Have you ever been overbooked on a flight and had to arrive hours before your scheduled departure? This story is just that and what followed was a series of unexpected events, disappointing meals, and a fair share of laughter. Join Somashis as he recounts his journey from Calcutta to Bangalore.
Bong in Bang – Part 1
My flight was scheduled at 2 in the afternoon, but when I reached the Calcutta airport it was just 10 in the morning. My early arrival was not an outcome of the prevailing boisterous winter wind, but a phone call which I received the previous day. The nature of the call was something like this:
“Mr. Gupta, good evening this is Paritosh calling” I heard an unknown voice as I picked up my phone.
“Yes, good evening Poritosh, where are you calling from” I asked.
“Sir I am calling from ****Airlines” I do not intend to malign the reputation of the airline, hence not sharing the name, my intention is just to share the circumstances which led to my early arrival.
“Oh! Okay tell me” I replied with a hope of a probable upgradation of my ticket.
“Sir, we have unfortunately overbooked the flight you are travelling in, so may I request you to reach the airport at least 4 hours prior to departure instead of the usual 3 hours?” came the reply crushing my elevated hopes.
I eventually accepted the exception of my expectations, but such an act by the airlines was rather unacceptable. Almost immediately I raised a question to the agent with some annoyance in my mind and lots of laughter in my soul, I asked “What will you all do if all the passengers reach early?” with an imagination of the passengers standing in the aisle of the plane as none agreed to take the next flight.
So that was more or less an account of the incident which led to my early arrival. I reached the airport and found myself an isolated corner at the Irish Pub located at the first floor of the departure lounge. Perhaps the fact that I will be out of Calcutta for about 2 months, and my palate and taste buds would be fish deprived may have been a possible reason that I ordered for a fish and chips. After all mache bhate Bangalai, though the Bhat (Rice) is missing in British version of mach bhaja (Fried fish).
Later, I boarded the flight and waited eagerly for another dish that I was sure I would miss in Bangalore: the Biryani. I ordered for an Awadhi Murg Tikka Biryani with great expectations. Soon it was the moment of truth, the end of the wait and a time for delight as the food arrived. I opened the lid, the smell was familiar, as if I have had this somewhere.
I took my first bite and realized the Airlines is serving the same Biryani which Ratan da serves at his shop. Ratan da for your information is the chef, the waiter, the cashier as well as the owner of the “A1 Biryani” outlet in Motilal Gupta Road of Sakherbazar and serves the worst possible Biryani one can ever make. The only difference between the two is Ratanda charges seventy rupees and the Airline charged me a sum of five hundred rupees which made the elevated alleviation even more painful.
Recovering from the shock I reached Bangalore around 4:30 where more surprises awaited me. This time it was pleasant though, but let that be a story for another day.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.