Ruskin Bond's childhood memoir is filled with nostalgia, imagination and curiosity
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Today, when you take a long international flight, the range of entertainment options onboard is truly dazzling. From Hollywood movies and TV series to documentaries and music from all over the world, the content available literally at your fingertips makes an 11-hour flight an extended cinematic experience. Dial back to the mid-1900s and the choices were very limited. Back then, Air India published quirky reading material that provided some much-needed humour to the in-flight experience.
One of the most popular of these booklets was Foolishly Yours, which indulged in self-deprecating humour. The image here depicts the second design of the 36-page booklet that appeared in flights during the 1960s. The humorous content was written by S.K. Kooka, former Chairman of Air India Charters, and illustrated by J. Walter Thompson Company, Bombay. Kooka is also credited with creating the iconic Air India Maharajah along with artist Umesh Rao in 1946.
The booklet makes for satirical reading. For instance, the edition featured here warns tourists landing at Santa Cruz, Bombay, “Your hostess will give you a form that wants to know where you spent the last nine nights. It’s a sin to lie, but only the name of the town is required... not the address.”
Quickly, the booklet and other material provided on these flights became souvenirs for tourists to carry back home. Today, they are vintage travel memorabilia collected by those with an affinity for nostalgia.
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