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