Musings for a responsible society

Amidst the dark and grey shades increasingly engulfing, invading and piercing deeper and deeper, let me try to enjoy the little smiles, genuine greens, and the gentle breeze. Oh! Creator! If you don't exist, my vain!
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Inhuman act: But do not write off Air India

I hated Air India earlier. That was when I had the option to travel both by the government carrier as well as by the private airlines. I disliked the way the hospitality crew threw stale sandwiches at me in a fusty demeanour. Instead, I adored the ‘king of good times’ for his much more personable team with stylish red attire and cordiality.  But later, when the organization where I was attached to, put a blanket ban on any travel by the profit making enterprises, I was forced to get back to the Maharaja again.

Air India's new Dreamliner

But it was an amazing experience thereafter on each trip. I found a radical transformation in the attitude of the crew of Air India in the last few years. The personnel started taking very sincere efforts to compete with private operators by enhancing the airline’s overall performance, improving the quality of service, and offering much better hospitality. While the carrier which claims to fly people at a low cost (but the price many times comparable to Air India) would not even give you a glass of water without begging more than once, Air India gives delicious meals on long trips and tasty snacks on short trips. I found the crew of Air India much more natural and genuine in their conduct and response than the artificial grins of the crews of some of private operators.

We found that good times are not permanent if the smiles are not built on strong foundations. Beauty is not skin deep. Colourful empires crumbled and found it difficult to pay for the smiles. One can’t blame these airlines alone. Which airline in the aviation industry has made consistent profits in the world? Not a single one. So the problems are much more deep rooted.

My adoration to Air India suffered a dent a few days back. That was when I saw the news about a few hapless travellers who faced the wrath of certain officials and security men for demonstrating their legitimate protest against the decision of the airline to drop them off at Thiruvananthapuram airport instead of Kochi airport for which they had paid the fare. In fact, about 200 odd passengers spent more than 10 hours in the flight without snacks, drinking water, or air conditioning. It was alleged that one of the police officials told the angry passengers to drink urine, if they were thirsty. And I saw a video footage of some of these passengers manhandled by uniformed men, in one of the television channels. May be, the passengers were wrong if they have prevented the pilot from leaving the aircraft. But Air India should have taken care to prevent such miseries happening to the passengers. In the long run, this would definitely affect the image of the airline which is striving to retain its market share.

Courtsey: Deccan Chronicle

Air India is still the best as compared to many other airlines plying in the domestic sector, though I am not sure of the international sector. I had bitter experiences of getting stranded because of the inefficiency of some private airlines. I have mentioned one such incident in one of my earlier articles ‘Low cost window dressing of life’. I have also experienced how crews of some international airlines discriminate passengers from different countries in their hospitality and approach. Instead of boycotting an Airline for a few unfortunate instances of individual aberrations, there should be systematic demands for effective and long-term solutions for consumer issues. The ball is in the court of the officials. 
(Views are personal)

Sibichen K Mathew

Please click the link below to read other articles on related topic


Built on Trust: The living legend who magnified an event called LIFE

-The inspirational life story of Dr P C Thomas 

Life is given on a platter. It comes in all hues. It is for the individual to sketch it the way he wants. Here is a man who envisioned and redesigned his life amidst adversities and built an empire of trust, love and knowledge. I was one of the lucky ones to secure a copy of the book ‘An event called LIFE: Dr P C Thomas in conversation with Shobhana Kumar’ on the day of its release. And I spent the rest of the day reading the inspirational memoir of this extraordinary individual who created wonders out of the ordinary.

Born of a perfectionist mother from an aristocratic family, Thomas was fortunate to get educated in the best academic institutions. The teachers spotted his academic calibre, leadership skills and creative spirit early in his life. He stood unique among his peers because of his innovative thinking, distinctive styles, drive and determination. Cultural and social upbringing greatly influences in shaping the personality of an individual. This is very evident in the case of Dr P C Thomas. The initial chapters of the book contain interesting anecdotes of his life in the ancestral house, cultural and religious exposures, and interaction with several persons who made lasting impressions on him. One such interaction was with C Rajagopalachari, who was the founder of the SwatantraParty and later became the Governor General of India and the Chief Minister of Madras State. After a short interaction with young Thomas, he remarked ‘I am impressed with your attention to detail’.

He was a passionate teacher all along. Though, as a strict disciplinarian he earned the nickname ‘Pinching Commander’, he was (CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE -->)


Paid news: One more reason to get away from all the NEWS!

I was listening to heated conversations over television news channels the other day. The persons in the studio and away from the studio eloquently shared their agonies about the widespread ‘paid news’ phenomena in the Indian media. Who said this? Not any politician or activist. These are told to the public by representatives from the leading media houses, regulatory bodies related to the media, and associations of media men. All of them agreed that money brings or blocks news. We heard of payment seats in educational institutions. Similarly, we have paid news in the media. All along it was an allegation from outside. Now it is official!

This reminds me of one of my articles written a few years back. Let me reproduce it before you. You can read the full text by clicking 'full article' at the end.

My son! Please don't watch the news
(SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2010)   

Like any other child of his age, my son was addicted to TV since he started going to school. He took the control of the remote and I was at his mercy to keep the remote for at least for some time in my hand. He was keener on watching cartoons aired simultaneously by several competing channels. He learned all the theme songs of various animated shows and thoroughly enjoyed watching all of them whenever he is awake at home. Both my wife and me had to quietly allow this obsession as we were left undisturbed during that period. We could hear protracted loud laugh as he watched those shows from the TV room. As he grew bigger and elevated from primary classes to middle school, he was loaded with enormous homework and assignments. His class notes became shabby and he was hardly keen on correcting the notes written by him. He preferred just to listen to the lectures of the teachers and do nothing. That is what he got habituated through the cartoon programmes. Just watch the show and enjoy. Nothing to think and nothing to do. 

Like most of the young parents who live in nuclear families, we also thought that the art of training the children and upbringing them are ‘trial and error’ as no parent qualified a proficiency test in child rearing. My son’s diminishing interest in academics has worried us. And my wife .....Click here for full article


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