Jottings from Kolkata airport

You lot, yes, you, standing around with your monkey caps and mufflers and sweaters in 25 degree Celsius plus temperatures, can you not see a woman struggling with a trolley bearing two heavy suitcases and two equally heavy bags, trying to get it get up a damn slope which has cracked at the base and therefore getting the wheel stuck. I dont appreciate being the floorshow or were you are taking bets on how long it would take before I could finally unwedge the trolley and get it moving. I wanted to check which size bangles you all were wearing. The almost 50 of you who stood around, looking on and not bothering to offer a hand to help.  Give me my gruff, non intellectual macho North Indian anyday. At least I can be assured that when he is around, no woman will struggle with a stuck trolley or even have to push the damn trolley.

You distinguished silver haired gentleman with the muffler around your neck and the knitted waistcoat, I would expect some restraint from you. That is my foot your loaded trolley is on, and yelling at me to get out of the way is counterproductive since you have literally pinned me to the spot. It takes my friend, who has an infant in a sling to push the trolley off my foot, and give you a talking too before I free myself. And then you bang the trolley into the backs of my knees right again. I think I now need to see an orthopedic surgeon.

And you little miss you, in your short skirt, showing off legs I would have camouflaged for the milkbottle ankles you displayed, grumbling loudly about “These people …” kindly note we were managing two hyperactive brats, tonnes of luggage and a tired infant in a very crowded airport with neverending lines for everything from baggage check through check in through security. I’m hoping karma comes to bite you on your ungainly butt some years down the line when you have your own hyperactive brats to chase down in manicly packed airports.

Sirjee, we are all in queue. We are all waiting in line for check in. Ramming your trolley into the back of my knees or my friends knees, or yelling at our kids to get out the way to give you two inches of space further towards check in will not get you first onto the airplane. You know. I just so tempted to start unravelling your monkeycap and tie you up in it. And I might stuff the baggage tags into your mouth if you dare yell at our kids again for just being, well, kids. Go shout at your own grandkids.

Yes, you have a connecting flight to catch, but pushing us and our children aside will not make you reach there any faster. It just shows us your class and upbringing, never mind the damn suit and fancy tie.

What is this mad scramble for the bus, or is this, er, a local train that is camouflaged as a bus? Do you honestly think you will left standing on the tarmac? Can you not see women managing children, is elbowing women to one side part of the curriculum in your childhood education?

Have travelled a fair bit, I must confess, and me and my friend agreed unanimously that the populace at Kolkata airport were appallingly behaved.  Next time I go there, I will wear knucklebusters and spiked wristbands. I swear.





About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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15 Responses to Jottings from Kolkata airport

  1. Phoenixritu says:

    Oh my God! They’re that rude??


  2. Kiran Manral says:

    Phoenixritu: Dont believe me? Ask Mamasaysso.She was with me.


  3. uncouth
    i so get the muffler and monkey cap een if winter peeks in… so sissy


  4. Kiran Manral says:

    Itchy: I thought I was bad when it came to cold, but this was really funny.


  5. R's Mom says: was that bad! I somehow cant imagine…Kol crowd is usually the ever friendly lot..its so surprising..sorry to hear you had a bad experience! hope the kiddos (all three of them ) and both of you were okie afterwards 🙂


  6. Praveen Dabre says:

    What ees ees this theeng ‘knucklebusters’ yew aare going on about? Punjju version of ‘knuckle dusters’ ke?


  7. dipali says:

    I am most annoyed at such an unkind send off of my friends from my current city:(


  8. Megha says:

    The meanies are not confined in Calcutta. They are all over India! I was there and I was appalled at how mean Indians are. They will shove past you, even when you are in a line, they don’t get that there is a personal space of about a foot that one should not invade. And I had an infant with me in a stroller, I got the mean look from everyone, ‘why I was being a bother to them’.
    I hate to be the NRI with a snooty nose, but it’s true, Americans are so much better behaved and so much more helpful. Much better than Europeans too.


  9. Aathira says:

    Was at Kolkata airport recently… the place is crazy.


  10. Kolkata airport sucks, both domestic as well as international. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs 😦


  11. moi says:

    🙂 people always think that they’re the only one travelling and others are just there for fun!


  12. sukanya says:

    you know this uncouth, rude behavior is not just unique to kolkata. i have encountered it in other metros as well.
    there have been many times when i was quite tempted to shove some of them folks away,particularly the line breakers.


  13. Sue says:

    Yep, people are rude. You just need to give them The Eye to start with. Should have warned you!


  14. Arijit says:

    Dear Kiran, while I agree to most of your musings on the state of the airport and the general behaviour of people, methinks this attitude is not limited to Calcutta alone. I have encountered the same boorish, unthinking behaviour at numerous airports. Domestic or otherwise. Also the pointed comment on East Indians being unchivalrous is inherently untrue. Kiran when you are made to make do with paltry handouts in the name of nation building ever since independence…you develop a certain hysterical approach to life. Till 1975, Calcutta Airport was the biggest and best operation in India. Since then there has been very little done by the Civil Aviation ministry. Even now there is apathy. Just recently the Ministry cancelled the new Airport Tower project for going overbudget by 250 crores…..this will result in CCU using outdated and malfuntioning radars. Now compare this to the 150 Crores paid for a Helium Balloon for CWG in Delhi. Tell me is this kind of attitude desireable? I think not. I live in Delhi and I don’t like Calcutta. I am a Bong. But I think there has been a fair amount of injustice meted out.

    Thanks for writing in Arijit, while I am not qualified to comment on the allocation of funds to Calcutta airport, and its relation to the behavior I encountered there, I must say I wouldnt tar all Bengalis with the same brush. But my personal experience has been this!


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