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My Flight into India!

February 5, 2010

I had entrusted my life in the loving hands of “Cathay Pacific” to get me to Chennai a month back and the journey itself into “Kamaraj International Airport” was uneventful except for a single thing.

I generally, as a rule do not have non-veg on flights and so I specifically wanted “Indian Vegetarian” on my flight but I did not realize that I would get served the same thing TRICE! When I got served some rice, with palak and cauliflower sabzi the first time, I actually liked it. When I got it the second time, it did not look all that appetizing but I lost it completely when I received it the third time!!!

But since I had been sitting in a complex yogic pose in the cramped economy seat for so many hours, I just did not have the energy to even show my dissent. Only the thought of reaching Chennai egged me on to eat that. But seriously, sitting in an economy class seat for 20 hours, anyone would feel as uncomfortable as Mammootty when he dances.

But the biggest sin that she had committed was that she woke me up to feed me that stuff!!!!!! She woke me up from my yoga-nidra!!!!!!

All of us have our own methods to deal with the ordeal (curse) called “trans-continental flight”. Some people prefer the aisle seat. Some prefer getting up every hour to exercise their limbs and some people prefer to get drunk and some rich people prefer the business class. But the way I deal with flights is that I hop onto the window seat so that I don’t get disturbed by anyone, and attain a trance-like state with minimum functioning of the sensory and rotary muscles during the entire flight. I also have the perfect playlist of songs which can induce sleep in any circumstances.

So at about 1 AM, Monday morning (11th Jan 2010), I reached the brilliant Kamaraj International Airport, half an hour ahead of schedule thanks to a generous tail wind courtesy our Lord Vayu and I felt confident that I would be outside soon but fate deemed otherwise. Apparently four other flights had also landed around that time and there was a sea of people at the airport. We were all shepherded into a room where we had to get tested for Swine Flu.

One of the basic things that we learn in high school physics is that the entropy level in the world is always increasing. But our fine country has managed to increase it to insane levels and take a PhD on it. Once we were in the hall, no one knew what to do.

The great thinkers had also come up with a sure shot way to battle Swine Flu and it was also a medical checkup free process. All we had to do was confuse and confound the Swine Flu virus by reading to it, the Medical Form!!!! I am quite sure that the Temperature scanners and the other high-funda stuff that they had there were mere props to frighten and intimidate the virus.

There was a surplus of medical forms scattered all across the hall but no pens were available. So finally, I managed to grab a pen from the patrolling security and filled the form.

After answering questions like “Do you have Swine Flu”, “Do you have cold, cough, fever” etc, we all had to get it attested by the medical doctor and that was when we got to witness the great Indian game called “Breaking the queue”. The poor doctor was hounded by everyone at the same time and well, I also did the same. A few poor foreigners tried standing in line but they never reached anywhere. A few other foreigners had given up and they sat down at the side biding their time.

And so after a treacherously long 30 minutes where I had to wrestle with so many people, I reached the doctor.

The poor harried soul bleated, “Swine Flu erukka Saar?” (Do you have Swine Flu?)

I stated my case, “Chance-ae-ella”. (No Chance) and I also wanted to finish that up with “that is all, your honor” like our great actor, Mammootty in Narasimham, but I could sense that no one was in any particular mood to indulge in any friendly banter.

He attested my medical form and I then had to stand in the emigration queue for another eternity. Once that was done, I then had to collect my baggage. Nobody knew when and where the bags were coming out for our flight. It took us sometime to realize that it was coming out on carousel number 7.

We waited and waited and waited for some more time for our bags but they never came out!!!! Some people even left to grab some breakfast.

When we inquired about this strange occurrence, the guy in charge said, “Eppo varum Saar” (Will come now Sir), with the imperative word being “eppo” (now).

I lost all count of time waiting for the bags and finally after a long time, they started coming out in batches. Finally my two bags came out in the 26th batch and I then stepped out at 3: 30 AM!!!!!!!!!

My poor relatives had been waiting from 1:30 onwards but I did not even have a phone to inform them. Finally, I reached home at about 3: 45 AM and felt better only when I had my cup of coffee.

I sincerely believe that we have order in all that chaos but it takes an Indian to spot it…………..

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 4:28 am

    firstuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:
    OG: yes!!!!!!

    • February 5, 2010 4:28 am

      yayyyy!!! now the travel stories start!! 😀
      OG: err….. not exactly 😛

      • February 5, 2010 4:29 am

        would get served the same thing TRICE? 🙄
        er.. u mean THRICE right? 😛 😛
        OG: I stand corrected 😛

  2. February 5, 2010 4:40 am

    SECONDU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *mustafa mustafa…don’t worry mustafa….
    second is the new first, mustafa….*

    😆
    OG: get back to work 😛 u gal!!!!!!!

  3. February 5, 2010 4:49 am

    sitting for so many hrs in yoga position and then being disturbed to be fed THAT menu….

    😀

    why am i feeling so glad? 😈
    OG: you are a devil 😛 that is why

  4. February 5, 2010 5:32 am

    Yeah, I had the same problem when I landed with my daughter in Kolkata…It took me more than 2 hrs. to complete the Swine Flue and Immigration formalities…The only high-tech thing at the airport were the body scanners…
    OG: hahahaha 😛 great 😛

  5. February 5, 2010 6:41 am

    Oh brilliant brilliant!! Still ROFL-ing. This line was classic :’A few poor foreigners tried standing in line but they never reached anywhere’
    We had the same ‘testing process’ when we landed…all we had to do was fill in a form, and stand in front of a temperature detecting machine! But hey, in our flight, the captain made an announcement in the last 30 mins, to REVEAL that SOMEONE on the flight was suspected of having the virus, and that HE/SHE must come forward to identify him/her-self!! Ewww….scary, isn’t it?!

    • February 5, 2010 6:44 am

      Sheesh really? And someone came out? Hw did they get to know soooo soon though 😛 😛

  6. February 5, 2010 6:43 am

    Oh I am so happy they gave u pure veg atleast … they gave me a menu containing fish fry with vegetables, chicken friend rice with carrots and spinach when I asked for veg in Indonesia 😛 😛

    The Swine flue thing .. I found it very amusing actually .. u just fill a form saying u don’t hv fever and they mark that seal .. no one even wants to check! God bless us!

  7. February 5, 2010 6:44 am

    Train or bus or fligh,t 20 hours journey (that too to hometown) is very restless…2.30 hours for formalities??? …that is ridiculous

    okay aliya leave the food and queue.What about the ‘chic’ part

  8. February 5, 2010 7:16 am

    What ???? Same food thrice ???? Poor OG !!! Now, I can understand the need for the gastronomiacal treat for 3 weeks. LOL 😆

    Oh !!! Those early morning flights are a big nuisance, right ??? 26th batch ??? You could’ve gone home and come back later for ur luggage.

    Thats why, my BIL always tells us, not to come to the airport – for picking or dropping !!!! 🙂

    ROFL @ Yoga nidra !!!! 😆

    Swine flu test ?? Thats a stupid way to do it !!!! What image of India are we propagating to those foreigners ?????

  9. February 5, 2010 8:24 am

    some classic lines in there OG!
    that was when we got to witness the great Indian game called “Breaking the queue”.

    I sincerely believe that we have order in all that chaos but it takes an Indian to spot it…………..
    😆 😆

    eh well thats how we are… a lil loony…(okay very and quite crazy 😀 and the most amazing thing is the way we are proud of it too

    on to interesting things now..namely-OG’s transcontinental flight torture :mrgreen:

    palak and cauliflower thrice? 😯 too much and yet the sadist in me grins at the thought :mrgreen:

  10. February 5, 2010 8:26 am

    it also takes an OG to write about that torture in his own inimitable manner and make us all grin 😀

    in the mood for filter kaapi now after reading that line of yours..

    • February 5, 2010 5:40 pm

      it also takes an OG to write about that torture in his own inimitable manner and make us all grin 😀

      I completely agree!! 😀 😀

  11. February 5, 2010 10:14 am

    ‘But seriously, sitting in an economy class seat for 20 hours, anyone would feel as uncomfortable as Mammootty when he dances.’ – lol!!! That was a new one!

    You got served the sane thing three times? See this is why I feel Air India is the best 🙂 Atleast they serve diff dishes each time 🙂

    Swine flu doctor- poor guy – imagine his condition 🙂 So many people harassing him 🙂
    ‘A few poor foreigners tried standing in line but they never reached anywhere. A few other foreigners had given up and they sat down at the side biding their time.’ – can so imagine that 🙂

    Mention of Filter coffee again? You really want me to die of jealousy 😦

  12. February 5, 2010 11:27 pm

    You’re not a Mammookka fan, are you? 😛

    The high point is that you managed to get out in 2 hours flat from the time of landing. Well, I think its fast man…”very faaaaast” quote Salimkumar from Paandippada. 20 hrs in Economy won’t matter much compared to the couple in the airport no?

  13. February 6, 2010 9:15 pm

    Hahaha..flight food. Enough said! Bring on drinks..that is one thing I need while flying with a kiddo for almost 30 hrs. 😆

    Swine flu erukka saar? You should have answered.” O dharalaa irikke. Enna ungalkku venama?”

  14. February 7, 2010 1:24 am

    Congratulations on the Blogadda Spicy Saturday Pick!

  15. February 7, 2010 6:49 am

    hey

    1. was good meeting u

    2. Congrats on Blogadda pick

    3. welcome to India..hehehe.. my cousin who came down from usa for hols went thru something very similar…. he was stumped that the forms n doc dint do anything beyond ask – do u have swine flu!!! 😀
    [we were among the zillion poor relatives who were at the airport waiting for the tired soul/aka cousin to walk out]

  16. February 7, 2010 7:28 am

    Congrats OG on the Blogadda Spicy Saturday Pick !!!

    Looks like your welgum post has indeed been quite spicy !!! 😉

  17. February 7, 2010 10:54 pm

    Served the same menu thrice??!!!! Oooh boy, did Cathay Pacific rip you off!!!! 😆

    This is Kalippu!!! I genuinely thot that for long journeys like 20 hrs, they wud have sleeper seats… or at least leg room! Pah!!!

    What luck you managed to doze off… and then she woke you to feed this! 😛 And u ate it the third time too…. U shud have asked the airhostess to eat it :mrgreen:

    Erm… pliss pass the playlist that can put ppl to sleep… I NEED it!!!!!

    Four flights landed around same time!!! U know, this reminds me of Mumbai locals… god forbid if the churchgate and borivali trains arrive at the same time….. PANGAA!!! Have to wait at top of the bridge for sea of ppl to disperse, while watching your scheduled train arrive and depart too 😥 😥

    ROFL @ the medical process!!!! It’s brilliant!!!!! Subjecting Swine Flu to the Medical Form…. Only we cud have come up with this.. I shud get hold of a form or two…for my general cough n cold. No medicine… wll read out form aloud…!!!!! 😆

    Sympathetic Hugs to the firangs who were inept at the “line cutting and butting” norms of our nation! I gosh, they must have made it outside the airport well after sunrise! 😛 😛 😛

    You, with ur height, had to wrestle thru people? *crafty sighs and decides she ain’t travelling via air unless accompanied by a tall companion or a step ladder*

    “Swine Flu erukka Saar?”
    “Chance-ae-ella”

    Classicu!!!!!!!!!!!

    So truly said! Order in chaos that’s recognizable wonly by an Indian… And it takes an Extra Ordinary Guy to pen it down in such a memorable way. Tee hee!

    Congrats & Danganakka on the Blogadda Pick! Hugs! 😀 😀 😀 😀

  18. February 20, 2010 9:39 pm

    You made my day with the Mammoty song :mrgreen:
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛
    Sheesh I just traveled a month back and the experience was kinda same. I wonder why they don’t have good looking male stewards to keep people like me entertained?? 😡
    OG: I dont know 😛 😛 😛
    Like Indyeah says…Classic lines you have written here
    OG: thanks u 😛

  19. March 12, 2010 7:06 am

    Oww how tiresome! it wud have been better if there was a train service everywhere no? 😀 Thinka bout it.. a giant bridge from USA to Europe.. from Europe to India..

    it would be some travel!!

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