On Friday I flew back to Chennai. The cheap airlines might have brought ‘flying` to the masses but they have also taken off the royalty built around flying.
At 5 p.m. on June 9, I walked up to the pretty receptionist at Kamat Lingapur Hotel in Hyderabad and said: “Hey, check me out!”
She almost swooned but managed to say: “Ohhh…I must say that you are handsome.” Eventually the Hotel manager interfered and conveyed to the girl that I actually wanted to check out of the hotel.
I asked the bell boy to get me an auto. “Auto?” he doubled checked.
When I said yes, he enquired: “To the railway station, I suppose?”
This had me furious. “Do people who use hair gel go to the railway station?” I asked him. Apparently he hadn`t noticed my hair gel.
“No sir. On similar lines, those who go to the airport don`t take an auto.” The boy seemed well informed.
Curiosity got the better of me and I asked the boy if his appraisals had just got over and he had been promoted. Apparently, bell boys don`t have appraisals. Before the auto driver pulled away, I managed to take revenge. I told the bell boy: “I take the auto because like aeroplanes they are also three-wheelers.”
As soon as I entered the airport, I saw a Rupa suitcase. I didn`t know besides undergarments the Rupa business house were also into suitcases. The Gujuratis had chivda packets open, Bengalis Misti Doi, Delhi Haldirams and Tamilians had idlies wrapped in plantain leaf. Those that didn`t bring stuff (after Rahul Mahajan episode, even saying ‘stuff` can land you in trouble) from home could buy it at the airport.
The waiting chairs were full and some had settled down on the floor. Few had newspapers below and some above them.
Knowing that the first question my friends ask when I call them is “Where are you?” I called up quite a few friends of mine. Needless to say, I was forced to tell them that I was at the airport waiting for my Jet Airways flight to Chennai. Though I was booked in Spice Jet, I said Jet Airways because it sounded better. To give you an example you will understand…a movie`s story remains the same if you watch it with a Rs 10/- ticket or a Rs 100/- ticket in your pocket.
The Spice Jet air-hostess looked very much like a girl I wouldn`t give a second look – at least not if they weren`t wearing those red, short skirts with slits. After 10 minutes into the flight, one of them came up to me and said: “Sir, what would you have – peanuts or biscuits?”
I am not sure if the air-hostess liked my answer. I remember saying: “Back in my place, they give peanuts to monkeys and biscuits to dogs. But I will go with the biscuits. Thank you.”
I reached Chennai in 50 minutes. From the Chennai airport, it took me 90 minutes to reach my home sweet home situated just 11 kilometers away. Ironies of life.
That reminds me, I have to remove the Air Canada tag pinned on my cabin baggage when I last visited Canada – way back in 1997!