Saturday, February 7

Plumbing Yet Deeper

And so, naturally, it was with more than a slight spring in the step and twinkle in the eye that we scuppered up the steps of the little bird soon to soar in the sky. The half-hearted greeting at the door made for no pause and it was in the same upbeat mood and benign eye that we inspected our transport's relatively miniature confines. Indeed, the token row of Club Class seats elicited a friendly chuckle from the better half too as we belted down. My throat was acting up a bit though and cabin crew intervention had to be requested. In response to the call button one of them turned up soon enough and promptly took down the request for a glass of warm water. Almost in tandem, the pilot initiated runway formalities and we were speedily airborne!

Still debating whether to attend to the companion paperback or grab a shuteye, my reminder - for that glass of water - to the next of the in-flight hospitality team as snack service commenced, was affable to say the least. Nevertheless, no water while we devoted ourselves to the contents of the breakfast tray. In fact, my remonstration of surprise to W at not being asked for choice of cuisine was a mere murmur (my partiality to meat not being a shared inclination in any case). Yet, despite her vote for things vegetarian, she could not suppress a crinkling of the nose, given the quality of food on offer. She did educate me though as to why my harmless ambitions of a morning omelette were thwarted - a tacky seat pocket brochure carried a message from the misdirected evangelist that went by way of being the airline's promoter-chairman. Mr Goenka apparently was but doing his zealous duty in spreading Satvik vibes in airspace by denying us lesser mortals minor gastronomic pleasures.

While this presumption of choice did test a bit, but my poise was severely strained by the sustained refusal for that elusive glass of water to materialize. Another pull at the bell and the first crew-member made a repeat appearance, only to inform me on this occasion that they had no provision for warm water in flight (perhaps some satvik postulate was violated) and turned away before one could ask as to why the last two requests had met with assent promising future fulfillment. My effort for sustained civility forbore me from pursuing matters, though it was beyond me to figure out what was inappropriate about such beverage being in service. Or indeed, if things could get any worse, given all that had transpired since the morning.

It did not take long for that piece of rhetoric to meet its answer. The indifferent fare on offer did need a strong garnishing. The airline's choice of accessory for their dessert was dead mosquitoes, two in number - or so a cursory inspection of what W had in front of her revealed. Perhaps a mosquito or two was par for the course in screens for satvik staple in Mr Goenka's specifications. The cabin crew next summoned did certainly indicate that the proceedings were of routine nature for the carrier: her blase shrug of disinterest had an aura of finality, utterly dismissing any hint of corrective action. In either case the airline had clearly not spared any effort, read cost, in staging these intricate manouverings and successive pits in service benchmarks - Chhoo Lo Aasman moments - a satisfactory explanation for the ticket price tag!

No more happened: much more could have. Or perhaps they ran out of ideas. Or budget. Thankfully.

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Anonymous said...

Its been a while and chances of a sequel are bleak ... how can one end this eventful journey without giving a scornful look to the flight attendant when she tells you " Thank you for choosing this good for nothing flight. We'd love to serve you again" right before disembarking ... next time you fly this one remeber they sell 500 ml water bottle for just 50 bucks, awwah! now its completely your choice whether you want to wait till it warms up on its own or just guzzle it at aircraft temprature...

Learner said...

This reminds me of stuff I have read from Aldous Huxley. Very witty, yet not losing a sense of balance. A star is rising silently on the eastern horizon. Indeed.