By Rupali Gupta
…at the end we ask ourselves is it worth it after all that we go through in life…
Hostel & Aircraft Food – So Similar!!!
We should all travel by Air India every once in a while. It is like watching Krishi Darshan. Part of it is self-inflicted nostalgia and part of it is relief that one does not need to do this for lack of options. There is a choice.
Travelling by Air India is like being in a time wrap.
The flight was unimaginably late and there was a very blase approach to the entire delay. Apparently some passengers were selectively informed about the delay at 5 in the morning. Unfortunately I was left out of favour.
So I ran out of the house early morning, half thrown out by husband who is panicky about timings and half torn by my kids who did not want me to leave (they are not teenagers yet, that is when they will be wishing me away ASAP).
Under such circumstances I reached the airport 1.30 hrs early, at 7.10 a.m. to be precise. After a wait of 50 minutes in the check in queue… Yes, YOU heard right !!! Full 50 minutes… I worried that the gates will close early and I will not be able to make it and when I reached the front of the queue, all ready to argue my case. Imagine how deflated I felt when I was told that the flight was an hour late.
After hanging out at the now mercifully very hangout-able airport we boarded the flight. It was a bit like ISBT (bus terminus in the Indian capital New Delhi). The board was flashing some Jaunpur or Dhanbad kind of a name and we were being led under the blinkers of Jaipur. I decided to put my faith in our national carrier, much as I do in our country. No real reason for it but it is a “what else to do kind of a case”. And like the ‘Ram bharosey’ (only God can save us) condition of the native land, the bus did lead to the craft that was meant for Jaipur.
Once seated I waited with bated breath for the flight to take off. We were already delayed further by half an hour. After about 25 minutes or so the captain deigned to announce that we will be further delayed by 10 minutes. Funny part is that he made it sound like the entire delay was only for 10 minutes whereas it actually added up to 3 hours at the end of the journey.
After much sweating, cursing and finally giving up… the flight took off.
I will not say much about the service and the people serving. Don’t want to make you all cry with sympathy and sigh with relief at the fact that you were not at the receiving end.
Let us talk about what was served, the food was memorable. The over cooked Upma (a south Indian dish), the under cooked Vada (another South Indian dish) with some slush that was meant to be Sambhar… Oh I remembered my days in the hostel, that suspension called daal, that rice infested with weevil, the cottage cheese that could have been classroom erasers and the murdered vegetables … all kept one on a natural diet (cause you always tried not to eat). Who could eat that food! Hostel and aircraft food is so similar. (But that is common to all crafts so we can’t single Air India out. Still, its worth a description.)
Somehow we reached our destination. Was it worth it?