Air travel, statistically the safest and most boring way of travel. I don’t know whether it’s the recycled air or the fact that the the captain changes his mind every minute whether it’s better to keep the seat belts on or off, but I have always preferred the trains to the planes. As a rule of thumb, the seat belt sign can be expected to be turned on right when your bladder thinks enough is enough. Or it could be the other way round and it could be almost like a Pavlovian response that whenever the seat belt sign is “on” you feel like you have to answer nature’s call. Anyway…I digress as usual. Today’s agenda in about airline food. Contrary to the popular opinion that airline food is bad (something which is similar to ” the mess food is always bad” condition), I quite enjoy it.
All that was about to change this time as I embarked on my most recent journey aboard a plane bound from Calcutta to New Delhi via Chennai via Bangalore (they do run them like private buses. I inquired at the airport once why does the board say the plane is going to Bangalore and not Delhi, the response to which reminded me of one of my Dad’s jokes that I have heard too many times to count. Thus I will not share it here to preserve whatever sanity that is left. Anyone interested to hear it can let me know ). It wasn’t the food as such. I must say that the Chicken Junglee Sandwich was quite worth the 190 buks I spent on it (there IndiGo, here’s your precious costumer feedback! Now stop sending me those darn emails). Usually I concentrate on food and not on its packaging. But this time, as I was already a scholar of the in flight menu and knew the in flight magazine by heart, I began to observe the packing of the sandwich ( I must mention here that I did eat the sandwich and washed it down with an Ice tea way before I found the packing interesting. I finished it before Samuel MF Jackson could say ” I’ve had it with these motherf**** snacks on this motherf*** plane ! (-adapted from the epic movie Snakes on a Plane)).
It is then that I realized that what I had just eaten was not the Chicken Junglee Sandwich at all. No..it was something completely different..never could I have imagined that what I had just filled my stomach with was not a sandwich…it was instead an AIRWICH !!! Now just when I had thought all of reality was crumbling around me and I was about to be sucked into an alternate dimension or ,as the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons would put it, Bizaro World, it was the package that saved me. On the side of the panel was a narrative, which oddly enough seemed to be inspired from a amalgamation of several Bollywood story lines involving twins separated in childhood in the Kumbh mela (Kumbh mela is a the auspicious festival of bathing in the river Ganga that occurs every 4 years in the city of Allahabad , much like the Olympics or the cricket world cup, just not that entertaining. For those who are wondering when the Olympics or the cricket world cup was held in Allahabad, please stop reading this blog from now. Our job here is done).
Well continuing with the story, which was written in Hindi in the Devanagari script (a cheap way to irritate South Indians and North Indians alike). The story spoke of (and I shit you not, I have the box still and can send a scanned copy to those of little faith) two brothers the Airwich and the Sandwich that were separated from each other in the Kumbh mela. Airwich was adopted by a pilot and became a pilot while the Sandwich was abducted by bandits and taken to the famous desert of Chambal and hence turned to a life of crime. One day while Airwich was flying over the sand of Chambal, he saw the Sandwich and instantly realized it was his lost brother.He dropped a letter for him and the Sandwich wrote his reply in the sand for the Airwich to see. Though both wanted to meet each other they could not due to the fact that the Sandwich was on the ground and the Airwich was always in the sky. But though they never met it is said that the messages can still be seen in the sands of Chambal. <story ends>. Now I don’t know what to make of this..either someone got really drunk and thought of this and someone got even more drunk and approved of it or someone should make a movie on it and see what happens to it (well everyone thought Snakes on a plane would turn out bad but did it?…..NO IT DID NOT!). But that was just one side of the packing. While I was still recovering from this heart warming/irritating/ slightly spooky(?) story I saw that the other sides and flap of the packing also had somethings on it. (Such powers of observation are usually not something I am known for. I am usually a ignorant and hence blissful idiot.) On one of the side there was a section entitled (again in hindi) ” Dimagi Kasrat” or Mental exercise. A more fitting name would be mental torture ( I must say some of the riddles did border on things not really approved by the human rights charter.. exibit A :multiply 3454545 x 355899545 without a calculator). And finally when I thought the worst is over I see a small song on the flap of the cover (which I don’t think there is any sense in translating here).
The only thing I learnt from this was to just get an Ice tea next time and carry my own parathas.