By Shruti Vairagkar (L&T Howden)

As I waited for the flight to take off, I could hear a babble of voices around me. Most of the owner of these voices were on their phones wrapping up business calls, leaving instructions to be picked up from the airport, or what to be made for dinner. As I half listened to these voices, I was mildly amused by these conversations. My mind wandered to the behaviour of the passengers and I mentally thanked the God of Evolution that human beings do not sprout speech bubbles of the thoughts. Because I would perhaps be the most hated person on the flight.

There are some situations which I invariably experience every time I take a flight. And I have the same reaction (more or less) to them.

When a phone rings when the flight is taxiing.

Me – of course you didn’t put it on flight mode. Because the skies will do it for you. Wait, do the skies have natural jammers? Or does the flight have that and the pilot switches it on once we take off? Got to google it once I land.

When the person seated in front of me reclines their seat

Me – cattle class indeed! Shashi Tharoor got that bit right. What’s with the operators reducing leg space every few years?! Man, have I got to start saving to fly business class… who am I kidding?! I’ll have to starve for a month to be able to afford one of those tickets… would claustrophobia be a valid reason to ask them to straighten the seat? Maybe I’ll wait till the food is served to ask them to straighten the seat. Sigh, I’m such a wimp!

When the person’s elbow in the neighbouring seat encroaches into my space

Me – didn’t anyone teach you about personal space?! Keep your elbows to yourself! Will it be rude to ask them to tuck their elbows in. Anyway, they’re in the middle seat… so what?! They should have booked the seat earlier like I did. First mover’s advantage!… sigh! Forget it. Let’s just sit on the edge of the seat and pray for the pilot to hurry up and land

When the airline food contains some over cooked, soggy food which looks and tastes like cardboard

Me – should have purchased a takeaway from the airport. What is this lump supposed to be?! Should I ask for ketchup to drench it in. Lol! This is a plane, not McDonalds. I doubt they’ll have ketchup. I’ll just have to eat something on my way back… Why can’t airlines serve better food?! The bread-cutless* in the trains are so much better!!

(*Cutlets when said quickly as the train crew does sounds like cutless and not cutlets. It’s quite amusing)

When the flight hits an air pocket. Cue turbulence.

Me – I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. Telepathically sending I love yous to my family and then wondering if brain waves will reach ground. Have GOT to google about those sky jammers if I land safely. I’m going to die. I’m going…

When the flight is circling above the destination city for the nth time but there is no landing slot

Me – Hurrah for so much progress that we have traffic jams for landing the flight! Oh look, that looks like my home. Somewhere there. Hi Ma!

When the passengers get up as soon as the flight lands

Me – do tell me how queuing up and jostling others will quicken the doors opening. Oi, wait for your turn to take out your bag. It’s anyway in the overhead bin much ahead… is there some early bird prize somewhere I’m unaware of? Oooowwww, did you just step on my toes to get ahead?! May your Uber be the last to arrive and you get pulled over by the cops for no reason at all. Curses &@%#$!!

And I then de-board the flight thanking the crew, hoping and praying that teleporting is figured out in my lifetime…


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Sandeep Dahiya

This is one of the best piece of writing I read in recent times… Kudos to you Shruti….
Its sheer brilliance…


Thank you, Sirjee!


Exactly, my experience! LOL. Nicely explained.
One thing I would like to add, with those I love ‘yous’ to my family…. I always wish to tell my passwords to at least someone before I die. That also comes to my mind in that situation!


Thanks Pritha! May be you can leave one of those “you’re receiving this because I am no longer alive” documents? 😛