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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Flying high with our khaslots

Couple of weeks ago I went out of the country. After an agonizing 8-hour delayed flight by GMG, I reached the hotel all exhausted and worn out. Eager to settle down and freshen up, as soon as I reached my room I opened up my luggage and voila! To my shock and irritation, there popped up a deshi-mosha...yes I realized that I have successfully exported inside my luggage a Bangladeshi branded mosquito to a foreign land. Some become very cautious practitioners of health and hygiene when abroad, perhaps due to changed, improved surroundings and I was no exception. I overcame my fatigue instantly and started hankering after the possible dengue-carrier with clapped attempts to eliminate it once and for order to achieve a good night's sleep. However my manual efforts went down the drain which consequently compelled me to ask for professional help which arrived in 5 minutes and sprayed the 'terror threat' to solemn rest...much to my relief.

Very much like the dengue-carrier deshi mosha which was made history on foreign soil by me, I wish I could eliminate some baaje khaslots of our deshi-air carriers when they travel to and from foreign soil. Its a pity that much like the way I was only able to clap or spray the mosquito to death, my efforts to change the khaslots of our airlines are limited to complaining to their staff and ofcourse to writing this post only. On that particular date, the flight was supposed to take off at 0940 hours. I woke up early in the morning to report at ZIA 2 hours before the ETD only to discover that GMG will be flying 4 hours late at 1340! Thanks they atleast stuck some hurriedly prepared printouts at the check-in counters. I started my first ever wait for a flight in a deshi airport. Much like sleeping in a bench in a park, I experienced sleeping in orange-colored seats at ZIA, thanks to GMG and thanks to BanglaLink too, for letting me sleep in ZIA. The security checks were done around 1300 hours when we were informed by a nervous GMG staff that the flight will now be at 1430 hours! Without giving any opportunity for crowd furore, he disappeared in no time. Yet again, I witnessed how patient my countrymates are, they atleast know how to behave in an airport. They held on to their nerves and kept their frustrations within themselves, consoling each other that there is no point in complaining...and above all..who to complain to? Rather just wait and hope for the best......much like we behave regarding our rotten politics too. Finally to put an end to our patience and gentlemen(women)ship, the airship landed, we got on board, got greeted by worn out air hostesses and placed ourselves in the respective seats only to realize that we are now from pan to fire. The interior of the aircraft was boiling hot and the crew informed us that when on ground, it will be hot, when in air, it will be cold....we were amazed with the simple clarification and thought ourselves to be silly to have asked for silly services. I also never got the chance to actually settle when I discovered that my tray was broken and there was a fossil of a cockroach trapped in the window too! Yet another day for a passenger in a Bangladeshi airline huh?

Biman has taken its B(e)imanis to such an extent that its always a good idea to have a Jibon Bima before flying with Biman. So came GMG as a savior of our air travel experience. They too, seem to have adopted the khaslots of Biman very meticulously. After Biman, GMG added its name in the race of flight delays, horrible service and its a dream of every ATC not to see the names of these airlines in their charts. Interestingly, GMG has also started following the mantra of 'ektu to late hobei'...and they have successfully started convincing passengers and counterparts alike that its natural and normal for a Bangladeshi airliner to be late...and its OK if the service is not what they promised....because...who cares...we are used to it anyways! Biman's failure gave a chance to GMG to prove its promises, they could not. Monopoly got into their head and we are held captive now. Voila came United Airways and we all are rushing to it now...only time will tell when United Airways will pick up the khaslots of Biman and GMG and will make our flying experiences forgettable and dangerous and unhygienic too.

The Bangla word for habit is obbhash....but khaslot is such a slang that has a rare synonym in English, if it does please share it here. The point is that, our airliners have sacrificed their good habits (bhalo obbhash) long ago and they have picked up NOT the bad habits exactly but some khaslots which are irritating, troublesome and uncurable in a peculiar manner. They kinda stink, stare and sting you in a way much like the deshi-mosha which was doing the same to me. I achieved to wipe the mosha off, but our airlines keep flying high with their khaslots.....happily intact.

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