Shuttling between India and Jeddah has been a fun ride so far.
Two days ago when I boarded my flight from Mangalore to Mumbai (connecting airport), I was heavily immersed in reading a novel by Preeti Shenoy, where as my darling husband as usual was stuck with his laptop working on his current project. Anyways, this has become a routine. Me reading a book and my husband romancing with his laptop every where, be it airport, cab, waiting lounge or way above clouds.
When you are reading a novel, you feel at a completely different level and so many thought processes go hand in hand. During the flight, after lots of chained thoughts, I asked my husband “what is the salary of these air-hostesses??” . Like all husbands immersed in work, without even lifting his eye lashes, he said “I don’t know”. Even my childhood I asked numerous questions especially to my dad and most of them were beyond the realm of any answer. After marriage and so many years of adulthood, I shifted my focus from father to husband unable to let go off my annoying habit. Initially my husband appreciated this, answering my every question but when he realized my questions never ended at an answer he started developing a habit of saying I DON’T KNOW. But I wanted to know their salary out of so many on going thought processes inside my head. So I asked him again, “can you guess?” and he got irritated and replied, “how am I supposed to know?”. Being the stubborn one I didn’t give up.
“May be 20 thousand a month?” I asked waiting desperately for an answer
“not 20.. slightly more” he said still concentrating on his work
“I think it is more”
“You won’t leave me alone. I don’t know. May be one to one and half lakh per month”
Now my curiosity doubled. “Why do they pay air-hostesses so much when they do nothing but serve food, take the plates and give some instructions. Is it because they are always flying and at a riskier job? or is it because they don’t get to spend much time with family? because if we consider only work they don’t deserve this high salary”. Now my husband had to stop working and answer all my questions. He talked about people management and all. But my brain wasn’t satisfied. It kept pummeling questions at my husband, like what sort of people management they do when the people who travel is flights are so well mannered etc etc. Finally, my husband kept quiet and sucked in to his work.
When I boarded my international flight to Jeddah from Mumbai, I didn’t know I was going to experience something so uncivilized during the flight. Previously, I had never faced any problems in business class but this was going to be my first economy class rough ride.
I was at the pinnacle of irritation when I observed the following:
1. People were not sitting in the seats allowed to them. They sat in others’ seats and troubled all the passengers. Air-hostesses had to come and rearrange the seating for so many people.
2. Flight was about to take off and most of them had not even tied their seat belt and were wandering inside distributing food got from home. Once again air-hostess had to come and make them all sit.
3. When the flight was on the run away, an old lady from the front seat got up and walked till the end rows to get some water. I genuinely prayed for her to fall on the flight so that she never repeats it again. This time air-hostess came running and asked her to sit in the nearest seat. But the old lady was in no mood to listen. She literally argued when air-hostess was being protective about her safety. .
4. After half an hour juices were served and some people kept asking for more, while air-hostesses with a sweet smile on face, told “you got it already sir” but these people pushed their glasses in the front and ordered them to pour some more.
5. I don’t know if it was a special day or in every flight people actually move so much. All the people were moving blocking the food trolley and yelling at air-hostesses for blocking their way. Aren’t we supposed to get food during our flight? Why couldn’t they see they were troubling the air-hostesses not vice versa.
6. Once again, history repeated!!! Before landing people were not in their seats and people who were in their seats had forgotten the concept of seat belts. Air-hostesses re-entered the battled field and fought bravely.
7. Finally, when the flight landed even before the seat belt signal was off, people were standing with their bags to rush outside. I actually wanted to scream by then and ask if all were nine months pregnant and water broken.
While getting down, the air-hostesses gave us all a sweet smile and waved good bye (even to those who troubled them).
I looked at my husband and said “one and half lakh is too less for these people. They should be paid double of their salary. They deserve it. I would have actually hit all those stupid uncivilized people (thanks to my lack of patience) but these women were so polite and gentle. They should be paid double for their people management skills and also, for their rock solid patience”.