For this Delhi –bombay flight, jet had decided to give us the privilege of being flow by a captain who should have ideally been hired with a translator to make flight deck announcements. And his first words shortly after take off…had me smirking to myself..thinking.. “right! like anyone understood that!” And then, just when we’d have thought we were nearing landing.. another announcement (what I’d have thought would’ve been the “thank you for choosing us and helping us empty your wallet into ours” speech) told us in the same bizarre tough-to-follow accent, something that sounded like a diversion and a word that sounded suspiciously like Ahmedabad.
Little or no reaction from anyone ofcourse. My lack of disbelief came from the fact that the word diversion was said in what can only be described as a largely unceremonious tone. I mean if you’re going to take me to a whole new city by accident…I’d like to be fussed over slightly, at the very least! Anyway, My eyes met those of a passenger in a row behind me. And I could tell he was party to my battle of deciphering our pilot’s accent. And just when I was about to hit the call button for an airhostess, the cabin crew marched in with their announcement about our landing in Ahmedabad because of “congestion at the Bombay airport”.
It was already past mid night by this time. I realized my loud chewing neighbor was also quite a loud mouth when he yelled at the airhostess for no apparent reason! And I noticed a pattern with him…each time someone told him to fasten a seat belt or close the tray table..or straighten the seat back.he grumbled ..obeyed and promptly ordered for a bottle of water. “His way of maintaining authority” I thought… anyway, he of course was the most inconsequential part. And I think our man realized how out of line he was…when other passengers who had connecting international flight chose polite words with the cabin crew to make their enquiries. He got the hint… turns out subtlety isn’t dead!
If it wasn’t cabin announcements, it was something else. Now came a slightly fat man with a beard. “Ladies and gentlemen. I’m a journalist and if you have comments about what has happened, I’d like to get your reactions”. It amazed me how this man was set for a scoop at this hour! My fellow journalist was trying to start a mass movement against the airline. Lets just say, he was met with much lesser response than he’d have liked. His offer to give out the email address for the aviation minister was met only by someone asking the airhostess for a Disprin. He was the second person..in under five minutes to take a hint. We didn’t hear from our worthy journalist for the remaining forty minutes of the ahmedabad –bombay leg. I'm not complaining.
From then on, this flight seemed largely uneventful. The man sittin to my right …in the other row tried to figure how he was going to manage to get to south Africa considering the plane he was to be on…had left almost three hours ago. A woman enquired about what jet would do to get her to Brussels…and my noisy neighbor retired. only to groan occasionally as the plane hit turbulence. All this, only to be followed by the voice of my triumphant pilot and his funny accent…announcing what I assumed, hinted at a possible landing. Then again, I wouldn’t know… I aint that fluent in gibberish!