Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fantasy Flight

When Jet Airways announced the boarding call for the flight from Delhi to Bangalore, I was busy reading Tinkle comics - something that I purchase every time I board a flight. Within seconds the queue had stretched itself into a slithering boa snake. It's beyond me as to why people push and shove to get into the flight considering that it won't take off till the last person has boarded. Guess old habits die hard; we are too used to throwing our hankies and catching the city buses!

Quarter of an hour later I stepped inside the aircraft, returned a fake smile to the airhostess and proceeded to find seat 14B. The air conditioner was in full swing forcing ladies to wrap themselves in their dupattas while men pretended to be machos and continued to read the papers. Personally I prefer a more humid atmosphere in planes so that I don't catch someone else's sneeze.

"Excuse me..." I said, but my tone drifted while I tried to look for any empty window seats. The lady in 14C seemed quite engrossed in her novel and showed a slight sign of annoyance that she had to unbuckle her seat belt and get up to let me in. I murmured 'sorry' for the sake of sorry and slid in to my seat. The guy next to me, in 14A, seemed just three feet from heaven considering and was blissfully snoring. And when the pilot announced 'crew to take-off positions', my watch displayed 9.11pm - a good forty minutes delay and made me think twice about the number 911.

As we climbed to cruise altitude, the lady next to me seemed to have lost interest in her novel. I don't know what she was reading but it had an image of a dragon so I thought it must be some fantasy. Dressed in black pin striped business suit she looked quite in command of herself. Her curls covered a part of her eyes and cheeks while the diamond ring sent a message that she had a special someone in her life. The fact that the ring hugged her finger tightly meant the relationship had been in existence for some time and she was slimmer in her earlier days.

"Fantasy?", I quipped as I looked at her novel and tried to start a conversation.

"Yeah! Not that great though", was the crisp reply. Silence ensued for a full five minutes.

"So what do you do?", my second attempt at engaging in a conversation.

She gave me that nakhra, fully aware of her pretty looks, and said "I work for a garment company as a merchandizer". And since I responded by an IQ level 50 type of blinking looks, she went on to explain "... you know, like getting orders from various vendors and ensuring they maintain a healthy stock of our company's products".

"Ah!" I exclaimed as if my IQ had suddenly shot up to 150 levels and I knew everything there is to know about the garment industry. From there on the conversation kicked in and she seemed to be brimming with topics varying from recession and massive layoff's in their industry, to books, to how bad the food in Jet Airways is, to how impolite the Indigo staff are, to how she finds it amusing how men stare at King Fisher crew, to her love for Sri Lankan technicians, to..." well you get the idea. A good hour passed by, the air hostesses had cleared our trays, before she chanced to ask what it is that I do.

"No wait! Let me guess. You are a techie...?" she beamed as if quite sure that she was right.

"Not really. I am an actor; I act in short movies."

"Really? Wow! So which movies have you acted in?" she asked with all excitement.

"I don't think you would know them".

"Try me. I am pretty much a movie buff".

"Well...hmmm... I actually act in x-rated adult movies".

At that point I think I could clearly make out what was running in her mind as her jaw dropped slowly. She was wishing that the aircraft ripped itself in half so that I flew in one direction and she flew the other way. Or probably she was wishing that she could borrow the invisibility cloak from Harry Potter and make herself disappear. And I was wishing that I could take a photo of her stunned looks - the kind that deers give as a trucks' headlight approaches them.

"Oh!... interesting", was all she could mumble for the next two minutes. She slid away ever so slowly from me to the edge of her seat. She wanted to dust herself off even if my elbow brushed against her coat. In all she wished either I was dead or she was dead or we both were dead.

I picked up the JetLite magazine to hide the snicker that was building up inside me. With some effort she tried to look at me but all the while making it obvious that she was actually fixing her hair. The conversation had evaporated like petrol on hot ground. And when she made her second attempt to look at me I couldn't hold back my laughter. Within seconds she realized I had taken her for a ride at 36,000 feet. She huffed, folded her hands and moments later pinched me on my arm.

"You are an asshole you know that?" she remarked with a smile that showed she was relieved. She re-adjusted herself comfortably in her seat and appeard confused as to continue the conversation or ignore me. But we talked. About my work and how boring it is and if every other careers are equally boring. It was nearing midnight by the time we both got out of the airport. "Be good", she remarked as we parted.

"I usually am! And yeah...I will let you know if my producer needs new garments for the next movie". She smiled, stuck her tongue out and walked away.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Clicky Web Analytics