Monday, September 05, 2011

Flights of fancy

The noise was deafening and the crowd inside was suffocating. Yet, each one managed to squeeze whatever little space they can to catch a glimpse. The moment they saw "it", the kids who were sitting close by to the window had a happy glow on their face. Some of the elders had a longing look. While some had the look of pride, with recollections of their past experiences on "it" shining on their eyes. Some had a look of irritation wondering what the heck is so special about something so trivial. Either they would have given up all hope of ever coming anymore closer to "it" than they actually can or they must have got fed up that their otherwise peaceful journey being disturbed by the over enthusiastic audience. I witness these scenes almost 5 days a week on the way to office, whenever the bus crosses Meenambakkam airport.

When cellphones first came into our college campus (well..actually it was pager which came in first) looking at the cost of usage, i thought if i earn enough to own a pager life would be settled. So was the case for cell phones till a few years back. Though being latest gadgets to enter the daily life and despite such an unaffordable rate at which they were introduced, industry realised their potential and what has resulted in an never ending price reduction war, which has actually benefited both the buyer and the seller. Same applies for cars too. I would call the automobile industry as racist, elitist and whatever more "tist"s i could think for yet to make a fuel efficient at the same time stylish looking safe car. Different story for different post. Point wanted to convey is, all these things, though considered as luxury once, has now been made available. If not exactly to all the people, atleast to a vast majority. Now, i dont want to get into that muddle of, how useful they are and who benefits from them. So let me skip into the point i wanted to post about, which is air travel.

Of all the basic amenities, i would love to include air travel in that list, flights are still beyond the reach of common men. When Air Deccan was introduced as low cost airline, felt so happy and despite its misgivings as to unhygienic conditions and inconsistent schedules, it was quite a revolution and many benefited because of it. But rather than the revolution spreading, its been nipped very fast in the bud itself and whatever remains, hardly resembles the original idea anymore. I wish to see the day, when i have the options to choose a super fast bullet train or a low cost airline, where in both compete with each other on their pricing, for a trip to any major city in TN or anywhere in India. I want to have options in my travel which are both affordable and enjoyable and dont just remain with in the grasp of a select few. I want air travel to be so common that, next time when the bus crosses Meenambakkam, people should look at flight with the same curiosity as which they see a car or a new model bike and not with yearning. Agreed that, even car and bike are not something affordable by everyone..but..i am sure u get the drift. And yeah..this post is not in response to any cancelled onsite trips of mine or long pending visa interviews :D


Ramesh said...

This is the beauty of economic progress. What is a luxury today becomes a necessity tomorrow. Even today air travel has become ubiquitous. Sure only the well employed can afford it, but a huge number of people can fly which wasn't the case even a decade ago.

Educate people, give economic opportunities and automatically nirvana (at least the economic version) will come. Instead of rationing, licensing, reserving, subsidising, blah blah blah.

lakshmi said...

waiteeeeeeeese sir! Even in my ooru (where only ooru buses i.e mofussil runs with irritating ppl selling injimorappaa n 1 ru samosas.. athuvum kaathu kitayae), I taut AC buses r utter waste, ee otaporaan nu nenaichaen...
But now, jam packed a 14 AC buses from Redhills to Tambaram with the same felos selling butter biscuit n 5 rs samosas...

So kavala padatheenga, flight will be affordable soon n u will find ppl selling inji morapaan there too... konjam time edukum machi!

Ana oru doubt pager vantha kalathula iskool poningala kaalege poningala.. mindla calculate panni partha kareeta varalayae.. :))

Asha said...

Indha posta padichittu, I'm reminded of the Ramakrishna tale which comes with the moral 'less is more'. you know that story where an ascetic gets a cat to contain the rat and then a cow to feed the cat, then land to grow grass which would feed the cow and then a wife to take care of all this, finally the ascetic ends up being a family man.

andha madhiri edhu vandalum... namba contenteda illama.. air travel cheap aanalum aduthudukku we will of fancy

What say?

Venkat.. said...

I noticed a huge set up of land staffs at airports for each airline separately (viz., canteen, laugauge, check-in counter, maintenance, vehicles etc) more then fuel cost these operational overheads are the huge cost for airlines, then UDF and TAX, since airports are developed newly for some years UDF and TAX will be high then slowly it will come down. coming to operational cost airline needs some unity and maintain single agency to operate on behalf of them, then chances are good to bring down cost.

Soon let us expect inji morapaan vikira air hostess & mofussil airlines.