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The most charming travelling companions in town!

 

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The Most Charming Travelling Companions in Town

My better half, Kapil has been asking me to accompany him to the states on one of his trips there so that I too can enjoy seeing a new country. I have not been able to oblige him because , being a rather doting mother, I cannot bring myself to travel without my two little brats . However nor can I bring myself to venture a long flight with them. These flashbacks into the past will help you understand why!

My daughter Tamanna, and I were on a flight to Bangkok and she had mild fever. As I could not hold her and measure out her syrups myself, a kind sardarji neighbour willingly obliged. He expressed friendliness out of compassion for the sick child and tried to engage with her. The child rewarded him by beaming at him and deftly kicking a glass of water onto his lap. The poor gentleman tried to undo the damage with tissues but the seat and his trouser were firmly wet.

   

Later when the food arrived, little bits kept tumbling onto his (wet!) lap thanks to the antics of the little one. I kept trying to field whatever bits I could before they reached his lap much like a desperate goalkeeper in a finals match but my daughter was clearly a champion scorer. I kept murmuring apologies. He heaved a sigh of relief when the food trays were taken away and put on his headphones to enjoy the in-flight movie. It was then that Tamanna decided that she wanted his phones and stood up to pull them off his ears. No amount of reasoning could deter her from her single minded goal. Not even her own set of phones. A protracted game of tugging ensued and the further the sardarji leaned away the more determined became the hurls of her body in that direction. Anyone who has tried to hold down a struggling child knows the superhuman strength they possess.

I strained every conceivable sinew but was unsuccessful in stopping her. Finally the neighbour just surrendered to the focused daughter-distressed mother duo and handed over his earphones!

After some more novel ways of torturing the gentleman further she finally dozed off and a I have not heard a greater sigh of relief than that which emanated from my neighbour! An hour later, as we were landing, she stirred in her slumber and I will never forget the look of pure terror on the gentleman’s face as he turned to his neighbour and remarked-“the devil is waking up!”

 

On another flight to Bangkok where we had wonderful hostesses, my daughter being well this time was full of even greater energy. She decided to expend that by running up and down the aisles with me giving chase. Though tiring, it was not a bad deal. Till she devised a little game. This involved walking up to the airhostess, winning her friendship (which is very easy when one is blessed with an angelic face) and then when the hostess least suspected it, trying to pull off her sarong! No amount of reasoning on the part of the airhostesses or me seemed to make her desist from this game. It turned out to be an extremely tiring flight with one determined girl, one extremely harried and embarrassed mother and a couple of pretty airhostesses clutching their sarongs tightly racing back and forth between the aisles.

Other eventful flights involved stacking butter and jam tubs as a substitute for lego building blocks, running off to return with pieces of food from the plates of unsuspecting passengers in front and many many more…...My son, Aditya a newer entrant to the skies, alternates between wailing loudly with head flung full back for maximum resonance or running between the aisles as fast as his little legs can carry him.

I find myself constantly amazed at human tolerance and kindness and ask for God’s blessings for staff crew and fellow passengers! Meanwhile it will take me a while to recover from this trauma and build up the nerve to fly with my two little friends.

Contributing Author: Dr Anjali Mehta, is an ex-Army eye surgeon with my own practice at Dwarka . She enjoys writing both thought provoking and fun articles now and then. mehtanjali@gmail.com

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