SOS calls from an innocent victim


OK. It has been proved. So it is true afterall. In a weirdly strange phenomenon, I am being targeted by all airlines unitedly these days. As far as my respectably sublime memory goes, I have never dirtied/deshaped/hacked/incised seats by dropping food/water/puking/sneezing/using sharp tools/wheezing/rasping. Added to this the supremely staid and solemn ways in which I carry out my air journeys (courtesy the context in which most are made-to/from my home-town to/from my work-town), ensure that I spend my time quietly reading/looking outside/trying to get but not getting any sleep/managing some sleep. But despite display of abundant chivalry/politeness/kindness on my part, they seem hell bent on making my life laughable and lamentable/deplorable all at the same time. They have all ganged up against me, plotted and planned to the last detail, and decided to unleash all their wrath against me in cynically ruthless ways.

Now that you have been quite moved by my ravings and ranting, I owe you guys some explanations. So this goes back some time when I was traveling alone for the first time by air. I had a window seat but was hardly interested in gazing out given the ungodly hour (6 AM), I had just taken the seat to avoid any aisle related disturbances. But as luck would have it, the seat next to me was occupied by a small kid in a particularly ungrateful mood. Her mother sat next to her in the aisle seat having another jumpy/restless/unruly/wriggley kid on her laps. In a matter of ten minutes both the kiddos were in the seat next to me looking at my window sideways. Almost fifteen minutes later they were both on my laps hanging on to my window. I could take it for exactly five minutes and then bracing my best smile, I offered to exchange my seat with them. Their mother was only too pleased.

Sitting in corner seat, I shut my eyes looking for a little bit of sleep. And then hell descended upon me as the extended family of the benign lady decided to drop in to pay regards to her bringing along with them their even tinier/dirtier/noisier children. Apparently the lady was traveling with her huge family who had come from some part of south India now off on a vacation to the extreme north. Being a relatively recently married lot, all of them had minute offspring continuously squealing and bantering.

I had obviously had enough. I mentioned this to her with extreme caution. She offered to place me next to her elderly (and seemingly peaceful) in-laws seated in the next row. This appeared to be a good prospect and I happily agreed. But fate most obviously had other plans as the little devils decided to now plonk themselves on their granny's laps for a change. When I opened my eyes after one short stretch of sedation, I saw one naughty bachha gulping water from my water bottle. It looked at me after most of its saliva had dissolved in my drink, and then looked at his grandmother who happily wiped the mouth of the bottle and gave it to me obliging me to the core. "Let the child have it," I smiled. I was clearly my politest best that day. The entire trip I spent sulking and cribbing inside, waiting to shriek my lungs out.

Another recent incident was when this time I was coming home for Diwali. Given the shooting prices of air tickets, courtesy the festive season, I bought myself a seat on one of the cheapest airlines, which I clearly respect for their services despite their low fares, even though people associate them with cancelled flights and ugly air-hostesses. So what happened was that I arrived late and got inside the plane among the last batch of passengers. Some how I managed to secure an aisle seat but I failed to realize that it was next to the mid-way emergency exit of the airplane. The seats refused to recline and I found myself sitting upright subjected to extreme discomfort and irritation. The girl sitting next to me quickly found another seat and changed her place.

I consoled myself now by stretching my feet on the seats which obviously nobody else could do. But it stopped amusing me in sometime and I too had to request the stewardess for al alternate seat. She pointed two seats to me and I found it hard to hide my relief. I smartly left the first empty seat on the way, thinking of catching the seat closer to the main exit, and hopped onto it with an air of elegance.

You are very much right that things will obviously not go right if it is me and aircraft travel. So the passenger next to me turned out to be a high-flying executive on his nth trip aboard an early morning flight, and he insisted on cribbing about it to his thick burly friend sitting in the next row. He strained his voice talking to him all way as they chatted about wives, children, bosses, work, loans, weather and every other useless topic under the soon appearing sun. All my efforts at gaining sleep were squished and squashed there and then. I drove home with a dejected heart and noted this in my long list of distressing journeys.

If only somebody was listening!

Comments

illusion said…
Brilliant. I kept on laughing all through my read. I know I am doing so at the cost of your plight. But loved your air gatha. Wishing you pleasant flights from now onwards.

PS: Thanks for the earlier visit to my blog and coming back to it again.
hehehe. Well...consider urself lucky, i'm being targeted these days by anything that breaths, most of all by my editor. life sooo sucks sometimes.

n hey, glad u dropped by.
Prasoon said…
interesting - very interesting..

Now who do u expect would be listening to your SOS calls?

ok wait - the solution - travel with someone you know :) - that way, the seat beside you will be occupied by a 'known' individual whom you can actually chose to give sedatives so that he/she sleeps n also helps you 2 way thence :D

ehmm ahmm..
Canary said…
@illusion
you know wat, even i laughed wen i read it later! couldnt believe i am the one been subjected to it all! :p

@boogers
Am glad that i dropped by :)

@prasoon
I should think of carrying sedatives from now on, dats a gud idea :D
manuscrypts said…
airlines obviously believe that canaries should fly by themselves :)
abhas1 said…
It's all too clear. It's a conspiracy...muhahahaha.

oh yeah, and I'd like to second manuscrypts on that comment :P

hehe, thanks for dropping by.. would love to read more of your stuff :)
Lotus Reads said…
Enjoying your blog and stopping by just to let you know! :)
Mosilager said…
That was quite a funny read canary... I was getting the picture of the airline setting a cat (sylvester) on you... "I thowt I thaw a puddy cat...."
Canary said…
@manuscrypts
hehe.. :D

@abhas
you're most welcome :)

@lotus
thanks for dropping by :)

@mosilager
:p :p
satishds said…
Extremely well written..Its been a long time since i visited ur blog.
Well, I can understand ur plight during ur plane journeys but just think if ur travelling by a train from bangalore to delhi, It takes approx 2 days and all those shoor sharabas, you will have to take care of yourself and ur luggages.compared to that i think 2 hrs of discomfort is fine ;)
Sheetal said…
Hi Canary!!

Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday - I decided to pay you a visit today!

I enjoyed reading this post... will definitely visit again soon, and I hope you'll stop by again :>

Sheetal
Canary said…
@satish
:) thankoo..
ya u dropped by after ages.. so, wat have u been upto? :)

@sheetal
gr8.. thanks for dropping by today coz i dropped by yesterday.. :) now i will drop by tomo so that you can drop by day after..so on and so forth..
Chocolate said…
air flight or air plight....u sure hav had some masala to write onto ur blog ;)

imagine, if "this" wudn't hav happened, how "boring" ur journey wud hav been.

I wish u more of "these" incidences in ur life ;)

Cheers
Vipul
venus said…
awwww, I can totally emphathize with you. Thank god, you didn't have to from one end of the world to the other! If anything that is missing in our culture is discipline! this is the perfect example of indiscipline! Parents welcome thier kids make noise, grab other people's possessions (water in your case)!
One very surprizing thing I have noticed in the west is that westerners' kids dont cry! I have never seen any white kid crying in the public places! They teach their kids discipline from very early age, and our kids do not have any discipline even when they become adults!
venus said…
hey Miss, I've added u in my blogroll buddies, hope, you won't mind. I liked your posts :)
Shreyansh said…
Nice humorous description. Kids seem to be having some sort of liking for you. :)

And yeah Belated Diwali wishes.
Wasn't well so cudn't reply earlier.
>|' ; '| said…
:) this is fun na...in flight entertainment!
Abhinav said…
he he .. seems the kids really loved u.
and sleep in journey .. have u learned the moral of the story .. never try to sleep in journey lol
Canary said…
@vipul
more such incidents?? :S

@venus
the bit about white kids not crying was interesting.. i wonder wat exactly is different in their upbringing..

@venus
u kidding me? im so glad! thanks dear.. :)
Canary said…
@shreyansh
oh :(
get well soon..

@><
not so much fun, if u're the one being subjected :P

@abhinav
no thats not the lesson !!
Kautilya said…
Its entirely upto you to make ur flight/journey interesting/boring.
Sara said…
well...i must say u r lucky...because it happens to me most of the times i travel in any public transport system...and especially in the Buses...its so irritating...wen someone keeps making u change seats...and irritating passengers

and gosh...it happened even in a rick here at B'lore...the city has got so crowded that ppl call autos with passengers while at a signal...but i had to say ok once b'cos the couple was elderly...but it was uncomfortable though...

this is again in trains too...i heard that trains are worse in North compared to South with passengers without reservation forcefully occupying reserved seats...

and flights r no better!!! god save Indian passengers...
Chocolate said…
of course yaar....imagine, how interesting ur life wud be if their were no such incidences...
wht wud u write on ur blog??
how wud u remember each of ur journeys :P

Cheers
Vipul
D said…
Interesting read. I guess it's really hard to manage Human Resource even for a HR personnel. Anyhow, I was hoping to read something on the food as well.
Ganja Turtle said…
Schaudenfreude, i believe is the word! welcome to the adventurous world of travelling nightmares...I hope somebody has taught you the first rule...if theres only one elbow rest, thou shalt grab it with unfettered enthusiasm and cling to it desperately for life!
CuriousMoron said…
Made an interesting read. Cheers to random blog hopping.
Heidi said…
boy..i can totally identify with the sitaution but the site is trains for me...and next time try a rfoad journey..u'll get tired of sleeping :)..an interesting read..
Canary said…
@kautilya
hmm.. insightful :P

@sara
oops.. u seem to have been so tormented ! :D

@vipul
wow! wat a way!
Canary said…
@d
next time on food esp for u :)

@ganja
lemme wiki for this word!

@curious
thanks for dropping by :)

@heidi
thankoo :)
Ganja Turtle said…
schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\, noun:
A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others.
niki yokota said…
i dont like kids sitting next to me..
yeah most of them behave really bad.. ^^
love ur style of writing. very brilliant and sharp!
hope we can make good frenship.
thanks for stopping by. happy sunday!!

niki from japan

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