When sky is the limit

Image source - http://genevalunch.com

We gawk at a strange looking object, widely known as airplane, awaiting us at the apron.  Legend has it that, apart from its primary task of creating noise pollution, this, what appears to be a poorly designed metal…..ummmm…..thing, can also defy gravitational pull; today, we are going to verify that.  ‘Darr ke aage jeet hai’ has always been our motto and more often than not, we come out victorious in any situation (although, some of our detractors might slightly differ with this statement).  And hence, with a tinge of apprehension, a dash of curiosity, and some unwarranted excitement, we climb the stairs.

When budget airlines introduced 1 rupee ticket, we looked at each other with an ear to ear grin.  However, the story takes a complete twist as we visit our friend’s travel agency and keep a one rupee coin on his table.  Going by his argument, fuel charges didn’t constitute the ticket price which they announced and it needs to be paid separately.

“That’s nice!” we affirm, “quite a picnic kind of a scenario where everyone chips in for the petrol charges, right?  So how much I need to contribute for fuel?” we lean back and inquire “I can get it at a discounted price and give it to the pilot before the flight takes off.  Would they require a pilot as well?  I mean, I can find out.”

Apparently, they have already arranged for a pilot and the fuel; we only need to pay for it now.

After a series of discussions and subsequent reviews, we decide to go down South; yup, Hyderabad it’s going to be!!  Including fuel charges, the ticker price now stands at 4900 rupees.  Anyway, there is no looking back now.

“Give me window seat,” we look at the left hand side wall where a calendar is hanging with a picture of Charminar on it.

“I don’t see that option here,” he rummages through the site, “may be you can specify your preference when you collect your boarding pass at the airport.”

“But why cannot you give me that boarding pass?  What am I paying you for?” we frown.

Another round of discussion follows and we come home little dejected with only the ticket and no boarding pass.

We reach airport a little early to ensure there is no hiccup.  But now, as we stand in front of coffee day and scrutinize all the activities, we realize that we have probably left home a little too early; killing six hours, which is still there for the security check, is going  to be a grueling task.  Anyway, we don’t want to stand here and look like a fool, ergo, we ask for a cup of tea.

“How much?”

“70 rupees.”

“No, no, I am talking about the tea which I have asked for.”

“Yes sir, that’s 70 rupees.”

“Can you give me the bill?” we look at him with profound skepticism.

“That white paper is the bill sir.”

We give him the money while we continue to stare at the bill in disbelief, and then keep it with other contents in our shirt pocket, e.g. money, phone number of the person who has already bidden adieu to this vain transitory world, and that ‘good day’ biscuit wrapper which we forgot to throw (please note, we don’t keep money inside innerwear anymore because we have had difficulties in the past carrying out transactions in public places.).

While being surrounded by security personnel during luggage scanning, we explain that the thing which resembles a gun on the monitor is actually a benign umbrella, and those round-shaped articles are laddoos which don’t have the features of a hand grenade.  After creating another set of spectacles during security check, we finally find ourself standing in front of a gate waiting with other passengers for something which we are not fully aware of.  A bus arrives and we are asked to board the bus.

“CHEATER COCKS!!!  A BUS?” we fume in disgust and look at other passengers hoping to ignite a protest.  But to our consternation, everyone nonchalantly walks towards the bus.  Perplexed, flabbergasted, outraged, we follow them.

Once we enter the bus, we show our skills.  With deft footwork and unprecedented swiftness, we maneuver through the crowd, push everyone around and secure a seat.  As we keep our handbag safely on one side and try to open the window, the bus stops and we notice a plane waiting for us.  That’s it, a ten-second ride!!  But we are glad that they arranged for this bus; running around in the parking area and on the runway screaming “which one is going to Hyderabad?” wouldn’t have been a great sight.

Air hostess welcomes us with a smile; first time in our entire life a lady smiled at us.  An involuntary smile creeps across our face which lasts for a prolonged period of time as we proceed towards our seat.

We espy a black t-shirt guy talking to that airhostess.  ‘Cheapos’ we grunt, ‘All Tom, Dick and Harry started traveling by plane now.’

Air hostess continues to smile at us as she demonstrates the safety drills.  We get up and try to open the door for a better understanding of the mechanism, but we are ushered back to our seat.  We were expecting them to shed some light on the usefulness of these doors in case of an emergency situation mid-air, in vain.  With a sudden rush of urgency, everyone starts fastening their seatbelts.  We fumble and realize that there is no seatbelt.  Crew members come to our rescue and the seat belt comes out of ….ummm…. I mean, we stand up and the seat belt is retrieved.  From the corner of our eyes, we study the procedure to wear the seatbelt.

Engines rev up and we clutch the seat handle – this is it.  As the flight takes off, we chant Hanuman Chalisa and wonder whether it was a wise decision to rely on the works of two gentlemen, with questionable sanity, called Wright brothers.  However, after sometime everything looks normal apart from the beads of sweat formed on our forehead.

Flight lands and we heave a sigh of relief.  A feeling of achievement rushes through our veins; this was a near impossible mission.  Like an NRI hero returning to India from Hindi movies, we close our eyes and smell the air; but did they show where that NRI hero collected his luggage from?  We open our eyes but cannot see any familiar face around barring that despicable black t-shirt guy.  ‘In times of crisis, your enemy can become your best friend,’ and hence we discreetly follow him and find ourself inside the toilet.  ‘Well, not a bad idea, it’s been a long time.’  We stand next to him and give him a bizarre smile, which doesn’t look that great under the circumstances.  In an act of betrayal, he walks out when we are in the middle of the task leaving us in a precarious situation; we run after him.

Once we come out, we see cab drivers approaching us.  But we know how to deal with this; we have handled similar situations in railway stations.  The thumb rule is, never take a rickshaw or a cab from inside the railway station; come outside, it will always be a cheaper deal.  We start walking towards the road unaware of the fact that the airport is 20 km away from the locality.

About Debajyoti Ghosh

You can follow +Debajyoti on Google Plus and on Twitter @devjyotighosh.

Comments

  1. Hey, what about the luggage? That guy must have travelled without any luggage. It would be a good idea to go back to the airport and retrieve that :) And while we are at it, take an airport taxi which will only cost marginally less than the ticket to Hyderabad. I laughed aloud at the spectacle of ‘us’ running out on the runway asking ‘which flight goes to Hyderabad?’

    • if we don’t follow other passengers, we will actually be running on the runway asking everyone this question :D. and you are right about city taxi, i always paid then with a heavy heart :)

      hey, thank you so much for the comment. i am not expecting too many comments on this one. as a matter of fact, yours could be the only comment here. let me see if i can force anyone to read :D

  2. May God bless you, Deb! I had such a hearty laugh after a long long time! Trust you to transform a mundane air trip into a howlarious anecdote. What I loved about the post is the subtle digs you took on the eternal middle class, laughable marketing promotions and enviable security practices like storing your cash in your innerwear. Carry one, Topgun!

    • hahaha thanx a lot Uma. yeah, we do observe everyone, don’t we? and i am not saying that i myself don’t do any of those things that i mentioned; i do :D.

      thank you so much for the comment coz i know how difficult it is going to be to get few comments here :D

  3. Chanting Hanuman chalisa is what everyone does on their flights .Even our film actors do it on screen.

    Laughed out loud :-))

    Were you in Hyderabad , in this heat?

    • hehehehe. thank you so much.

      heat? thankfully we have this thunderstorm going on here in my town, otherwise i would have been deep fried by now :D. so we can manage in any climate. extreme heat or cold; bring it on :D

  4. Awesome Debajyoti!!

    Reminded me of my first flight from Chennai to Pune…I got the boarding pass and then asked the person at the counter…’Ok You have given me this…What am I supposed to do next?’ And I was so scared that someone would whisk away my hand luggage by mistake from the craft….ha ha ha…..Had a good laugh reading your post!!! Super Dooper!!! :D

    • hehehe. we all do that and pretend to be cool. when they give us the boarding pass and say “have a nice flight sir.” we say “yeah yeah thank you thank you, nice flight.” and wonder – where the hell is that flight?

      thanks a lot Jayashree. and now it’s your turn to write a humor post :D

  5. And then there is a truck driver sitting next to you who is staring at the airhostess and asking her to give him some whisky. He then turns around and ask you how the darned TV runs. You show him your finger and he scratches his head and asks you to play Singh is King on his screen while he took his chappals off and put his feet on the seat!
    That was my very first co-passenger in an international flight and I went mental with him. Thank God he dropped off at Dubai.
    Have you checked the price of sandwiches in the flight? It’s as if they are made of gold.

    • that must have been fun :D. yeah, i can understand what you had to go through :D.

      i had sandwiches in the domestic flights a few times. those were not only expensive but perhaps the worst sandwiches on earth as well.

      thank you so much for the comment. i am really struggling to get visitors for this one :D

  6. Lucky you were not booked by AI as otherwise you would have remained grounded for ever and this hilarious post would never have seen the light of the day:)

    • after what i am hearing for past few years, i am going to stay away from AI for the rest of my life :). when i traveled in an AI flight, things were normal.

      thank you so much for reading :)

  7. Luggage chod diya and will a post follow on your experiences during the return flight? Also, how about suggesting to the FAA that we will all now pay fuel and pilot’s salaries mil baant ke right before we get on the flight. I’m in love with that idea.

    • what makes you think that we will leave our luggage and come back? we will search the entire airport :D.

      that would be fun. we will pay for the fuel and get a pilot from somewhere :D.

      how come you are still awake?

  8. LOL..That was really funny, specially the ‘CHEATER COCK’ thing and coming out on runway and asking which ones goes to Hyderabad..But hey what happened to the luggage?

  9. Hi Debajyothi! Wish I had been with you on that flight:):) And if you are not getting readers for this one then what do people want to read anyway??:)

    • even i wish you were there with me on the flight. we could have shared some embarrassment :D

      well, before i published this one, i had a feeling that i am not going to get enough readers for this one. still trying to force people to read it :D

  10. Hi Debajyoti,

    Love your quirky cartoons and blog posts. For that, a token of appreciation from me…

    http://amrutam-nopen.blogspot.com/2012/05/humbled-and-honored.html

    Happy Blogging,
    Amruta

  11. I burst out laughing when I got to the cheater cocks part. And yeah…that’s quite a picture: running around on the tarmac asking which gaadi goes to H’bad. Imagine the confusion!

    I know — those NRI heroes never have to go through that eternal wait at the baggage claims. Not fair.

    Hilarious post…all the way through. Love that picture too, Deb. That must be a one crazy airport.

    • hey thanx Nambiar!! see how much i am struggling for visitors here on this post :D.

      picture is not mine but yeah loved this airport on the picture :D

      thanx again. cheers!!!!

  12. lol!! that was hilarious!!!
    Was like watching a short comedy!!

  13. quite a comedy. Well written. Thanks.

    http://chroniclesofraviakula.blogspot.com/

  14. Excellent post dear. Cudn’t stop laughing all the way especially that cheater part and which plane goes to HYD. Imagine my situation as an Air Traffic Controller, when every flight will take-off like your cartoon..hahahaha..crazy airport.

    • hahahaha. thank you. but that would be fun, right? probably all the staffs at airport won’t have any work. passengers will automatically board the flight, whichever they prefer and then someone inside the flight will tell the pilot – all seats occupied, go, go………….. :D

  15. Haha, you have a great sense of humour. The next time I’m in an airport shuttle bus I am SO going to scream “Cheater Cock”. This was a fun read, well done.

  16. very funny. fast pace. not a single slow phase. good work:)
    and thanks for promoting:)

    • thank you so much :)

      i promoted coz i liked your post; however, the subject was bit disturbing for me to comment. those are some grim realities and people should be aware of it. although your post is a fiction but these things are happening everyday.

  17. This is an awesome post xD.
    Couldn’t stop ‘lol’ing at some parts ;) :D :P.
    Followed him to the bathroom o.O :P.
    Poor guy he must have been freaked out :P :D ;).

    Loved the post :D. I’ve never traveled in a plane :(.
    I would love to check if it really works against the gravity :/ :P

    • thank you so much :)
      yeah, we have to follow someone, right? otherwise how will we know what to do next :D.

      oh yes, surprisingly, it does, it actually can fly. but i used to love train journeys although these days it has become a bit sad.

      thanx again :)

  18. Haha.. as usual, a laughter treat. I liked the part where the tea costs 70 rs. Most of the time i was like, “Been there, done that”. Hilarious. :)

    • hahaha, thanx Shubham. when we go to a local tea shop and the guy says 6 rupees, we scream at him ‘how come you increased the price by one rupee,’ and then we go to coffee day and happily pay 60 – 70 rupees for a coffee or tea.

      thanx again. so, have you written anything of late? will check your blog later today :)

      • Written and Won another blogadda award too :P
        Just waiting for the day when i’ll be able to write half as awesome as you :)

        • wow, that sounds supercool!! just checked your new post, will go through it tomorrow.

          p.s. – i love your writing. you definitely write better than me. i am just trying to learn a few things from everyone :)

  19. I loved it-so amusing…i had been waiting for a new post from you since long & this was worth the wait…..thank God the additions to your ticket stopped where they did,or who knows what the final amount would have been.

    • thank you so much :)
      well, i used to publish one post per week but now it’s become 1 post per 2 weeks. i was always a lazy person but now i am running out of ideas for my posts as well.

      thanx again :)

  20. hillarious anecdote Deb. This one is a laughing riot.

  21. air hostess welcomes with a smile , I guess its my face then , they forget to smile at me hmmmpfff ..

    I guess I have been lucky my darling cousin is alsways there to pick me so i dont have to walk too far out to catch a cab .. he he he

    made me laugh Thank you so much ..

    Bikram’s

  22. Running out of ideas????????? Oh deb! please give me some………:(
    Another mind blasting post…………:)
    “Which one will go to hydrabad?” Awesome…:D

    • thank you so much but it’s a fact, i am not able to come up with new posts.

      hey, i was reading your Akbar Birbal post, but accidentally i closed the page and forgot to go back. will read that again, it’s an awesome post which you wrote.

  23. Interesting post on budget airlines and hidden costs:)

  24. Nice post :)

  25. Nice post Debajyoti……..

  26. Hi Debajyoti

    Nice to read your in-flight experience. Very interestingly put. Airports and air travel are no longer the domains of the affluent. But most airports in India make the average person inaccessible to basic services. To start with, who can afford to buy from the cafeteria inside the so called ‘corporate’ airports? The Security Personnel would rudely throw your bottle of drinking water you brought from home. Even inside the flight, passengers have to beg the hostess for a glass of water. They say they run on low cost!! Read may like to read my posts http://sibi-cyberdiary.blogspot.in/2011/04/can-we-have-peoples-airport-part-ii.html

    • absolutely. totally agree with you. and crew members give an impression that they are doing favor to the passengers. will go through your post. thank you so much for the comment.

  27. Ha Ha Ha!! That was a plane-coaster! I can imagine what you would have gone through.. I have a major phobia of flying.. I never God as much as I do when i’m flying.. And the cherry on this cake is that my husband is a pilot himself.
    Apart from the question of credibility these days, it really is only a machine, which can break down right?!?..
    And the Tom-dick & Harry bit – you can write a series of posts on that.. The worst is kids running around, screaming their lungs out.
    One of my next posts is also something to do with aviation..

    • hehehe. yeah, no matter how much i pretend to be cool, the moment the flight takes off, i start praying (the only time i remember god :D). yes, it’s only a machine.

      then it should be cool for you. your husband would have explained the mechanism and you shouldn’t get scarred, right?

      thanx for reading and please write that post. i will read it exactly 3 days after you publish it :D.

  28. Enjoyed reading your post..very funny and interesting…

  29. hahaha, this was hilarious Debajyoti. One of the best attempts at sarcasm I have come across :)

    • thank you so much. glad you liked it :D. it was actually written in a hurry coz there was no activity on my blog. but there are quite a few blogs out there where the quality of writing is far better. thanx again for the comment :)

  30. I see a recurrent theme in many of your posts and comments on other blogs, mine for example, where you are undecided about the value or meaning of what you are doing with your writing. I assume that it is not a literary device, and that, like all great writers, you are frequently faced with self doubt. Two pointers. One. Look at the kind of dialog that your posts generate in the comments thread. Two. Look at how you have mastered the art of commenting on social issues while making it look like you are making fun of yourself. I think you are extremely skilled and with some introspection and learning, you will be up there among the masters of satire and humor. Your writing without fail brings out the compassion and concern that you have for people and things around you, and it comes through loud and clear, something that not many writers can claim. You have persisted in developing your own style, and through it you have acquired what anyone will call a fan following. If on the other hand, your self doubt is an artistic device, and I have seen some fine examples of it, Woody Allen, Eliot, Sting, you are using it extremely well.

    PS: You have taken me off your Indiblogger network again. Second time. Next time, I will not speak with you again.

    • Honestly speaking, I am actually not doing anything intentionally :D. As far as social issues are concerned, that’s something which we see everyday and being middle class people, we are right there in the thick of things. Secondly, I yearn for visitors, so I just try to make it an interesting read; failed miserably many a times, but if I look at some of my older posts, I feel I have improved a bit.

      Thank you so much for this wonderful comment. As far as indiblogger is concerned, all my best blogger friends are not there in my network and you definitely fall under that category. When someone is not there in our network, we don’t have any expectation from him/her when it comes to visiting our blogs :D

  31. I only need to come to your blog and read some of your wisecracks to make myself smile even when I’m terribly upset or tired! You have such a way with words Deb…even a simple situation becomes funny and exciting :)
    For middle class people like us air travel is definitely a hell of an experience, and it is a little sad to know that the outcome is far from our expectations at times :P
    With your writing there can never be a dearth of activity on your post. Btw…you haven’t been on my blog for a while now :(

    • thank you so much Varsh :)

      yeah, for people like us, its definitely one hell of an experience.

      you didn’t write anything of late. just saw one new post notification, will read that tonight. and will also check some of your older posts. how can you think that i will avoid your blog?

  32. so this is the tru Debajyoti thing… :) hilarious post, after a long time that I am reading. I wonder what made you think of no comments for this one. The distance between the ticket and the boarding pass, the 70 bucks tea and the cash in innerwwear… :) some more things ahead keep up the post… :) loved it! though I haven’t ever traveled in an Wrighty-Machine!

    • thank you so much :)

      i was seriously not expecting any comments on this one. i am surprised. more so because i don’t have any network or fixed visitors barring a few.

  33. Lol thats hell of an exprience u had.

    Ure laddos and umbrella reminds me on an instance where I was carrying a bag full of exotic veggies for a friend in Indore from Mumbai (asparagus, leeks, etc which she doesnt get there). And at security they wanted to open and see what the long rod thing was (apparently asparagus). It was quite an experience, I didnt knw whether to laugh of be embarrassed to be found carrying a bag of veggies at the airport when everyone suddenly started giving me strange looks.

    What can I say?

    http://styledestino.blogspot.com/

    • yes, once i was carrying few gifts for my friends and the security opened the luggage and checked. but they packed everything properly later :)

      thank you so much for the comment :) and although i am quite a dehati kind of a person but still i love to check out apparels. loved your blog.

  34. hahaha…..funny, witty, hilarious…:) window with a picture of charminar on it..heheh…I remember a small joke here..when we were in school, there used to be an ad in those of days. Allout, mosquito repellent. The ad used to show a tongue coming out of the allout bottle and eat up all the mosquitoes..My uncle was a very humorous person who would play practical jokes often. He goes to this store and asks the guys for all out. And when the guy gives him the product, my uncle says, “not this..I want the one with the tongue..like in the ad..”

    • yes, i remember that ad and i loved that as well :D. and from now on even i am going to ask the shopkeepers for that product with the tongue :D

      thank you so much for the comment :)

  35. Loved the Hanuman Chalisa bit! Have noticed quite a few nervous co-passengers twitch and mutter stuff dring take off, landing and the ever present mid flight turbulence’s!

    • i get scared when the flight takes off and during mid-flight turbulence, i just want to scream ‘help’

      thank you so much for reading. i am dying to read your traffic post. will probably finish it tomorrow once i am done with my ipl 2 post :)

  36. Great post mate! I took a laugh! Good small observations! :D

  37. Oh thank you, sure do! ;)

  38. Hehehe, you are the heights of humor deba.. I can’t stop imagining that poor chap on the plane.. I’ll be coming back to your awesome blog for more tips on writing a humorous post :D

    • hey, even i am learning from others. what we can do is, we can both stalk some of the great humor writers and learn a few things :D.

      thank you so much for this lovely comment :)

  39. Not expecting too many comments ?? at your blog ?? next to…no just impossible !
    You are too good !
    This reminds me of my trip to Bombay a couple of months back. wanted to share my experience of the flight too, but have been too busy.

    • hey, thank you so much for this wonderful comment. but this is the fun. every time i write something, i wonder who is going to read it; and i really like the entire thing of getting comments and votes; eventually :D

      why don’t you write that post then? real life experiences are funnier than the forced humor posts.

      • I agree with you on real life experiences.
        My problem is, whenever I start to write anything, something or other comes up & I have to attend to that issue.
        I have got many unfinished posts in my computer…can’t help it. Lets see..

        • in spite of your busy schedule, you manage to write on a regular basis. and i have absolutely nothing to do and still write one post in two weeks :D

  40. Lol.. That was really funny.. You know how to pen down your real life experiences and about the Rs. 1 ticket.. was there really such offer because I never heard of it..

    • hahaha. thank you so much. yes there was this offer but honestly never checked it :D. hey thanx again.

      yours is quite a technical blog and i do follow few technology blogs coz i try to learn a few things.

  41. Hey, Funny one indeed. First time travelling experience. Happened the same with me too.
    You have a nice flow in writing. Keep it up.

    I just didn’t understand why the use of WE ?

    • hey, thank you so much! yeah it happens to all of us.

      the use of ‘we’ to describe how people like us behave, in general, at the airport and inside the flight.

      thanks again for the lovely comment!!

  42. I’m coming here after so long…and what an amazingly pleasant surprise! Everythings changed…execept you…because you’re still as funny as ever!!

    Loved the post!

    And love the fact that I was there to read one of your first posts when you just started out..and still there to read you now, you big rockstar you! :D

    • hahahaha. although you completely ignore my blog on a regular basis but i like it when you comment :D. and your ‘shoe story’ is one of the best posts i have read till date and so is your umbrella post :). thank you so much for this lovely comment :)

  43. Hilarious is the word. I literally couldn’t stop laughing. :-) :-)

    • hey, thank you so much! i can see you haven’t submitted any post on indivine. please do that; it’s kind of a notification for your readers every time you submit a post. for now i am going visit your blog from the link and read them :D. and thanx again for the lovely comment :)

  44. hahahhaha! thats the expression best describes how much i liked this post of urs ..and yes i had this habit of walking outside in search of transportation :D although Hyderabad airport (the new one) thankfully has that 150 rupee ac volvo else i wud have had to walk those 35 odd kms :D..very nice post..hilarious ! good read !

    • i think most of the airports have these bus services. it’s good but only if you don’t have a heavy luggage because the bus would drop you on the main road somewhere.

      thank you so much for the comment. i almost forgot about this post.

  45. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that
    it is truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

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