25 May, 2009

Of AirIndia, Shouting Kids and a (overly designed) Frankfurt airport!

How much ever pride I take in being an Indian, I am often surprised and to an extent sad at the services that are offered by the flagship services in India. The least you would expect in an international flight is working television monitors. There were at least a dozen that was not. That might be understandable, but how do you explain broken seat handles, and seats so hard, that I loved the Indian Railways seats better. However I am not complaining. Even though this is my first time on an international route with Air India, I kind of expected a little more. The flight was full and hence needless to say there was chaos.

Chaos and Indians go hand in hand. They are inseparable. Chaos I think is a part of our lives so much that we almost ignore it in its presence. All throughout the first leg of my flight, I thought I was in some bazaar in Delhi. I expected nothing less in the later part of my journey from Frankfurt to Delhi.

I wonder what it is with Indian kids. I think they have to be honored with the ‘most shouting kids’ award! The funny (or rather sad) part is that the parents do not do anything to keep them under control. Or was it the whole sense of belonging that sets in right when you board any flight. The feeling of "apnapan". Perhaps one day when I have kids of my own, I would be able to understand it better. A kid in the flight shouted out to his sister Geetika a few times, like he would do in his house or in the field. I love kids for they do what they please without caring about what others think. I think that’s one thing I always learn from them. (though do not think I am going to shout in the plane :P ) I could also overhear a few co-passengers discuss ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ too. What a Geetika co-incidence. I love it when these small-small co-incidences happen. It makes life interesting!

I have been reading Barack Obama’s ‘The Audacity of Hope’, which was gifted to me by a dear friend to read on the flight. My friend and me have both been so inspired by Obama. Have followed his speeches, fallen in love with his talks, laughed at his sense of humor, and happily cried at his success. He is a personification of a dream, and meeting him someday becomes another of my crazy aspirations. It is another story (and that is sad) that I am not there in the US following his moves and his actions and seeing US politics from a closer view. I have to say that the book is inspiring indeed. This book along with the mandate of the voters in India in forming the new government, and the role of youth in India, often makes me want to join politics at some point of time in my life! Someday I will. 10 years down the line would be an ideal and attainable goal.

I am writing this from the Frankfurt airport, which for me looks like a very chaotic airport. It makes me feel claustrophobic. I have been so used to traveling US airports with the high ceilings, natural light, that anything less than that makes me feel strange. The pathways are narrow and the long German signage does not make life easier. What is worse is that the paths around the individual gates are not straight. You walk a few meters and there is another cross-section, which leads to other gates.

Even the dustbins are designerly and it constantly reminds one of the hegemony of the Ulm and the Bauhaus design schools. I am however not too pleased with the usage of grey colored fonts on the silver material that the bins are made of. There are many issues to be critical about, but then I do not want to do so without actually having spent more time at the airport.

More laters…..


I am said...

I am really happy to read this post..for two reason.. since you already know one :)

The 2nd was the coining 'Shouting KIDS award' :)

I get headaches with loud kids and even louder parents. I don't understand what's the issue with Indians (us) in being so loud !!!

Train, Bus, Plane, House, Road, Movie hall, Mall.. anyway where you go you can possible hear 'chappad chaapapd'!!

I wish we become more considerate about people around...

lightworker said...

yes it is a shame that we indian' are really very inconsiderate of others around and the environment...this becomes very obvious in airports...it is always at the gate of the flight to india that there is total cacophony and chaos..cause every one crowds around the gate..even though the harassed agent repeatedly announces that boarding is by row...

and what you say about kids is so true too !! they do get overwhelming at times...and the parents just look on indulgently/indifferently ...

hope you are enjoying your stay in hot and humid delhi