Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Window seat...

So after quite some time, travel beckoned me.

Got up early, got in to the taxi and reached the station much before time.

Then stood in  line and got confirmation that I had a reserved window seat, I was a happy man that moment.

Since childhood me and my brother had fights who was going to take the window seat, time sharing was the resolution adopted, and my brother used to sit during the day, watching the green meadows, throwing coins into the river whenever a bridge passed by, shouting out for the hawkers at the railway station and finally watching the sun set into oblivion. Then I used to get my share of the window seat and all I could do is look out in the darkness and realize that I have been tricked again.

So I was in a pretty good frame of mind for having a window seat for the entire duration of my journey. Bought a cup of coffee and sat at a corner observing the fellow passengers. The Gujaratis had opened up their breakfast tiffin boxes, the bengali family was having an argument with the wife doing most of the talking, the haughty punjabi aunty strutting along in her high heels and the city being Bangalore, an inordinate numbers of guys with black wildcraft laptop bags slightly hunched over their overpriced, oversmart touchscreen phones with such intense concentration as if in the next second a genie was to come out of the phone.

Bored in the next instant I switched on my own HTC smart phone and mindlessly started scrolling across the screens. I didnt know what I did for the next two hours on the phone but time flew by, also no genie came out of the phone.

By then it was time to start the journey, I boarded feeling happy about my elusive window seat.

But when I reached to my seat I see someone already had occupied my window seat. I immediately get into the Indian Railway frequent traveller Aggression mode.

"Bhaisaab ye mera seat hai, dekhiye mera boarding pass" I blurted out, little realizing that the man there didnt understand any Hindi. He either was a kannadiga or from a middle east asia country. I couldnt make out the difference. Hindi is the language in which I speak unabashedly, in English I am generally more politer.

And I wasnt travelling Indian railways, I was flying Emirates to Austria enroute Dubai. But all those childhood memories of fighting for the elusive window seat came to my mind.

South Indian or Middle East Asian, whichever the fellow passenger was certainly more polite than the regular Indian railways daily passenger and took out his boarding pass and checked with mine and saw both were assigned  the same seat, 28G and immediately gave up the seat. Me not to be left behind in being the bigger Bhadrolok convinced him to keep sitting and got my first chance to talk to the Emirates air hostess.

A congregation of airhostess gathered (two to be exact) and me and my boarding pass was the object of their scrutiny. After a detailed discussion with the ground crew over the walkie talkie they came to the conclusion that the overpaid, underworked Air India employee to whom the ground staff activities had been outsourced to had goofed up. Since I was the more commotion creator among the two passengers I was immediately upgraded to Business class.

I did lose my window seat but got upgraded to business class and was introduced to a world of luxury travel I hadn't imagined before.

More on business class travel in my next blog post.

Visit to discover Indian blogs