The return journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad was by Air India, by far my favourite airline for its complete non-intrusive ways. Also the planes always seem slightly bigger and more stable, the hostesses seem experienced and know what to do if there is an emergency and there is always something to eat. All in all it looks very solid and dependable - my kind of an airline.
Anyway this last experience was a bit of a dampener as the large flight had its share of problems - like old buses or old coaches in the railways have. For the first time I noticed that the reading light would not come on and the switch was hanging lifelessly, the button that lets the chair rock back a bit failed to work and I was seated at an odd angle as the chair rocked ominously by on its own, the food was a bit stale, bread and cake, done with at express speed by the hostesses who seemed to be in a hurry to discuss something else. It did look a bit worse for the wear. However on the plus side, the customer support staff at the airport were wonderful young men and women, no frills and all courtesy and service.
Surprisingly Anjali who got a window seat was in good spirits and gazed down and enjoyed the ride. Just as we were approaching the Hyderabad airport after some excruciating drops in altitude when our ears began to whine and buzz and hurt, the airplane decided to rock this way and that. Enough to make seasoned travellers clutch their seats, some to close their eyes and some to start chanting.
We were all a bit tense when in the midst of all the rocking and rolling we heard a chirpy and happy voice. 'It's okay if it (the ride) is not smooth mummy,' said an obviously delighted Anjali. 'I am enjoying myself in this wibbly wobbly airplane.' Struck me then at the irony of it all. If we were on the plane or a merry go round or even a roller coaster, everyone would be forcibly enjoying the same rock and rokking motion by screaming and shouting and whooping instead of chanting etc since w ehad paid for that experience. It was just because we were on a plane that we were all on the complain mode - what kind of an airline, it was shaking and rolling, bad pilots, bad flights, I was almost puking - you know what I mean.
It does take a child to know that it is fun, wherever, that we can enjoy the moment even in a wibbly wobbly airplane and not just in an entertainment park. How often do we realise that the Emperor has no clothes when there are children around!
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