“What happened you seem to be in a bad mood?” I asked my niece Seema who had just returned from Frankfurt.
“Mamaji why don't we have a bus or train from Frankfurt to Delhi?” She asked with a crease on her forehead.
I was baffled at her question. But I must admit that the very thought of travelling from Frankfurt to Delhi in a bus was creating ripples of laughter in my system. However, I tried to bury them considering the mood of my beloved niece.”
“What happened honey? Hope you had a pleasant journey.” I said in a soothing voice.
“Don't you mention about the journey.” She snapped me back.
“Why Seema? Didn't you have a pleasant sleep?”
“Don't you talk about sleep Mamaji”
was her reply.
was her reply.
This is the problem with the parents of teenagers. They don't know what to speak with their children. Whatever they say the younger generation disapproves it. Silence is golden I said to myself and kept mum.
Seeing no response from my side Seema continued, “The airlines have started shrinking the leg-space in order to accommodate more passengers. The result is passengers are literally squeezed like tomatoes being carried to the market.” This time I was unable to control my laughter and my face turned red like a red tomato.
“I tried to recline my seat in an attempt to get good sleep. But the moron who was sitting in the back prevented me from doing so saying that it was hitting his knees.” With a stoic face I said to Seema, “Yes, I remember reading somewhere that there are only two kinds of passengers who fly. One those who recline their seats to the maximum thereby causing great inconvenience to those who are less fortunate and get the back-seat. Second those who vociferously guard their leg space.”
“Mamaji are you saying that I caused trouble to him?”
“No. I am saying that the man was quarrelsome.”
“The only solution is shelving out extra bucks to secure the seat with more leg-room.” Seema said with a grim face. Like her mother she too was stingy when it came to money. I did not voice my thoughts.
“Mamaji why are you quiet? Your face is utterly relaxed. Have you attained enlightenment or what.”
“Yes, I have been enlightened at least when it comes to flying.”
“Mamaji please share some pearls of wisdom with me.” Seema said as a smile broke on her face.
“Lufthansa is your mantra.” I said gesturing my hand into a shoonya mudra.
“That German airline.”
“It may be German, but it is more Indian than you think. Recently it has started its Delhi to Frankfurt flight.” I said.
“What is so special about it?” Seema asked.
“It has Airbus A380. It is Lufthansa‘s new flagship. You know when it comes to flying the bigger the better. Lufthansa A380 is the largest and heaviest passenger aircraft in the world. Its length is 73 meters and its height is 24 meters. It has take of weight of up to 560 tons.”
“Sounds like a beast.”
“Yes but a pleasant one. It has 526 passenger seats. Given its size unlike any other airlines you don't have to worry about legs leg space and reclining of your seat. You will have a very comfortable journey.”
“Yes being the largest aircraft in the world I am sure it won't have any space related issues. Please tell me more about it. I am all ears.”
“It has four Rolls-Royce engines. It has three classes first, business and economy. Even if you are travelling by economy I can assure you that you will have a comfortable and peaceful journey”
“You are an environmental activists, aren't you?”
“Yes I am. So there is some good news for you. Lufthansa A380 uses less fuel. Moreover it can even think for itself.”
“What do you mean?” Now it was Seema's turn to get puzzled.
“It can automatically apply the brakes after landing on the runway.”
“You are coming with me to Frankfurt.” Seema said.
“I did not understand what you are saying.”
“I have booked tickets for both of us.” I could sense the excitement of travelling in the largest aircraft in her voice.
“When did you book the tickets?”
“Just now. On my smart-phone.”
“Do I have to tell that?”
“Of course Lufthansa A380”
“You are the one who introduced it to me. You are the most valuable person in my life. I can't enjoy the luxury of flying in the largest aircraft in the world without your company.” Said Seema.
“You have become a big girl now. Nice to see that you have a big heart.”
“Big heart? As big as Lufthansa A380?” Quizzed Seema and both of us drowned into giggles as we indulged into our pillow fight.