24.6.06

"I don't pay taxes cuz I never file/ I don't do business that don't make me smile/ I love my aero-plane, she got style..."

I stepped out to deboard to be almost swept off the stairs. The wind whipped my hair with gay abandon and a wave of happiness washed over me. It was beautiful and wildly windy as we walked across the tarmac. It kind of washed away the feeling of frustration that I was feeling just a few minutes back.

I was with a few other journalists and we were part of an in flight training for air hostesses and flight stewards. The morning started precisely at 7 am when I woke up with a start to realise that the air hostess academy guys might just leave me behind. So there I was rushing and trying to do everything at one go. Till I was seated in a cab by 8.15am.

In some time, I found myself in the bylanes of Gautam Nagar. Something that irked me considering the fact that my destination was the airport. The driver finally deigned to inform me that we were picking up another journalist. And he wanted me to call her up. While we were talking, I realised we were positioned in front of a gurudwara. "Is this where she is supposed to meet us?" I asked him. "Madam, they told me that the gurudwara was the landmark," the driver told me.

Now a place like Delhi has many gurudwaras. So I did something for which I patted myself 2 minutes later. I asked him to read out the address. He mumbled, "Xyz". It was the name of the lady we were about to pick up. "No, the address, the ADDRESS," I repeated. I peered over his shoulders.We were supposed to head for Green Park. "We are in Green Park, are we?" I asked him sarcastically. All sarcasm was lost on the man. "No, we are in Gautam Nagar. Because I often pick up someone from here and there's a gurudwara here," he said and insisted we wait there. Till I bit out in a no-nonsense voice: "Take me to Green Park immediately." At Green Park, he stopped in front of the gurudwara and refused to budge. It was a task getting him to move. It's a wonder we reached the airport on time. It was 9.30 am and I realised that we were way too early for the entire exercise that involved the training of a melee of girls in red and guys in white.

As we checked in, it was worth watching the security guard's reaction to our Jet boarding passes. It said, From Delhi, To Delhi. It would be a first anyway, I thought to myself. It took some time for the co-ordinator from the air hostess academy to explain it to the guard, who for the life of him, couldn't believe his eyes.

Once in the waiting lounge, we were informed that the boarding was delayed from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm. I got chatting with a former Lufthansa air hostess, a part of the faculty at the academy. R was not dramatically good looking but she was a warm and pleasing personality. With her was K, a former flight steward and another faculty member. K was very metrosexual indeed -- with lipstick, foundation, coloured hair and the works.

Anyway, while talking with R, I exclaimed that I wish I had thought of being an air hostess earlier. R looked at me and said, "Why, how old are you?" My reply was a woeful, "25". She said: "You look so young. There will be no problem for you to get through the international airlines. You must try it out. I loved flying though it was hard work. I kept stopping at Frankfurt and Munich and travelled to London very often," she said a bit wistfully. I realised, she meant it, when she searched me out as we were departing and told me that she had found out that there's a vacancy at the Emirates. .

Then began a long wait...doodling, doodling, solving crosswords, yapping, yapping, munching on sandwiches, watching the students and wondering how any of them could undo 20 years in a year of training and gain all the sophistication in the world (the guys and girls were so naive that I really hope they can make it where they want to).

In the loo, I came across a little girl who I thought was in need of the hand drier. I don't know why on earth I thought so. But I did. So I tapped her on the shoulders and pointed out the drier to her. She kept looking at me in askance. So I explained it to her. And then I happened to look down and I realised that all the time she was trying to squirt some liquid soap onto her palms. Yet another gaffe to my evergrowing list.

It was 1.30 pm when we boarded the air bus. It was a doomed take-off. All we did was sit and munch further on sandwiches and cakes. And wait. It was six hours of waiting that ultimately was a let-down. The redeeming part was meeting new people and liking most of them. Another interesting highlight of the day was getting inside the cockpit. It was kind of fascinating to have it all explained by the captain -- the controls, the panel... Oh we were also given a tiny model of the Jet airbus we were on. "They are very special. We usually give them to kids," smiled a Jet Airways hostess. It's quite a cute number. It reminds me of a childhood of growing up with my brother's toy cars, pick-up trucks and aeroplanes. All those bright blue and yellow Mercs, Nissans and Gulf Airs.

But the day has got me thinking. About whether this is a calling. To be up there in the skies.

28 comments:

Toe Knee said...

Well, I know you would be great as an air-hostess but it will be too big a loss for journalism. Don't do it.

sayoni said...

My vote goes to air-hostessing. And the tax part of your post-header is extremely apt, I must say.

Sonia said...

being an air hostess isn't all that great. your skin and hair keeps drying up in the plane's controlled atmosphere and your sleeping patterns will go to hell. there is no growth in this industry. you start with domestic flights, covering third world countries and then go on to international flights when you get better. at mas you'll become a flight supervisor, bas. then when you hit 35-40 , you have to retire and become a faculty member or some such. the money is pretty good in flights like Emirates. But the code of conduct is exTREMEly strict. they measure the size of earrings you wear and the decide the kind of rings you are allowed to wear on your finger, and you're not allowed public displays of affection (like even a hug) when you're in uniform and even out of uniform they're pretty strict about it. you get to travel of course, but you don't get to stay there long enough to experience anything. you'll suffer jetlag forver and by the time you sleep it off, you have to travel again.

i think it's better being a journalist anyday. but then again, that's just me.

AB said...

Toe Knee: Are you trying to be funny?

Sayoni: LOL (I won't say you know what this time)...

Sonia: The dough is all the incentive for me. Plus the travelling. Airhostess R told me that you do get days off when you travel overseas. But the system going haywire is so true. Let's see. The cons are there. And then there are my parents too. They would be horrified.

Grey Shades said...

Life has strange (and sometimes omnius) ways of making you aware of what and where you want to be. After all where you want to be is, as you said, your calling!

Toe Knee said...

Hey, I am not trying to be funny. I meant it.

thalassa_mikra said...

The lipstick and foundation is not surprising at all, the profession does attract a lot of gay men (not just metrosexual).

And trust me, even when naive and wide-eyed, any Indian flight attendants and stewards would be far better than the shabbily dressed, overweight, straight from hicksville staff on most American airlines.

Being a flight attendant is not bad, though I would agree with everything Sonia says. It really isn't very exciting dealing with drunk and sleazy passengers or whiney auntyjis that you're forced to be polite to when you'd rather kick their asses.

Anonymous said...

I want you to think about whether you:

-like being claustrophic for long hours

-like standing/serving food when there is air turbulence

-know how to avoid motion sickness

-are okay with messing around the day/night cycle of your body

Just kidding, I guess it is okay if one has fun with it!


-Sines

nikita said...

But I thought u wanted to open a coffee/chocolate/books shop with me complete with a white and green striped awning and flowers in the window sill....oh god...sniff...sniff...please execuse me while i go and cry my heart out in the pillow

PS: AB...seriously? air hostess? come on...do u want to teach muggy kids, rude aunties and weird uncles how to tie their seat belts and explain patiently time and again why they cannot get the rolls which the non vegetarians are eating if they have opted for the vegetarian option?

AB said...

Grey Shades: Ominous? I hope not...

Toe knee: Why thank you mate:-)

Thalassa: The guys of the academy who want to become flight stewards were so foolish and personality less that I felt like cringing each time they opened their mouths to say anything.

Maybe when I would leave the job I could kick them as hard as I want to. But that provided I take the first step and land there.

Dr Sines:

1. Have never felt it before. So now idea. But yes, it is not a comforting thought.

2. Ahem...wouldn't mind it really. Maybe once in a while I can topple some food and drinks over irritating fellows (just kidding)

3. Am not prone to motion sickness. *Touche*

4. That seems the only problem to me.
Let's see if I have to deal with the above:)

Nikita: Aw honey...see I am working towards the white and green striped awning. I can save pots in a few months. I think far you see...

PS: Where are you? Of course I am serious. Guess how many weird people we have to deal with in journalism? I would consider it as an extension of this.

Anshul Seth said...

Hi AB,

Changing a career at any point in time is not considered too late, if u think thts the one who r meant for.
But if u do a toss-up btw journalism and air-hostess,the former always wins.

The only good(wht ppl say) part of air-hostess is tht they roam a lot of places, meeting ppl from all walks of life.
But the work seriously is horrible, n comes with lot of health hazards.

In one flight I saw a person vomiting, n suddenly the hostess got a bag, n afterwards cleaned the remains on the floor.
In another, one guy has left his water bottle open in the luggage compartment.Lot of water spilled, n so one air-hostess was made to hold a cup to hold the droppings on the seat below.
It was horrifying to c an air-hostess standing on a seat and holding a cup collecting water, as u enter the flight.
N the arrognace n ire of ppl they suffer,n the x-ray eyes of men they have to succumb to....
I mean its so pathetic,tht whenever i travel I am made to wonder, tht this must b the among the worst professions in the world.

Y does one toil so hard at studies in school time, is it for this????

My opinion is like this, but ppl may differ.
My advice: stay put in whtevr u r doing, thts far far better than wht u r planning 2 lay hands on.


Asset
www.anshulseth.com

Grey Shades said...

Well the omnious thing was jus my experience! But hey you could give it a shot and see if it works out. You can alwyas go back to being a journo, yes?

Essar said...

Ki re!
And just last week we were discussing opening shacks in Goa!
And you know what, if money and travel is the reason - why not join a travel magazine!

Bhagya said...

Even if it is not a calling, you wud have done something different from what u doing now and flown around some parts of the world. Looks like its worth a try.

AB said...

Anshul Seth: 'Y does one toil so hard at studies in school time, is it for this????' That is exactly what my parents would put up as an argument by the way;)

But why do people think serving is such a bad thing? Though the idea of cleaning poo or puke is definitely not very appealing...

Grey Shades: Ominous experience as a flight steward eh?

Essar: Missy you are not let the cat of the bag such...

Bhagya: Yeah I think it is. So I am going to give it a go I guess.

Grey Shades said...

Nooooooo! I mean other omnius experiences... If I were a flight steward I'd be perpetually holed somewhere with a barf bag!

Essar said...

Babare ekjon to eikhane bohut serious advice dite boshlo. SHono, mon diye shono. (guess jodi na korte paro phone bolbo.)

Sonia said...

so you've decided? if you come to dxb, gimme a call! :)

AB said...

Grey shades: See that's such a cliche..the barf bag...

Essar: Phone.

Sonia: I am sending my resumes to an airline here that is Delhi based. For the time being. Let's see how it works out:-)

Grey Shades said...

Well what would a person with motion sickness do on a tube of metal thats rising rapidly in the air! Cliches can be rather good then!

Sonia said...

omg! you're actually going through with it! good luck! :) you should be proud, you're finally taking that decision of doing what you "feel" like.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I didn't have much work today. i cam across ur blog and read ach and every post that u have written. It has been three hours and i am finally done with it. It's also time for me to leave office.

U are definitely a very good writer bcoz there r very few things in this world that can hold my attention for 3long hours. I really enjoyed reading ur blog . Its quite interesting and funny.

I do hope that u find the guy of ur dreams soon . Maybe u shud try giving a shot at websites like Shaadi.com,. U get a hell lot of variety there :)

Thank you for being urself in ur writing.

Sachin

sristys-school-of-airhostess said...

A day on the job for a flight attendant could mean...a trip to Paris...or an emergency landing. It can be fun, an adventure, or both...and it is all in a days work?

IĆ¢€™ve found that working for a major airline this past year has been one of the hardest jobs I have ever had, and yet one of the most enjoyable. The schedule and the passengers challenge me in ways I never could have imagined.

But nothing beats hanging out in New Delhi for 24 hours with a company-paid hotel room and expense money. The thousands of us flying encounter many different experiences during the course of a day. This is a day (well, technically a trip) in my life...

Once the trip is over, I am released from duty 15 minutes later. This rest period lasts at least eight hours and is guaranteed to be free from phone contact from schedulers. Leaving the airport, I head out to the transport parking lot, get picked up in a comparatively new Ford Ikon and head home. Back in my room, I unload my bags and unplug the phone.

The Mystique of the Flight Attendant What is it about a flight attendant that makes little kids longingly stare and adults charmed and envious? Could it be the lifestyle and freedom to jet away to faraway places? The uniform? The star quality of these chosen few?

How I Got Started With A Flight Attendant Job My story of a flight attendant job starts at age four. I was watching a kiddie TV show, and suddenly, there on the screen appeared the most beautiful creature I had ever seen! She wore an elegant navy blue uniform with golden wings on her chest, and she got to fly in airplanes EVERY DAY!

Things I Never Anticipated The job of flight attendant is usually considered to be glamorous, sexy, adventurous and exciting. It is all these things, but there are many more facets to the job than most people realize.

It is a career option worth taking a look at whatever be its side effects.....and u all think other jobs out ther in the market are a cakewalk......

Check out www.sristys.com and u can clear some ideas

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