Jun 29, 2015

Waiting For An Indefinite Amount Of Time

“He’s just barging into me!” she complained to the man with her as they made their way to their seat in the aircraft.

As they sat in the emergency exit seat listening to the customary instructions by the air hostess, the person at the window started laughing and soon she and her partner joined as well. The laughter, much to the amusement of the people in the adjacent rows, lasted well after the hostess finished her discourse.

Weird things were happening around her this evening and she had started to believe that she attracts weird events and actions from people. The recent one was a few minutes ago on her way to the airport, the instance where what she thought was a truck coming towards her was actually two motorcycles and hence passed right through her. Thinking that nobody had laughed at the air hostess when she says the windows need to be open at the time of take-off and landing, she concluded this could be the last for the evening, a few minutes later she would dismiss the thought.

The baggage never seem to arrive and she was with only a couple of people who were waiting for the baggage near the empty belt.

When she went to the baggage services, she was told that she had to now wait for an indefinite amount of time as she was in a dream and the person in whose dream she was in, had woken up for the day and there was no certainty if he'll see the same dream again.

Jun 20, 2015

Are you feeling too Cold?

The cabin lights were dimmed in the aircraft and suddenly it became too cold. I reached out to close the duct on top and caught the eye of the air hostess in the aircraft. I was at least four rows away from where she was and yet she asked me if it were too cold. I nodded in affirmation. She immediately changed the settings and asked me if it were okay now. What was amazing was that all this happened through reading the lips and about 20 people around me.

I am served the cold coffee that I ordered in a coffee shop and the take-away cup is too cold. I reach out for the napkin to wrap the cup. The Barista on instinct, offers a cup holder which also acts as an insulator to make my life a little easier.

Neither the air hostess nor the barista need to have done what they did. They could have completely ignored how I felt and there was nothing that I could've done about it. This is the subjective part of their role that no job description can write. Yet when both of them asked if I felt too cold, I actually felt quite warm.

Jun 5, 2015


In Mumbai for a couple of days. Can't seem to get enough of this city. As I travel in this Uber the Bollywood songs he is playing has completed the image of Mumbai. It's not about the song. It can be any song as long as it is in Hindi. 

I remember I used to travel here from Pune in a shared cab with eyes full of wonder and energy peaking. After all this was the city full of possibilities. A place on the world map and for a 26 year old, it was exciting. In addition to traveling dangerously fast, the shared cab drivers played all the new Bollywood numbers. It captured my imagination about Mumbai. The songs used to come to life.

Hindsight tells me that this is not a surprise as this city is often referred to as the city of dreams. A lot of Indians are known to come to Mumbai to 'make a life' ( that is a phrase that stands for earning money and improving one's lifestyle ). The city itself welcomes all kinds of people offering tons of opportunity. 

"A young man once bought a one way ticket to Mumbai from his hometown and reached in one of the stations. After doing menial jobs in the initial days, he now is a "big man" (Indian slang for someone important) in the city / country. This can be anybody's story. In Mumbai The template is the same. You'll find film stars, businessmen, entrepreneurs, artists, etc., who shares this template of a story.

The city welcomes and treats everyone equally. I did not feel judged here when I stayed for the two years. It runs in its own and doesn't stop for anything. I felt more judged when I participate in an online discussion.

Having moved out of Mumbai, I cherish my travel to this city. If you haven't been here, you should. 

Why Airlines Need to Think For a the Customer

Every visit to the airport has my body parts twist in frustration. I may have unconsciously chosen to vent using this medium giving the blog much needed attention as well.

I have my own workarounds and hacks for each airport - which line would move faster, security frisking station offers the most flexibility to minimise time taken. This coupled with my own preparation that would enable me to save time tremendously from the way I pack, why I always wear a jacket if I'm traveling, the size of the bag I carry, leveraging one of the biggest lines that eats up all the time.i never check any of my bags in. Which would mean, I don't carry much and also I don't carry the hazardous items. This has impacted my choice of dressing and eventually - hold your breath - my first choice of colour for my clothing, my already abysmal fashion sense, etc.,

So, what's the point I'm trying to make? The reason one needs a hack is that the current process causes discomfort to the user. It is the responsibility of the airlines to make it easy for the users of the service it offers. Innovating to solve customer problems can go a long way in addressing these issues. A process to identify the problems could be a useful first step.