Like my most Fridays I was there to have my elixir of life. Not that I do so on every Friday but some Fridays are exceptional in terms a friend coming back from travel, surprise bonus component in the salary, unexpected loss in the stock market, and sometimes ‘just like that’.
I occupied my regular seat facing the television which had an irritating IBN7 anchor barking, “yeh wahi ashram hai…” The crossness was going to be short-lived anyway, for soon I would be enjoying my whims about things around. Such is the magic of the place, its intoxicating ambience, the hallucinating people, and the overall spirit.
The place was soon filling up. And I had started with my flights of fantasy when I heard an interesting tale about country’s airlines.
Not so far away, just on the adjacent table, arrived two men, one dark, fat with a round belly and the other one not so fat but equally dark. Both in their mid-forties, perhaps. Both reminded me of Om Puri – facial appearance. They ordered their stuff and began their chat. They were Goans. “kittey reyy,” one said with a long rhythmic drag in the words. Their order was on the table.
Their third friend arrived, a Marathi manoos, for whom one glass was ordered forcibly into which a layer of soda was poured on a layer of translucent liquid.
The duo started narrating a story of their arrival to their friend.
‘Arey kya bolne ka terku,’ started one fellow.
It seems the flight they were travelling on had not filled to its optimum capacity. And the flight was cancelled. However, the passengers were initially told the flight was delayed. After a long wait, it was announced that the flight was cancelled.
‘Wo acha tha ki mera dost wo airline mein tha and he told me ki sala actually kya gochi hai,’ clarified one of the duo.
‘Myy zhayeein baraaan chu*** banavtaaa,’ said the Marathi manoos who actually turned out to be Malvani.
And the fat fellow narrated another interesting tale he had encountered earlier in life.
He was travelling one a flight which was once upon a time India’s only pride of flying. While on the runway, the flight’s engine gave some congestion problems and it was struck with all kinds of thrusts and stuck with all kinds of choking noises….“krrrrr…..crrrhhhhh….kharrrr…grrrrrrr”. Frenzied passengers and this “fennyied” fat fellow could not handle the turbulences on the runway. There was a chaos on the plane. Many shouting, some begging, few running to get out of the plane. All were out on the runway. It was the pilot’s turn to beg then. He requested (no begged) to all passengers to get in. However, not many obliged. The pilot assured the passengers to trust him and there would be no further problem. But in vain. Few passengers, a handful of them, agreed to occupy their seats. The pilot then told more passengers to sit as the engine can only be started if more seats are occupied – pressure tactics – on the seats, on pilot. The pilot was hopefully trying to pass on his pressure onto the seat. But he was only mocked and laughed at.
And the three on the table laughed to their merry gulping down the remaining contents of their glass.
‘He loka public kay murkhach samajhtat ka kaay,’ (do these officials think people are fools) said one of the Goan fellow.
‘Next time pasun dusri airline baghuk havi, hencha kay bharosa naayyy,’ (take some other airline next time, these officials can’t be trusted) came a reply from the Malvani man.
‘Kingfisher kay, Jet kay, sagle mele sarkhech may zhayein,’ (what Kingfisher, what Jet, all are the same…) finished the third man.
I had a wonderful hearty laugh and pity too for the way we, general people, are treated and fooled. However, to drown away that poignancy and to the reference of Kingfisher, I ordered my next one.

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