Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dilli chalo

After being baked in Mumbai, I landed in 35 degrees C temperature Delhi that my Spicejet air hostess announced just after we landed. "...The outside temperature is 35 degrees. We thank you for travelling Spicejet and we hope to service you in future...."said the pretty voice. Little did I know that Dilli temperature would touch 40 degrees the next day!!! And speaking of airhostesses, what is the deal with their accents anyways? Especially the leading lady who makes announcements in the aircraft. Not that I pay much attention to such trivial things...but still. I mean I can understand if they speak accented English, but why do most of them speak Hindi as if they want to sound like they're talking in English? I mean English is English and Hindi is Hindi. It's as simple as that. And I do not really want to get started on the way pilots talk or make various announcements like welcoming us on board, when are we taking off, over where we are flying, thanking us for flying their airline and all that jazz. My Spicejet flight pilot was quite audible, but most of the time I do not understand what they say, can't really follow their deep breadth and heavily accented voice. I wonder whether they voices are really like that or they want to purposely sound stylish or something. They need voice training, man!

Anyways, the flight was one hour late, but the delay was due to the congestion at the Bombay airport. We started at right time 11.40 am, but it took us one hour (50 minutes to be precise) for us to hit the runway and take-off. We were around 8th ot 10th in the line and as each take-off takes approximate 3 minutes as per my pilot, we were massively delayed. But somehow we could finally take off only at 12.30 pm sharp. Add to that delay, my Spicejet airport bus that transports us from the terminal to the aircraft took us 20 agonising minutes to reach our aircraft! That's around 80% of the time it takes to reach Poona by air from Bombay!!! I don't know what the heck was wrong, but it was so painful to be jam-packed in a bus-  that was literally crawling all the way- standing. 

Since Spicejet is a budget carrier, it doesn't give us packed meals that I often so look forwrad to when travelling by air. And I usually do not believe in spending a ridiculous amount of Rs 100 for a chicken sandwich that they offier. But since the flight was delayed, I had no option since I thought I wouldn't have enough time  and I had to rush office. So I settled for a sandwich. 

The airport delay though is most shocking, not that it is new if you've travelled to and fro Bombay. India's financial capital has one of the worst airports in the country amongst metro cities in terms of airport congestion. In terms of facilities at the terminals and its aesthetics, it's great, but in terms of congestion it causes innumerable delays both while taking off and even landing. The Mumbai airport has only one runway and that is the major cause for the delay. As air-traffic increases, there is a need to have multiple runways, preferably one each for take-off and landing as is the case with many global airports in developed markets. I do not know when Mumbai will have a second airport. And not so long ago, our sarkari babus were talking of Mumbai becoming Shanghai. I can't recollect a more short-sighted statement made by our administration in recent years. 

Anyways, Delhi is very hot. The worst thing is that unlike in Mumbai, here we do not perspire. So the heat kind of remains inside us, in our heads. But there's plenty of stuff to look forward to; Khan market, Big Chill, Cheesecakes, desserts, Safdurjung Enclave- the place where I literally started my career at- Delhi Parsi rest house and my Fire-Temple in the complex, Irish Bailey's cream at Veena's house, again some more desserts, Sunita's mallu curry rice... 

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