March 17, 2008

From Mother Bai to Two Bai

To be very frank, I could not think of any other title for this post. One more flight, one more new place to work in and one more time zone and there I was on an Emirates Flight. Anyway, though the air hostesses on the flight were really cute, I believe that our girls on any of our domestic airlines will beat them hands down in the matters of courtesy, customer responsiveness or plain efficiency. It was really appalling to see the way the ground staff of Emirates at the Mumbai Airport behaved.

But the in-flight entertainment channel was unbelievable. It had the latest Hindi movies. It had Scrubs and to top it all off it had a Bengali Mithunda movie. Now I miss those gems. He was THE crime fighting Inspector who warned the goons the first time, next time they met he would send them to the hospital and if the unlucky goon met him the third time, he would be sent to the funeral pyres. So there was Mithunda waging “Yuddha” or War against the goons.

In fact, he so inspired me that as soon as I landed I went ahead and took a cell phone number that was the James Bond signature. 007 – Thank God they haven’t made it a special number yet. On the way to the hotel, I wondered at the city’s skyline. What does it take to build a city in the middle of the desert, to make flowers bloom out of nothing? It seemed at last the genie from the bottle had finally come out and granted people their desires. Maybe at $111 a barrel and rising, oil is the new genie. But interestingly Dubai is the least blessed of them all in terms of oil.

Whatever the movies might say, good men normally finish last. That’s why you have an Om reborn as Om Kapoor – you need to have the backing dude. Just being a good guy doesn’t help. So this statistics have ensured that good men in the world see a worldwide dwindling in their numbers. But they exist. They exist for example at the Convention Centre on Sheikh Jayed Road. On my first day at Dubai, I relied too much on my hugely bloated ego as a seasoned traveller and got out of my Hotel to find a friend was happily lazing away in one of the classiest hotels in the city. Now if you are from Cal or Mumbai you normally walk out and always find some form of transport or the other which you can hop onto. In Dubai, you normally try to not get yourself killed as you cross the roads. So I was wondering around the road hoping for a bus or cab to come by forgetting completely that even my hotel would have a cab service.

But then like Gabriel I see a gentleman smiling at me. He comes near me and asks, “Indian? Lost?” Never have I been so happy about my Indian appearance. So here was Abhay who gave me a lift all the way to the hotel. He was from Goa; I had just come from Goa. He was getting married; I had friends who were getting married. So we had a lot of things in common. So in a new country, I found one of the last few remaining good men.

Abhay, here’s all the very best to you. Maybe we will meet again one day.

Statutory Warning: If you are a gum eater like me, get your own stock. A packet of Wrigley’s sticks cost the same here as a can of Pepsi.


Soumya Sen said...

I do not think it is specific to Emirates, I think it is more specific to Mumbai Intl airport, those females with half-a-brain who serve as ground staff are simply disgusting. My experience was slightly different, it was an Indian bitch at the counter whom I had a good mind to slap, and you might know that I do have a habit of doing that at times. I came to know how much of an oxymoron 'Swiss-efficiency' sounds in today's Europe, but the Swiss females on board were much better, although the ones at Kloten security check were incompetent, but that one Indian bitch working for Swiss Airways at Mumbai has taken away at least one passenger from that already bankrupt airways. Hope she loses her job and goes back to the Dharavi that she belongs to. Maybe I am generalizing, but that's what that word is for.

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

Language Mr. Sen!!! But yups I agree with your sentiments, which as usual are stated strongly. :)