Of Government Undertakings, Missed Flight, and BiryaniPosted: October 5, 2007
A short trip to Hyderabad … If you ask me, any trip to Hyderabad seems short. Hyderabad is not one of my favourite cities for nothing, after all. There is something about the city … The charm, the warmth, the welcome the city extends you the moment you reach her. Much like, Kolkat, if you ask me. Though, different, charming in her own way. Also, a city in transformation … a la flyovers (although some of them fall down under their own weight from time to time). To cut a long story short, we got stuck in a traffic jam for more than an hour, and this meant I missed my flight.
And, that is the point I am writing about. I was told to go and talk with the Station Manager. I had a word with her, and she was more than happy to reschedule the ticket to the next day morning flight. Not batting an eyelid, she solved my problem. And, apologized for the traffic … She didnt have to, after all! A lady as charming as the city?
Compare this incident with another airline … My wife and son were flying from Delhi to Kuala Lumpur via Chennai, both sectors by the same airline. With more than two hours between the two flights, it was supposed to be a comfortable journey. Except that they delayed the Delhi-Chennai flight by more than two hours waiting for soe “VIPs”. These VIPs happened to be firangs who got delayed on another flight of the same airline. The airline crew maintained that they would wait like this for anyone … Even if he or she was an Indian. Interesting … Only thing, they didnt live up to their claim. When my wife figured out that she would definitely miss her Chennai-KL connection, they were very non-chalant, and simply sid we cant do anything about it, we will put you on the same flight tomorrow. It didnt seem to matter to them that the lady was to meet up with her husband in a foreign nation, and she was travelling alone with her 4 year old child. It was not until a gentleman physically prevented them from closing the gates of the aircraft till the lady’s ticket was confirmed for the Chennai-KL sector, did they agree to book her on another airline the same night.
The players … the first example, of the charming Station Manager … Indian Airlines aka Indian aka Air India, and the second example, India’s largest private airline … yes, thats Jet Airways! I just had to write this, because I think Government enterprises get a lot of brickbats, and out current state of thinking that all private enterprise would lead to greater efficiencies and customer-friendliness. Not so! Neither are the former deserved, nor is the latter.
Coming now to the Biryani … Well, thats a non-existent topic … Most of the noteworthy establishments being closed for Lunch, this being the Holy month of Ramazan. So, it was a Hyderabadi Biryani, in a Punjabi Dhaba … Quite good, if you ask me, carrying quite a bit of the signature taste, aroma, and the tender Chicken of the Hyderabadi Biryani, where the flavours of the meat can be throughout the Rice. Something which is left to the imagination when having a Biryani at Kolkata (for all the culinary attractions of the city, something left to be desired from the Kolkata Biryani, though I do like the Boiled Potato they put in!).