The flight to Bangalore is not something we are going to forget in a hurry …we had hours & hours[well ok I’m exaggerating a bit] of continuous turbulence & by the end of the 30th minute my better-half & I were half-resigned to the fact that we may be crashing into the Arabian sea. As the plane jerked & shuddered thru the black of the night, all my deepest fears magnified.
I fretfully wondered if they had enough life jackets if we had jump off into the ocean or was it going to be like the Titanic which carried just 20 lifeboats for 2,222 people. I even felt under my seat but there was nothing there. I thanked God for all his kindness & especially expressed my gratitude for the fact that we were kicking the bucket together…you know, as a family.
Thankfully the turbulence abated after 45 minutes & I fell asleep almost immediately, leaving my better-half to look at my peaceful posture in amazement. Yep, got up only when the pilot made his announcement to land & found him….. the husband, not the pilot, still shaking his head at my nonchalance.
In contrast, my flight back to Dubai was a piece of cake……..and that too, without the better half's moral support[he had left a week earlier].
The kids & I each had a tiny tv screen to ourselves & had some 55 channels to choose from…….aaaaah bliss. There was not a peek out of the kids except for when the pilot or airhostesses halted tv proceeding to say some irrelevant stuff ……I had to shush Naina quickly when she said loudly “ufff this pilot has no other wo…..”
Just once I had to take them to the loo. After Naina went back to the seat, Nikita came out of the loo with a white packet in her hand. I just about managed to glimpse ‘Sanitary Towel’ written on it before she skipped down the aisle. As I watched her go, the packet slipped out of her hand TWICE & both the times two good-looking fellas kindly picked it off the floor & gave it back to her with a quizzical look on their face & then automatically looked at me who was standing at the head of the aisle, transfixed. I had no intentions of going into the loo but the embarrassment was too much to bear. I dashed into the loo & stood there with both my hands on my head. Then curiousity got the better of me & I looked around that miniscule partition to see where in the heavens did Nikita get hold of that blasted thing in the less than a half-minutes time she was in.
I found it after a full minute right beside the commode[which explains how Nikita found it so easily] but try as I could I was not able to figure out how to open the panel. After some futile efforts I knew I had to stop hiding & get out of there. I got out, carefully placed my eyes on the aisle & walked directly to my seat. Just once I looked sideways & saw one of the ‘not so goodlooking anymore’ guy smirking. Idiot!!!!
I confiscated the packet from Nikita who luckily hadn’t opened it coz she was under the impression that it was one of those refreshing tissues. Then sat down to watch the remaining of “Billu Barber" to conclusion & compared it so wistfully with “Kadha Parayambol”, there was no comparison really. Sooner than I thought, the Tv screens froze to display landing announcements and I brightened up at the thought of going home but there were shouts of dismay from the kids who wanted the pilot to fly around for some more time so that they could finish the movie they were watching.
Finally as I got up to join the queue[all of you know what I’m talking about;-/] Nikita dives underneath the seat I presumed to gather her errant toys but she triumphantly places a white packet with LIFE JACKET written on it, on the seat. I was horrified & whisper fiercely to keep it back but she confidently refused to;
“That redlipstick lady on the tv said that we have to wear it when we leave the plane”.
“Yes she did, I heard it too” Naina stoutly supports.
"Yes I heard it too but only in the case of an emergency" whispering I look around hoping nobody saw what the kids did & find people behind me in the queue craning their heads to have a better look at the life-jacket.
I command Nikita to put it back where she found it & two out of the three of us exit the plane very mutinously.
As we walked down to passport control I couldn’t help grinning to myself…..atleast the doubt I had about whether they actually kept life-jacket under the seats was cleared, some comfort anyway”
p.s: Leaving you with a picture of Dubai taken from my seat which by the way was furtherest from the window[the kids wouldnt budge].
It took sometime to sink in that the giant band-aid-like thingie on the horizon was not some advertising gimmick but a sticker carefully stuck on the window by who-else. It had 'child-meal' printed on it;-/.
The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay
2 weeks ago