“Bhagawane! Endu cheyyaana” (O God, what can I do!) From childhood, I was soft-hearted, always moved to tears by tragic stories. I did study journalism but found it was not for me, for it did not offer a ‘Tearjerker Diploma Course’. I learnt a bit of cinematography and then, persuaded by my friend Nandini Reddy, strayed into acting. It was easy becoming a heroine in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam movies, around 35 so far, winning awards and what not. I love emotional roles, always helping the underdogs.
Who would have thought this attitude would lead me into trouble and embarrassment? During a recent Bangalore-Hyderabad flight, I found the two pilots with woebegone expressions, sighing, wiping their tears and so on. Naturally, my sympathies wee aroused, I wanted to help them because they were piloting our aircraft. The pilots recognised me and, while getting my autograph, asked if I could come into the cockpit.
Honest, in all my innocence, I did not know it was forbidden territory. Well, once I was in the cockpit, the pilots began to narrate their tales of woe. You know it was shocking, the ‘Maharaja’ pilots had not been paid for the last six months, their allowances had been slashed and they owed money everywhere. It seems this was AI’s new strategy to save money. I was shocked to learn that hundreds of AI pilots had resigned and opened vegetable shops, shoe-shine stalls and paper delivery outlets to make a living. These people were sad, tears flowed from their eyes and I could not stop my own. The pilots could not even offer me a glass of water because of AI’s economy drive.
You know, they said Air India is now a horror story, and should be named ‘Apakadam’ (hazardous) Airlines. Things were much better on the sets of my first film, The Monkey Who Knew Too Much, made many years back. Want to know more horrors? Almost all profitable routes sold to Jet Airways. A huge number of seats (in thousands) are sold to other foreign airlines every week despite our pending orders for dozens of new aircraft worth billions of dollars. The staff is going to seed too. It’s true that we South Indian female stars are bulky...but you should see the female cabin crew of Air India.
Listening to their talk, time passed quickly. The pilot boys gave me the ‘observer’ seat so that I could observe everything that was going on. Now I hear the two boys have been derostered pending an inquiry for allowing me into the cockpit. But they were not upset. In many earlier cases, pilots had flown with airhostesses seated on their laps. But then with no salaries, no allowances, no food and water, there should be some perks for our maharajas. With so much masala, I think I will talk to our ageing superhero Mohanlal to make a film on ‘Apakadam Airlines’.
The Mumbai-based satirist is the creator of ‘Trishanku’; E-mail your secret diarist: vgangadhar70 AT gmail.com
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
I think Mohanlal is a very considerable actor. I saw him in the movie 'Company', the Ajay Devgan, and Vivek Oberoi starrer, as the reel life South India born professor, who passes the U. P. S. C. exam, because he sees becoming a police officer more relevant to being a professor in college. He becomes the Mumbai Police Commissioner. Apparently, he shows the same kindness and consideration to Vivek Oberoi, and Ajay Devgan, being the Police Commissioner, they being 'gangsters', as he would his students, when and if he was teaching in college.
More anti-pilot ( male ) jokes
A woman calls the police and says: "I was just raped by a pilot". "And How do you know it was a pilot?", asks the police....."Because he was wearing a big watch, cowboy boots and after eating my pussy he cover it with a napkin."
Words From A Dirty Pilot ( Anti-male jokes )
During a commercial airline flight an experienced Air Force Pilot was seated next to a young mother with a babe in arms. When the baby began crying during the descent for landing, the mother began nursing the infant as discreetly as possible.
The pilot pretended not to notice, and, upon disembarking, he gallantly offered his assistance to help with the various baby-related items.
When the young mother expressed her gratitude, the pilot responded, "that's a good looking baby, and he sure was hungry!"
Somewhat embarrassed, the mother explained that her pediatrician said that the time spent on the breast would help alleviate the pressure in the baby's ears.
The Air Force Pilot sadly shook his head, and in true pilot fashion exclaimed, "And all these years, I've been chewing gum."
What's the last thing a pilot's wife does before having sex?.....Drop her husband at the airport.
There is still no sign of a reaction from the pilots to the slander by Gangadhar, to their profession.
Is it true then, that these cowardly souls walk with their tails strictly between their legs, for fear of the anti-male media?
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