Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Flight in the Clouds

It was a wonderful Bombay winter afternoon when I boarded the Kingfisher flight to Bangalore. I was looking forward to the flight too, what with the airline purported to being really swanky at the dirt-cheap prices I had paid for a return ticket. Formalities at Bombay airport, a rickety transit busride, and smiling nicely at the crew on the way in over, I strapped myself into their "ultra-wide comfort" seats.

The ten minutes before take off are the most fascinating part of flying "The Good Times." You see, Kingfisher takes unbelievable advantage of being India's only airline with in-flight TV. Dr Vijay Mallya, CEO of Kingfisher Airlines, began my journey with a badly written spiel about many things that I do not now remember and but which ended with a cold "I appreciate your business." It may be statment of fact but certainly, advertising and promotional protocol dicates more warmth...?

However, indubitably the best part of the show is when Yana Gupta gives you this fascinating, horrifically lip-synched, "foreign-return" Hindi (and English too!) safety drill. If I had a copy of the tape, I do not believe I'd have another depressed day for the rest of my life! But yes, I digress.

The beginning of the flight was, to say the least, a little turbulent but I do not yet see why because like I told you, it was a beautiful winter afternoon - it was balmy, damn it! With the way that airplane swayed, for a terrifying five minutes, I really thought I was going to die. No hyperbole - I really did! As you can tell, I don't fly much. About twenty minutes later, I do think my stomach gave a blender going at top speed a run for its money.

The airhostess - an aside: I think having blond-streaked hair is mandatory if you want to be an airhostess with Kingfisher - came by with the lunch trolley and I opened one bleary eye and asked for an aerated drink. The look on her face was so magnificiently vacant that I smiled weakly and said, "A soft drink, Ma'am, preferably a lemony one, please."

It was then that she said the words that captivated my soul.

"Ma'am, are you feeling nauseatic?"

Now really, what does one say to that? I do not believe that I have been so sorely at a loss for words in while. I only nodded and closed my eyes again. To be fair, she came back almost instantly with a can of Sprite and a glass filled with ice cubes and a twist of lime. Fifteen minutes later, I was still feeling sick - until I glanced out of the window.

What I saw took my breath away and what I did was technically illegal but at this point, the airhostess would have done anything to keep me from displaying my breakfast all over the place - including tap dance on the nose of the airplane, right there and then!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did taking them.

... Of Hope

This looked like the sun had burst open on its head while it was dancing - it is called ... Of Hope.

Shine Down on Me

Like the sun shining down on the sea - Shine Down on Me.


This photo is called Roiling. I do not think it needs more of an introduction or explanation. :-)


lakesidey said...

*you lucky so-and-so*

. : A : . said...

Stunning cloud pictures! I often find that looking out of the window can make you forget everything about what is going on inside.

incognito said...

Really great pictures, actually very rare ones. I like the dancing cloud in the first one, shades of blue in the second but the third one has given amazingly stunning effect in black and white, this is going to be my all time favourite. Thanks for showing the other side of the clouds. :-)

Geetanjali said...

I've never understood this hang-up our country has abt planes, airports and photographs!

So another wonderful review abt Kingfisher airlines - defi staying away from them! That bit on Yana was howlarious - ROTFL! Why not try SpiceJet next time - I hear they are good!

Parth said...

Excellent snaps. I like the last one the best.

Ubermensch said...

first one is sheer beauty.
reminds me of matrix revolutions sky at the climax.

Casablanca said...

The first pic is absolutely beautiful! Awesome!
And a funny account of the flight too :)

SaidBack said...

Awesome pics!

GD said...

Fuckin! Great pictures! I love the first one... not that the others aren't great, but that one is something else.
Am eagerly awaiting the next installment of Tales from Bangalore.

Anonymous said...

lovely pictures, am glad that atleast one of us did the illegal thingie. Am cursing myself for not doing the same on my way back from kolkata. I will be waiting for more...


FM said...

wow awesome stuff....

with regards

Φ said...

awsome pictures..deadly.. :)

Anil said...

uhh...why is it illegal to take pictures from a plane?

lovely write-up, though I thought it ended a bit abruptly or is there a second part on the way? would love to know what happened for the remainder of the flight.

mErCuRiAn said...

Nice photos, Wax :)
For the last photo, did you use a B/W film or photoshopped it?

Got some nice snaps too. Do check them out - http://liveanidea.blogspot.com

i-me-moi said...

kickass snaps as usual.

Geetanjali said...

Hey just confirmed - while it aint permitted to take photographs of any Indian airport, I don't think there is any law that prohibits taking pictures from the plane...unless that changed?

Anil said...

Ohh..I forgot to add...I really liked the last picture...roiling it is!

Keshi said...

some nice pics there wow!


s said...

I do not see why taking snaps should be illegal .... funny part is every aiport I have been doesnt ban people from clicking merrily .. every.. except the indian airports :P .... I guess the desi babu figured that the airport has all the high security documents in it or maybe they didnt want people to comment about the airports ;)

s said...

oh yes .. awesome pics by the way ....

Harshi said...

Thoughtful airhostess...asking if you were nauseated :-) Nice.

Loved the pics esp. the 3rd one--breathtaking.

Eleventy Seven said...

Awesome snaps! Truly breathtaking.

I am curious about the third snap too. Did you get it developed as a b/w or PS it?

Although clicking snaps from an airplane might not be illegal per se but what complicates it is that one is not allowed to carry any batteries on board a plane, so the camera becomes defunct. But domestic carriers are more than willing to ease up on that rule just to get keep a good face.

And all said and done I think Kingfisher is better than SpiceJet. I know of a friend who on being served some peanuts asked for something more substantial to eat. The reply she got was a stunner - 'If you pay peanuts, you get peanuts.'. The gall of the air hostess.

Nilesh Jahagirdar said...

Wow! I totally envy you for that camera, though not for long, hopefully.

This is definitely your best post visually, though quite carelessly written too. But with those snaps, it doesn’t really matter.

More, please!

PS. Are you sure the air hostess didn’t (try to) say "nauseated"?

Silvermoon said...

Looking at these photos is like stepping into another world! I'm here via .:A:.'s blog.

I love to photograph and paint the sky, but I don't take a plane often. Incredible. Thank you

Blue Athena said...

liked reading this! awesome pics. :)

Arjun said...

Nice Pics - the sprite also looked interesting - and the blondie with it.

the cowlick said...

Excellent pictures and an amazing idea! I've always been stumped when I look out of a flight window.. I now know how to capture it forever!

Extempore said...

@Lakesidey: :-)!

@.:A:. : Thank you, Augustus. I don't get to travel much but am hoping I will be able to look out of more windows soon!

@Incognito: Am glad you liked them - I hope you know that I nearly switched on my cell mid-flight to tell you about it! :-)

@Geets: Go figure! Apparently its a security violation. How one can possibly have one of those in the middle of fields of clouds, God alone knows! But sweetie don't stay away from Kingfisher - its a good airline, regardless of the airhostesses. Good food, comfy ride. Just ignore Mallya and Gupta and you'll be fine!

p.s. I flew Bby-Blore return in under 4k and that's a good deal. :-)

@Parth: Thanks!

@Ubermensch: Thank you - am glad you like it so - tis my favourite as well. :-)

@Casa: Thanks!

@Pepper: Thank you, Majesty!

@Garreth: Thanks - I wonder where all this eagerness goes when I am actually talking! :P

@Prem: Thanks! The rest are up on Flickr if you'd like to have a look.

@FM: Thanks!

@Φ: Thank you! :-)

@Anil: Because apparently its some sort of security violation. :-) I don't get it either! And yup mea culpa, was in a hurry to post hence the abruptness. Remainder of the flight was peaceful because I was too busy with my camera. :-)

And I thought you would like Roiling, sweets!

@Mercurian: Thanks! I did check them out and loved the sunrises.

@Sprechen: Thanks sweetie!

@Keshi: Welcome aboard! Thanks - am glad you liked the pics! Do drop by again.

@S: Thanks - for both the compliment and dropping by. Do drop by again.

@Harshi: Real nice no? :-)! Am glad you did. Drop by again!

@Saurabh: Thanks! I wonder how they allow laptops then..? And also a major reason why she allowed it was that the flight was nearly 40% empty. Your friend seems to have had a horrific experience - for all her silliness, the airhostess was very nice... most polite.

@Nilesh: You stop being disagreeable - right now! :-) Careless it seems! And yes, my dear, she said nauseatic - that's why it was so memorable!

@Silvermoon: Thanks for your kind, kind words. Pls drop by again. :-)

@Blue Athena: Thanks! Do drop by again.

@Arjun: Thanks! :-)

@The Cowlick: Am glad you liked the pics - and even happier to have given you the idea. :-)

pawan said...

The pics are fantastic!....i need a guru...what do you say?pawan_saxena@hotmail.com

Extempore said...

@Pawan: Thanks very much - it is very kind of you to say. I really don't think that I am in any position to be a guru - I've only just just gotten into photography and don't understand waaaay too many things for my own liking. Will let you know as soon as I think I know anything worth sharing - I promise! :-)

Thanks for dropping by - do come again.

Jackal said...

I always marvel at the view from above the clouds. Sometimes when things are difficult and the weather is bad - I imagine the view above the clouds.

isis said...

@extempore: these pix are the best! May you always soar so high above the rest!
Hugs, I