India’s Emergent Lowbrow Culture
After a cool and relaxing week in Goa, I flew back to Delhi on a Spicejet flight.
I realized that, just in case there is heaven and hell, I certainly don’t want to go to Satan’s estate in the event I find all the crude people there that were on the flight. To that end, I have sworn to exercise more and do good turns, even if I have to drag old ladies across the street; or eat sickly sweet offerings from temples or face
Coming back to the flight, I was granted my request for an aisle seat by a pleasant staffer at the check-in counter. Not just that, I was pleased as punch to note that the middle and window seats remained empty as the doors closed. This was truly fortuitous because these low-cost airlines pack people in like sardines. I thought I would have a pleasant, undisturbed flight. I pulled up the hand rests and prepared to stretch my legs across the two empty seats once the seat belt sign was switched off.
No sooner than the doors closed, the guy in the row behind me loomed over me, gesturing at the window seat in my row. Politely, I got up to let him through, figuring I would still have an empty seat in between. He had four seats…three where his wife and two sons sat and him across the aisle. When I got up, he hurriedly blocked me and got his two sons to move into the two seats next to me while he moved across the aisle to sit with his wife.
Stunned by this display of uncouth behavior, I told him what he did was unfair. He was not conversant with English and his breath was foul so I let it go and buried myself in my book. As the plane took off and when the seat belt sign was switched off, an obese guy in the seat in front of me pushed his seat back as far as it would go, leaving no room for my legs and my book. I asked him to straighten his seat and he launched into the air equivalent of road rage. “You don’t own the airline,” he told me in his “convent” English. “If you have a problem, move to another seat. Or fly another airline.”
Taken aback by the man’s rude outburst, I kept silent and wondered at the hectoring culture of this new and crude
The privilegentsia proved a thorn in the side of the international community; their pretentious outlook proved offensive to many in the West and left
Talk about the devil and the deep blue sea!copyright rajiv desai 2008