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!