Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Travelogue ... or the closest I can come to writing one 

I'm not saying that "YOU ARE" or "YOU HAVE TO BE". All I'm saying is that there is a very (VERY) high chance that you are an Indian traveler flying abroad if you do any of the following things:

1. Carry home cooked food with you on the flight.

2. Wear a suit even if you are not going for any business or business related work.

3. Ask the person sitting next to you in the flight where they are going (pleaseeeeee people, it's a flight and not a bus. The chances are very very very high that you are all going to the same place!!!)

4. Have a hand written gigantic sticker on top of your hand bag and carry on luggage that discloses your name, age, email id, phone number and hobbies.

5. Introduce your better half as your "Vife" and then add that even she is "Wary excited"!

6. Sit next to random foreigners in airports and start telling them why you are going abroad.

7. Ask the air hostess if you can get an extra meal.

8. Spend the time in an airport clicking photographs next to every possible shop and then outdo yourself by posing next to the restroom.

9. Explain everything in great detail to your wife even though it's the first trip abroad for BOTH of you. If the wife actually nodds her head in agreement and awe then you don't even have to think twice before you make the conclusion :)

Feel free to add more to the list or accept the ones that you have done yourself. I have been guilty of 1 but I had a very good reason behind it :D

About your point no:3, haven't you heard about connecting flights?
The one you've done yourself - #6? I'd guess the foreigner in question was a hottie.
I have known people who talk about their whole family(the members, their jobs etc. etc.) to strangers. Strike conversations which get them no where!Irritating!!
But this list was hilarious!!:))))
@anonymous - first of all - why do people who dont agree with me or decide to snide me also decide to remain nameless - agreed that you have a point but how many non-desis have you seen who asked this??

@arthur - ahaa! was hottie impressed?

@loonie - thank you :)
Oy! so that woman nodding vigorously (while you were explaining the symbols over the restrooms) was your Vife? And all this time you have been telling us that you were single...hmm...
chanting "bharaat maata ki jaay ho" at the top of ur voice with a bunch 20 like minded people as the flight takes off or lands.. if you think im joking next time whn u fly to india please take the calcutta-bangkok flight as one of ur connections
I am guilty of listening to these loud conversations ;)
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Asking for coke or pepsi, and when the air- hostess fills you a plastic cup, requesting if you can have the entire can please, and then asking for a cup filled with "just ice" !

Trying to pretend busy or unattentive when air-hostess is approaching with food tray, while your mind calculates exact words you'll say to the air-hostess.
my god! are indian travellers so like how it is told here by u? i dont think so! well...some mite hv...hey come on ya! after all if its their first time in a flight then ppl do tend to get a little over xcited...so i guess all these things mentioned here are just byproducts of their xcitement...so i guess these stuff are kinda acceptable!:):)...wat say?:) n the one thing i hv seen apart 4m wat u hv mentioned is tat some ppl say they want the 'window' seat n after they sit there they get hyper xcited once they r up discussiong abt how lovely the clouds look n stuff like tat n hence smile to glory!:):)
c'mon tis not that bad....these are too cliched!
What about trying to strike a conversation with every other indian couple/family on the flight?Like they do in the 2nd class compartment of indian trains?
lol...the suit one was most typical I'd say. :)
Guilty of one - No, not Number 8. Its Number 3 - Its the easiest way to start a conversation - And I have a feeling its not just an Indian thing. Its like asking someone you meet in daily life "How do you do" ? Of couse , hes going to say "Good" or "not too bad" or something very ordinary - so shud we stop asking ? No , its just a good conversation started. Maybe u shud stick it off your list.Hmm?
Forgot to add - Nice Blog !!!
u are the one who brought home cooked meals... =P

but seriously sagnik, even (some)singaporeans do the things u said too. heehee....
check out the 'phoren babes'
Nice one.. :-) ... I've been travelling on flights since I was 5 and have seen most of these..

I'll add that the ones with the biggest handbags (defintely exceed cabin luggage in both size and weight) will defintely be desis.

Nice blog .. :)
@Ratna and Anshul
I am guilty of both these..
I also have an irrepressible urge to peek at the laptop/book my co-passengers are engrossed in
for the record, I do all this in domestic flights !
First of all, let me apologize for the acerbic comments that follow. But I really really couldnt help it. I dont usually do this but I really feel you need to go buy some perspective...

***acerbicity follows :-)***
Insufferable Jerk!!
This is called confirmation bias.
You have an opinion and you look for evidence. What about goras who wear suits? You will assume that they are going on business ..wont you?
If a foreigner asks you ..where you are headed off to you will say oh they are so freindly.(and have you really heard of connecting flights ?? or are you traveling for the first time you ignorant nincompoop and are you really ignorant? Did you think people dont change flights and head off elsehwere?)if a gora asks for more drinks he is just thirsty.
If a gora is excited on his first flight to India he just respects and admires other cultures

Do you realise that all the time even people of other nationalities are talking to their wives explaning things etc.. but you happened to notice only the Indians?
You pathetic snobby wuss..

You know what is the one thing that marks you as a desi - your unadulterated snobbish contempt for other desis...if there is one thing that marks you, it is this - "Let me step on you mentally , let me get one up on you mentally..I am superior because I am wearing such and such... I am superior because I dont ask for an extra drink,...I am superior because I contain my excitement..I am superior because I listen to such and such music...I am superior because..."
where will you stop?

****acerbicity ends*****

Ha !! Bumli breathes a sigh of relief and grips her hair and shakes her head as if she has just had a liril bath
frankly, bumli's comments were funnier (and hit the chord) than the post itself. good one bumli.. (you happen to have a link or blog?)

Hi Sagnik,
Great post. Agree 100% (as an indian in uk, am prob. more "experienced" than most others in these matters :-)))
Have linked to your post as well.
Hahaha - this was a great list, and very similar observations do I make when I travel.

Some more:
- People carrying 2 handbags, 1 overstuffed purse and 1 plastic, when it clearly says only 1 carry on baggage... are always desis.

- People who immediately get up and remove their luggage from overhead bin as soon as plane slows down on runway; they usually want to beat others to customs - very desi behavior.

i guess this is how *YOU* travel you bitch. i haven't heard anybody else travel like this
@aparna - i told you i am a liar but you thought i was lying :)

@me-jhantu - oh i have had some crazy experiences with the mentioned passengers including a gentleman asking for the drink that i refused to have :O

@ratna - oh they are so loud at times that you have to be deaf to not hear them

@anshul - :))

@xyz - obviously i have spiced up the post. obviously there is some fiction. obviously there is a lot of facts :)

@arijit - tis that bad and maybe worse sir at times!

@jalena - and not to forget speaking to them in English too and then mentioning what your son does and how he is reallllllly BIG in whatever he does.

@archster - suits them right :)

@the-guy - if it is a sweet lady in question then you are completely forgiven!

@lynniebaby - i was suffering from serious stomach problems and hence the act madam :)

@lalit - and even the desi ones :)

@ravi - that i would say is a universal desire even when you are not flying :D

@bumli - loved your comment. sadly you too, like most people who dont agree, decided to go anonymous. Nevertheless, a lovely comment. Sadly, I don't agree to it. I choose the make fun of Indians is because I am Indian and no one can raise a finger at me coz I am doing it already myself. Most famous comedians (and I am not saying I am one) choose to poke fun at their own groups - for this very simple reason. Also, the first line of th blog clearly states ... you know what? Why care? This is my blog and I am gonna write what I feel like - after all I am a snobby wuss :))

@pavan - i agree. but you have to give my post the credit for bringing out the comment :)

@just-mohit - thanks fo the link and people reading this comment puhleeze read mohit's extended list. It is bang on target :)

@Supremus - how did i even forget the two bag thing!!!!! amazing observation - that too a plastic bag! brilliant!

@lalu - for starters i am a guy and hence you addressing me as a female dog is wrong and since the comment is not targeted at me, i shall not reply to it.
Oh god! this post caused quite the commotion huh? the comments just made it all the more amusing! Good one!

How about the big Indian tour groups where ppl walk around in the flight as if it was a train! N talk to their friends in extra loud voices while their headphones are still on.
Also to be included .
The earphoner that they take with them when getting down
I once read a book on how Indian travellers carry their home with them.
I have seen few examples on the airport. A "hEp PhAmIlY" was going somewhere outside india, they had luggage thrice their count.
They also carried new LaOpala set, a carton of steel utensils, etc.

Did you, did you do the same ?
There is one thing I totally agree with you on - This is your blog and nobody elses and you can write whatever you want to..

Sadly I dont have a blog my dear "comment admirers"
Maybe I should get one...but it is always easier to comment than to blog..so all praise to Sagnik..

Anyways, sagnik you have every right to criticize other indians..but your statement "nobody can raise a finger at me since I am already Indian" is invalid.
Because when you make such comments you are trying to remove yourself from the group and seeing the group from outside and you are not applying whatever behavior template with context to other groups of people (non-indians) who maybe doing the same thing...
Agreed that comedians say it and poke fun at their own groups but your post did not come across as comic (I speak only for myself and I am totally prejudiced but that is why expressing humor is an artform..)
But the point is that it is a very deceptive shield. You use that shield to express contempt for the group that you claim you belong to but with prejudice..
Of course the point here is not to say you cant criticize or not even to say you cannot make fun but just to say "think deeper"...it is finally up to you..
Finally, the whole differnce may only be that for some of us it did not come across as comical but for others it did and that is the only difference..so sorry if I offended your sensibilities.
Tag Tag. You have been tagged "10 or more reasons why mithunda is being nominated for 2007's "Lifetime Achievement Oscar". Please refer to http://me-jhantu-nahi-hoo.blogspot.com/2006/03/mithunda-commands-and-tags-me.html
for pt no 5 - now are we going to make fun of people's english??

feeling very proud of being able to speak a borrowed language?

guess what that was for.
first time here... I can't resist adding a few -

1. Drinking too much alcohol because it's free. And for some reason, all these men prone to making the most of airline rum and coke always sit next to me.

2. Loud families consisting of mummy, daddy, rahul and pinky who make it a point to get four cans of coke from the stewardess and then hide three and share one. I've seen this happening thrice.
I had a gigantic sticker up too....But I did not find a pen to write my name and address, in the last minute. Come on...i would not write my hobbies there !!!!
There are similar lists i get to see in the UK marked "You are a (Brit/woman/man/white/black/software programmer/accountant, etc etc) if you..."
The point is, every such group exhibits some fairly typical character traits (or at least a big section of the said group does...). Whether another group does it or not does not really matter to writers & stand-up comics who typically exaggerate these traits because that is more funny! Granted these might come across at times as over the top! And so, one needs to have a particular sense of humor to appreciate these. But being touchy about these does not help!
(Big example: the best sardar jokes I have heard were usually in articles/books by Khushwant Singh)
Sagnik has written quite a few "deep thought" posts over the last 2 years. I think he's entitled to use HIS page to think shallow once in a while! ;-)
BTW, your comment was hilarious too :))
ask for a ride once flight arrives at "whatever" air-port
chatting loudly in indian langs especially when all around are alseep
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