that one but they sang "Sone ki cycle, Chandi ki seat" and "mai se meena se na saaki se", both of them pre-dhawan govinda classics :)

shub, nirav, ishat: merci

Ya Mridula, I am the same anurag. How is your travelling going on ?

km: thanks a lot, I have not seen so many visitor to my blog in one day ever.

Anonymous said...

Abbe champak...anurag...

Thoda zameen pe aaa... What do you mean by "cheapo airlines attracts cheapo crowd" ??? If you have lotz of money then dont board air deccan. Thats ur problem.

If they (AD) are providing janta to travel by air with cheap tickets, then whats the harm? Are you being paid by the premium airlines to destroy Air Deccan's image???

Brickbats to you

anurag said...

Shant Gadadhaari 'anonymous' Shant :)

Mahi said...

Hey Man..

Good one!! Had a similar experience recently .Your post just refreshed it again!

Vikas said...

Where there are gujjus, there are pretty girls

.. that's how I read this ;)

I always wish my 16 hour flights to India would be anywhere close to this ... I would simply love it.. will feel like i have gained additional 16 hours of stay in India :)

well antakshari is a big time pass up north as well !

amitken said...

you had a totally different kinda experience on AirDeccan , u were lucky :)

i wish all my travel is as much funfilled :))

Swathi said...

tat was hilarious....

Anonymous said...

sahi likh leta hai guru......nice one. thoroughly enjoyed this one

i being an eternal "practicalist" with a dominant left side of the brain, liked this one much more than your other ones. u know wo "philosophy wilosophy mhari samajh me to na aawe"

eggs to indrajith from me

Anonymous said...

sahi likh leta hai guru......nice one. thoroughly enjoyed this one

i being an eternal "practicalist" with a dominant left side of the brain, liked this one much more than your other ones. u know wo "philosophy wilosophy mhari samajh me to na aawe"

eggs to indrajith from me

Anonymous said...

pehchan kaun?

AJ said...

You were seriously lucky.
I had a horrible experience on Air Deccan :(

Anuradha said...

I once took a Air Deccan flight from Delhi to Bangalore, boarding happened but for next 2.5 hours the plane did not move. In the meantime we made friends with people around and we all started playing Antakshari and believe me we played it for next 6 hours till we landed in Bangalore. since this was an evening flight, there was no food in the plane, since AD sources food only from Bangalore, so everyone who had anything in their bags to eat shared it with the rest of the passengers. And it was not a one big family, no one knew anyone, but I made couple of good friends on that flight...

anurag said...

Hey 'Anonymous', I need some hints. Are you in Delhi or Hyderabad. Are you married or not ?

Thanks to all for reading.

Paavani said...

Very nicely written.
Vaishe, if there are Gujju people there would be variety of food and flavor would be added by there talks.
I was once discussing the Air deccan thing, Leg space, late departure and no food. But it really save time for those who previously can’t afford the air travel. What wrong if one take 1,500 rs flight instead of tatkal ticket of Rajdhani or 3 tier ticket of other train. It’s almost same but you can save 16 hr journey to 4 hr at maximum. Still one can save 12 hrs. Not a bad deal.
And at times when there is emergency to travel either for a family or anyone (here, not talking about high class flyers), Spicejet/Air decaan/ Air Sahara are good option. Or in a bit higher price there is always Jet airways, serving with food.

tiger said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.
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