This is the story of me flirting with an air hostess with a baby in hand and my wife in tow. Here is how it happened –
My daughter Rhea, my wife Rekha and I left Gurgaon on Wednesday morning and reached Madurai in the evening – all for 3-4 days of Diwali celebration with friends & relatives.
These were the glory days of Air Deccan Airlines. Vijaya Mallaya was still rich and had just bought Air Deccan with his eyes closed. Needless to say Deepika Padukone had not ditched Sid Mallaya yet. All this is besides the point, but you get the drift.
As I was saying, our choice of flight was Air Deccan and interestingly they don’t want their patrons to buy tickets for kids below one year of age. Since the travel was free, we decided to take our 8-month-old baby girl along on the trip.
Traveling with a baby is a difficult ball game. When we left home, we had three hand baggages – my laptop, Rhea`s baby bag and Rhea herself. By the time we reached the airport, dressed in our woollens (because were out of the bed at an unearthly hour of 8 a.m.), we had decided to check in my laptop and carry just two hand baggages – baby Rhea and her baby bag.
By the time we had checked in, my daughter had given me enough indications about her career she was interested in – she was smiling at every Tom, Beep & Harry – like a true blue air hostess. For a moment, I did accept that as a career option for my 8-month-old daughter but when I realized that she would be exposed to 40-year-old, sex-starved men, shamelessly staring at her even with their wives were in tow I started having second thoughts. Even as I type this, I am thinking of a good career option for my daughter. The good old middle class dream – a District Collector maybe?
Carrying a baby isn`t all that bad, for an Air Deccan ground staff asked us to wait for a personal shuttle to drop us near the airplane. Unfortunately, it wasn`t as personal as one would have thought for when we boarded the shuttle, there were three women above 60 and one man above 65 waiting for us – and we aren`t talking of their weights in Kgs.
While boarding the plane, I caught one air hostess named ‘Deepti` eyeing my broad shoulders and healthy chest and perhaps wondering: “How good would it be to just rest my head on them and feel safe and secure?”
We wouldn`t proceed further on the issue because I caught this air-hostess eyeing another handsome man soon after. Note to self: Check if ‘misleading` is a synonym for ‘Beauty`.
As we settled down, two air hostesses and one lonely male cabin crew member gave away the emergency instructions. I wonder if these instructions are really useful. I remember listening to them patiently during my first few trips and now I don’t even bother to look up. When it comes to the post-boarding safety instructions I have two concerns:
If frequent fliers are like me don`t listen to instructions, are frequent fliers most likely to die in an emergency landing?
If 1 in every 1,100 trips has an emergency landing, why can`t these safety instructions be read out on those trips alone?
After sitting through the emergency instructions session which seemed longer than a Liciano Pavarotti opera, a pretty air hostess walked up to me. Even if I had my eyes closed, I would have told you that she was 36-28-36 by the micro seconds it took between two heel digs on the floor.
As I closed my eyes in prayer, this girl said: “Sir, is she your daughter?”
“I said yes.” It felt sad to be breaking her bubble, but I didn`t like the thought of she kissing me in front of my wife.
“Would you be carrying her while the flight takes off?”
“Yes,” I said. I wish, I could have said, “Hey, I am just kidding. She isn`t my daughter. I am just holding my co-passenger`s daughter” – and point towards my wife sitting next to me.
What I heard next, was a message from heaven. She said: “Sir, to avoid discomfort during flight takeoff and landing I suggest breastfeeding.”
I looked at Rekha, and she was busy thumbing through the shopping options in the in-flight magazine.
I turned towards the pretty air hostess, gave her my hundred dollar smile and said: “Great, so where do we meet as soon as the lights are switched off for take-off? Do you really want to do it at the time of landing as well?”
After 13 minutes:
I wonder why, when I asked for cotton for my baby`s ears when she started crying during the take off the same air hostess refused to acknowledge my existence.