Saturday, 24 July 2010
So this happened on the emergency exit seat of the Kingfisher flight from Bom to Del. Two seats, and another one near the aisle, a fold-back for the airhostess to sit during landing and take off.
I am at the window seat, pretending to be asleep. On my left, a high-flying suit. During take-off, the air-hostess occupies her seat. The conversation between the two went on like this:
He: Hi, I am (can’t mention his name, unfair!). Do you often fly this sector?
She: Yes, sir. I am from Delhi, so this route is good for me.
He: So you are from Delhi! I like Delhi girls, they are all very sweet.
(She faintly smiles.)
He: I am based in Calcutta. But I was at work in Bombay, and am flying to Delhi for a very important high level meet.
She: All the best for that, sir.
He: Oh, that’s okay. No big deal. I am the Vice President of (can’t mention the name of the company, unethical!), so these are routine meetings.
(She smiles. Someone’s mobile goes off, she rushes to check on that, since it’s take-off time, and then returns to the seat, frowning.)
He: Some people never learn! So I was saying, I went to sleep at four in the morning, had a very late night. So I missed the Jet flight in the morning, and had to book this one. I usually fly business class, but my secretary booked me economy on this one due to last minute pressure.
She: That’s very nice, sir.
He: Which hotel do you stay in Delhi? Or will you go home?
She: I will have to stay in the company guest house, since I fly back tomorrow early morning.
He: No hotel? Poor you! Must be because of the recession!
(The flight is airborne now, the seat belt sign is off. She gets up and leaves. All through the flight the suit tries his best to chat me up as well, when I am not ‘sleeping’. I do what I am best at in these situations: give out a bad vibe.)
Next conversation: At landing time. The air hostess is back.
He: Oh, hello again! I was saying I was at this party last night. I ran into some very interesting people. Anurag Basu, Subhash Ghai, Karan Johar… Have you seen Udaan?
She: No, sir. But I hear it’s a nice film.
(At this stage the suit whips out his Blackberry, and quickly opens the images folder. And shows the pics to her. Not realising his phone is supposed to be in the off-mode.)
He: See, here I am drinking wine with Karan. And there, that’s Malaika Arora in the comer…
She: (Glancing at the pics.) That’s nice, sir. You must have had a great time. But you need to switch off your phone, sir…
He: Oh yes yes, just wanted to show you some pics.
(Goes silent for a few seconds.)
He: I was thinking, maybe we can catch up in Delhi…
She: (Smiles.) Yes, we could, Sir.
He: Maybe we can check out that superb new restaurant at Hauz Khas. Manish Tiwari, a great pal of mine, recommended it. I am in a BMW taxi all day… I can pick you up…
(She smiles. She glances in my direction, out of worry perhaps, but I am ‘asleep’.)
She: Sir, let’s see…
He: I was thinking, if you give me your number, I can call you…
She: (Only smiles.)
He: Come on, lady! One drink! Will be fun!
She doesn’t respond. The flight has come to a halt, and she flees from her seat.
Defeated, the suit looks in my direction. I am ‘wide awake’ now. He gives me a sheepish smile. “Hi. You live in Delhi, Sir?’