Friday, October 25, 2013

We will never change

This blog has been dead for over 10 months and the reason is my monotonous life. I must have logged in to my Blog probably 100 times in these 10 months but never had the enthusiasm to pen down something but finally I have mood, time and content to write.

I must keep traveling to keep my mind busy and thinking and this is exactly what happened 2 days ago when I boarded my flight for India. It was a mixed feeling with excitement of meeting family and friends but at the same time anxiety of 23 hours of journey with 7 hours of layover at Holland.

For sure I was not looking for this long journey but you don't have much choice when you live in another corner of the world, do you? Well the journey started as usual with me being 2 hours early at Chicago O'hare airport and wandering around gates waiting for the boarding to start. The plane had just been in air for about an hour and the crew already started serving dinner. I was wondering, it would be too early to have dinner but if I don't, it would probably be too late to have it because in another couple of hours they will serve the second round of meal. This is one thing I certainly don't like about traveling overseas that your whole day cycle gets messed up and dinner becomes lunch and lunch becomes breakfast. Somehow, I managed to gulp my dinner and tried to get a nap which unfortunately these days I don't get much. It was early in the morning at Amsterdam Schiphol when we landed and I was having hard time opening my eyes and digesting the fact that it is breakfast time for this part of the World when I should be tucked in my cozy comforter at home. I asked for a Koffie (coffee) at the Food Court and the lady replied, is that it? I smiled at her and said, well, it's just past midnight for me so this should be enough to kick my engines and keep me running for next 7 hours at the Airport.

During the layover, I spent time in comfy Meditation Lounge on upper level in the Airport, got a back and neck massage for 15-20 minutes, wandered around several shops and did some nice window shopping at Swarvoski, Rolex and duty free Liquor shops. Finally, I gave up everything after 4 hours and went to my gate to sit and retire. As the staff for my India flight arrived and announced the boarding procedure, I regained my energy and put myself in place and order to hop in for another 7 hours of torturing travel. Staff had just announced for passengers requiring special assistance and every single person at the gate stood up and walked towards the door for boarding. I was standing at the back and thinking, why do we Indians always do this? The members of KLM staff requested all passengers to please take their seats at the gate and only walk through when they are called upon but still, people cared less. The two ladies from KLM flight requested again and again and again and as far as I can remember and count, they requested for about 6-8 times but at the end, it was the game of numbers and lack of understanding and civic sense in the passengers that won and KLM staff surrendered. They let everyone simply walk in and manage their boarding themselves. Now I don't need to tell what happened next, you all know what would happen when you leave herd of Indian people in jungle with no rules and regulations. It started with a bit of chaos and then the restless crowd as always managed to find their way in and settle down. I along with few other Indian folks and almost every single non Indian community person stood behind everyone patiently to find space and move. I knew that very moment, I will have to fight for my baggage space once I am in and to no surprise, I was right. All the overhead cabins around my seat were packed and people had their sweaters and jackets in place of carry-on bags. I was a bit disappointed by the behavior of people who by the way now belong to a very well disciplined society and was irritated because of the long travel and layover so I looked around, took out one of the sweaters and jackets from the overhead cabin and asked people sitting around my seat, "whose are these?" No reply for couple of minutes so I figured that it must be of some passengers sitting far from my seat and they must have stuffed them in here finding some vacant space. I pushed my hand bag in the cabin and adjusted their sweaters and jackets on the sides and finally settled on my seat. Luckily the guy sitting next to me was from Atlanta and a young chap who cared less about anyone around and he passed into his dreamworld pretty soon after the plane took off. I kept trying to get some sleep but couldn't for a longer duration. We touched New Delhi airport about half hour early but again, people and their restless attitude gave us no advantage of landing early. Everyone started taking off their bags and stood up in the aisles to clog them for good 20 minutes. My mind was continuously thinking why can we Indians not behave in a more civilized manner for once, why can we not think about others and surroundings for once, why are we always in hurry and in a race to win when we all know that everyone will get his or her chance.

Honestly, we will never change and even if we want to, we won't be able to because the truth is that we live in a world of chaos and the only thing we know is to add more complexities around us and whine about everything and everyone and yet contributing a bit or a byte of trouble to that chaos.

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