Sunday, May 27, 2012

Unravel the Travel (part 1)

(will be a travel trilogy after a great tryst with people on the move)

″A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi

I go a step further. I eavesdrop on conversations too! It not only helps me while away some waiting and travel time.  It also gives me a perspective about people, the world and life. Some are new perspectives. Many observations (and sneak peeks) change existing view points.  

Not that I travel too much. Infact, come to think of it, I had not travelled at all in the last 3-4 months. It was getting mundane. I was not getting new perspectives! Thank God for this wedding invite from a relative, tickets were booked. My family travelled ahead of me. I joined them a week later. (There are observations, sneak peeks and whispers on the pre-wedding, planned rituals and post-wedding camaraderie. More dope on it, once my travel hangover is over.)

One very common perception which people carry – one of the most glamorous jobs is that of an air hostess. Pretty uniforms to wear, beautiful destinations to roam, classy hotels to stay in and to top it all, a huge bank transfer at the month end just to look good and pretty! Well, Mr. Goyal “jetted” careers and Mr. Mallaya as a king, fished out a lot of talent, until “Air of India” started stinking, again. I carried this perception for a fairly long time. And then, I started observing.

You curse your luck for the 0600 am fight, curse the cab driver for coming late because you woke up late and then gave him wrong directions to your place, curse the security guard at the airport for stopping you which is his duty because you are late, curse the boarding pass counter lady for not keeping a window seat for you because you are late and curse the entire population at the security check in gates who are there to catch one of their 0600 am flights and cursing you as part of their late coming plan. Airline staff cannot be late, ever. There will be a guard, always. There will be someone at the counter to hand you your boarding pass, someone to keep your check in baggage, someone to securely check you in, always. There will always be a smiling air hostess welcoming you on the flight. An air hostess cannot be late.

Not to forget, the usual time that this air hostess would take after waking up to look that fresh, stunning and pretty at 0600 am, reach the airport and start smiling to welcome some ugliest of the people. The hostess would give instructions and then try her best to make the same persons understand repeatedly and again and again the importance of switch off mobile phones even after take-off, safety belts, keeping tray tables upright, straighten back rests, and not walk to the loo when “Your Captain” has already announced (slight or major) turbulence. Ofcourse, they have to control (s)lap worthy proposals with a smile from the arrogant and wealthy, avoid the (un)intentional elbow of the aisle seat friendly uncle or simple looking man sitting, sell and serve food, clean your trash and also come running to you because you don’t know which switch to press to switch on the reading light. And mind it, most of all the things she is responsible for, as observed, are performed at atleast 30000 feet above sea level.

If you can balance your body weight, mental state, verbal responses and the tray in your hand, while I observe you top to bottom; I think you are beautiful and deserve a sitting ovation while you tell me, “in case of emergency, there are four exits, two in the front……. “ .


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