SATIRE

Original Fiction: Gullible's Travels, Part 2

July 29, 2010
Rahul Jauhari

I am, what you can call, a reformed frequent flier.

And the designation does not come easy.

You must, compulsorily, undergo life-altering experiences to earn it.

At times, experiences that alter the impression left by a previous life-altering experience.

For instance, once, after being crushed between two portly businessmen all through a Mumbai-Delhi flight, I left strict instructions with my office to ALWAYS telecheck me into a window seat.

I love window seats. Always have.

Sigh.

The next few weeks were spent flying happily ever after.

Till it happened.

I was to fly on my usual Mumbai-Delhi sector.

I was sleep starved - whenever I have to take the first flight out, I barely sleep in the worry that I won't wake up in time.

My office made no mistakes.

It was me in the window seat.

A middle-aged gentleman in the aisle seat.

Hunky and dory were together.

Till SHE walked in.

A conservative estimate would peg her between 100 to 115 kilos.

Saree-clad, very-well-fed Punjabi lady, returning home to Delhi, probably.

She 'settled' in.

What do I tell you now?

That I spent the rest of the flight with my face squashed against the window like a first time flier?

No it wasn't voluntary.

When you have a mammoth elbow intruding across three-fourths of your seat space, there is nowhere else to go.

I had to refuse breakfast.

There was NO way I could have handled a tray in that kind of space.

It's bad enough when you have to share your seat with a giant elbow.

It's worse when the elbow belongs to a giant who decides to sleep after breakfast.

And sink a little into you with every passing breath.

Now consider the fact that the elbow belongs to a woman.

What will you scream?

Rape?

I would have.

Had I managed to somehow extricate myself from under that elbow and reached upwards to buzz the air-hostess, I seriously would have.

We disembarked in Delhi.

She, refreshed.

Me, crushed. Literally.

Frequent flying is no fun, my friend.

After Vietnam and Advertising, it ranks third in my books.

That morning I learnt that even a window seat can't save you from the scourge of an intrusive elbow.

My humble advice?

If you can, fly business.

If you can't, then beg the ground-staff to tell you who or what has checked into your middle seat.

If you can do neither, quietly take the train.

An advertising writer by profession, Rahul Jauhari is also a Social Media enthusiast & a blogger with a strong point of view. Rahul lives in Mumbai and can be found writing quite regularly at rahuljauhari.com.
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