This huge stretch of time evokes groans from people. "There is so little to do!" they'll exclaim. Nonsense! Flights are full of entertainment if you look in the right places. All you need is a somewhat bitchy spirit and you can have minutes, even hours of fun.
Take for example this man who walked around our flight from Delhi dressed in khakis, a blazer and a baseball cap. He was one of 35 coming home from a tour of India. He was constantly walking up and down the airplane, trying to talk to anyone who as much as made eye contact with him. This person I decided to call Vela for obvious reasons.
Well, Vela was inseparable from his large, red, rather stuffed backpack. Perchance the backpack contained a substantial amount of money and Vela had experienced a haath-ki-safai or two during his trip. Whatever the reason (like ferrying drinks for his fellow travellers or hunting for things to read), wherever Vela went, the backpack followed dutifully. This resulted in a private game for me called "What will Vela do next".
On one occasion, Vela tried to get cute with our rather lovely African American flight attendant who was busy working on a knit cap with a pile of blue wool on her lap. In trying to penetrate her demeanor, Vela absent-mindedly laid his backpack on the floor. After the umpteenth stonewalling answer from the attendant, Vela gave up and decided to use the nearby bathroom. A full ten minutes went by after which the door opened and Vela frantically stuck his neck out looking for his backpack. He grabbed it from the floor, glared at me (probably to dismiss any designs I might have had on the contents of the bag) and announced: "I need more time!". He disappeared back into the can and another 10 minutes later emerged for good, happily reunited with his backpack.
Ok, granted it wasn't Om Shanti Om, but on a long flight you take what you can get.
There are stock ways to entertain yourself as well. One such way is to stay awake during the period everyone nods off. And then observe their sleeping posture. Untold permutations of funnies will magically emerge.
There is one posture I'm particularly fond of. This happens when the person falls asleep, head tilted upwards with their mouth open. I call this the Tansen Posture. Its even funnier if one or two people around them are doing the same thing - then it looks like they are all engaged in some ghostly chorus. I'm pretty sure I sleep like this - thus contributing my bit of entertainment for anyone with a sense of low-brow humor like mine.
Yet another I call the Fright Night Posture. This happens to people who have longish, thick hair which after a good hour or so of restless tossing around tends to resemble some odd shape. This looks funny and further entertainment can be squeezed out from trying to guess what shape the hair resembles. The most common shape I've seen is that of a goose or duck. But I've also seen other animals and even firecrackers like a phuljhadi or jwalamukhi.
Often people will create the Pillow Fan Posture - which involves couching your head in all kinds of pillows or soft objects. This posture must be watched closely because it has a strong potential for developing into the Fright Night Posture.
And finally, the one that always makes me chuckle is what I call the Police Escort Posture. This is when some traveler will take their blanket and instead of using it to cover their body will use it to cover their head and face - looking like a potential criminal with a police escort, the kind which you see all the time on NDTV.
Who says long flights are no fun?
- anu g talks about the goldfish maneuver in the Tansen Posture
- Joules has a 14 hour test bed coming up soon and links to the latest bakra on Himesh's new project
- girlie girl observes how Tansens try to play down a snore as a cough
- Priti wonders what she looks like when she sleeps
- Beth is a proud member of the Police Escort Posture