Home coming or Going homewards: Are we all idiots!

Continuing my stroy:
(I have this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome as I travel towards India. I turn from a calm and accepting person to a VIoP. A Very Irritating or Irritated (old) Person. This trip was no exception.)

Tara and I got separated and I was stuck in between two men on the Jet flt. The young man sitting next to me was one of those software guys. He had a lap top which meant that his elbows were poking me, he also had an iPhone and he was constantly playing with it. To my Freudian mind it was reminiscent of a penile obsession of a little kid.

While he was not rude, he sounded arrogant when he spoke to the air hostess! She offered him a bottle of lemon juice and he used the putting down people tone and asked for water. Of course, she should have known better and should have given him a choice instead of just thrusting a bottle at him. I thought JET airways trained their staff better! Even then there was no justification for his arrogant ways. I realised I was now in the 'Land of snarls, swears and curses'. I think I had by then turned into a VIoP and was actually seething if not frothing from my mouth. (Very Irritated old Person.)

Then it happened! The announcement as the plane started moving for a take off clearly stated that using electronic gadgets and mobile phones was Prohibited! This seemed to have no effect on the chap next to me. I reminded him about the announcement and asked him to stop using the mobile phone. He said 'With due respect sir, enjoy your flight'. I actually admired his tone and style, which I would love to emulate, it was smooth and totally arrogant, would have surely impressed one of the young film directors no end. I replied 'In which case I will ask the air hostess to tell the pilot to stop the plane from taking off'.' Which seemed to have some effect on him and he shut off the phone during take off. I did not look at him to see if he pouted his lip!

But he was at it agan even before the plane reached the required altitude, I was not sure whether it was still OK to use the phone. Anyway, one of the pursers made a face as if he wanted him to stop using the phone, the little boy did not seem to care and continued to play with his toy, and the purser gave up. The air hostesses who were flitting around never seemed to notice. I gave up and decided to hold my peace.

I am still not sure whether I was the Idiot in insisting that the boy next to me should abide by the announcements made by the pilot or whether it was the obsessive boy who did not heed or the Jet airlines itself, whose staff did not bother to implement its own announced policies.


ShakuRam said…
Dear Nidhi
Your blogs are a great read as it is but now they promise to become down right delightful and hillarious as you share the day to day travails living in our beloved "mathra-bhoomi"
Sriram said…
I think that I would have done the same in your place, and whenever I visit India, I am totally taken aback with the total disregard for basic rules and really get irritated at the lack of basic courtesy which we take for granted here. Your future blogs will probably give us a better idea of what we can expect if and when we try to spend an extended period in India down the road.
roopa said…
Looking forward to more of these episodes from you which reminded me of malgudi days.
Arun Sethi said…
Dear Nidhi,

Delighted, as always, to read your blog (except for the nastiness of that young specimen travelling next to you...).

Yes, after being away for just 10 years, I too am finding that basic behaviour norms are just not adhered to- and they were not when we were here too, but I think we did not know exactly how the rest of the world lives!- and I find that the increased confidence of urban India has somehow just increased the arrogance- Yes, we (damn well) Can!- without the accompanying assurance that facilities/gains that are shared, are increased not decreased.
Vivek said…
Hi Nidhi Uncle, As someone who recently travelled in India from Mumbai to Bengaluru on Jet (I was in Mumbai earlier this month on work and decided to spend a weekend in BLR before heading back to SIN), I had a very different experience...no annoying young punks and the same efficient Jet hostesses I remember from my India days.

I have no sympathy for the punk's behaviour, and if I was around on the other side, would probably have told him to get stuffed (in perhaps a less polite manner than I am sure you did).

However, as a very frequent denizen of the skies, I am seeing this particular trait on the increase throughout the world, especially among the relatively tech-savvy variety who now KNOW, that technically, there is not much truth in the airlines' sayings that using mobiles could cause the plane to crash. In fact, some European low cost carriers are already experimenting with allowing in-flight mobiles (and charging airtime for it). That knowledge, that nothing really horrible is going to happen due to this phone usage, is what emboldens impudent youngsters to do it. I am not writing a justification for their behaviour, but just hypothesising a root cause.

Talk to you when you are back in BKK...

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