Monday, April 23, 2007

The First of Many Lasts

As I take my last early morning flight to Bombay this Monday morning I abandoned another post in favor of listing what I would definitely not miss about these early morning torture drills and what I would miss (surprise , surprise read on).

First stating the obvious: Things I shall not miss

1. Getting up at the unearthly hour of 5:00 AM. Believe me it is as bad as it sounds. It took Monday morning blues to a completely new level.
2. The "running against time"; secretly hoping that I would miss my flight but egging on the Asia Travel driver to hone his skills for whenever the F1 track finally opens at Hyderabad.
3. The nauseating, sickening air plane smell that hits me as soon as I enter the aircraft. It makes me puke. I so dread it that many a times I have woken up in the middle of the night in a sweat wanting to puke coz I can smell "it". It is on me. And in those dark (at times drunken nights) I can completely empathize with Lady Macbeth as I say "All the fresh hot/cold towels shall not wipe away the smell of JP miles"
4. The sweet fake smiles plastered on the awesomely pretty/handsome faces of the cabin crew. I cannot believe anyone can be cheerful at that hour.
5. Being buckled up, waiting for the aircraft to taxi listening to the cabin crew declare for the nth time "We are 26th in line to fly" while somehow resisting the temptation to unshackle myself and run to the loo and pee.
6. Aircraft food. It is stale. Period.
7. The irritating "instrumental music" played during take off and landing. No one is humming it. Take a hint, everyone hates it. Actually Jet did take a hint and now plays the genre my brother calls "Adult Alternative" with words.
8. Traveling on any seat except emergency exit, 10 Aisle and Business class. I cannot contain my long legs in that tiny space. Please forgive my misgivings about myself and read on.
9. Being woken up from my head to toe blanket covered slumber with a "umm err excuse me.. excuse me please please will you have any breakfast" .I am covered in this blanket to obliterate any signs of my being in the aircraft, (the umm and err thus explained as they cannot decide from the form beneath the blanket whether it is a Sir or a Madam they are addressing), I don’t want the crew to ruin my illusion. Also had they ever been privy to points 1, 4 and 6 of this post they would have never risked waking me up with their fake smiles offering me aircraft food.
10. Filling up "feedback forms". I am every market researcher’s nightmare. Depending on my relative state of despair or hope either everything is very good or poor. Couple that with my really bad handwriting, I wonder why my name has not been flashed on people who should never fill the form ever. I wonder why I end up filling the form with an amazing frequency.
11. Circling Bombay skies hearing some strange drawl from the cockpit announce "due to unavoidable circumstances we are 31st in line to land, we apologise for the delay".
12. Bad landings and the consequent knot in my stomach. Fortunately inspite of numerous false alarms I have never thrown up on my co passengers and landed on their list of things they shall not miss on flights.

Stating what’s beneath the surface: Things I shall miss

1. The sweet smiles on the awesomely pretty/handsome faces of the cabin crew. At times they were the only reason why I did not bawl like a baby at my predicament.
2. Reading Bombay Times, DNA, MidDay etc etc from front to back learning all the "important" going ons
3. To be fair I did pick up a few skills. I can imitate without a flaw the following. " Muasam kharab hone ke karan aap se anurodh hain ki apni kursi pe laut jaye aur apni kusi ki peti baandh le" I love the emphasis on "apni kusi"the underlying thought being "please don’t take undue advantage of the bad weather and land in someone else’s lap/chair"
4. The early morning free cookie jar. I am shallow I love anything that is free, these were cookies!!!!
5. The priority tag on my check in bag, I told you I am shallow I get the kicks out of small materialistic joys.
6. On those few occasions when I did not manage to fall asleep I did enjoy trudging through sudoko (the new national craze) and am glad have picked up a new hobby.
7. On these recent occasions using my upgrade voucher to travel in "relative" style and comfort.
Told ya am shallow.

This was my list. But you know what I shall really miss: landing in my favorite city, getting sucked into the job I like on most occasions, meeting colleagues I shall miss, catching up with friends I shall cherish and walking into that building that is almost home.