India Travelogue

India Travelogue: The Seventeen Hour Plane Drain

We woke up at three a.m. and were out of the house by four, stuffing samosas and sipping cha as we headed to the airport. By seven a.m., seated in the back near the toilets, we were both revved up for our trip, watching intently as the plane took to the skies. By 7:30, we were both fast asleep. Navdeep doesn’t even remember waking up to consume half of his scrambled egg pita pocket thingie.

We woke up five hours later to catch the landing at Newark, where we were greeted by my parents for four hours of family, fun, food, and tips galore (check out Navdeep’s post, “the Four Hour Layover Fiesta”). By 8:30 p.m. EST, we were once again safely ensconced in our seats, this time for the long haul, almost 13 hours from Newark, New Jersey to New Delhi, India. I anxiously watched as the plane boarded, hoping beyond hope that the seat on the other side of Navdeep would remain empty, though it wasn’t supposed to be (I checked on a few hours before we took off). And then, magically, it did. So we stretched out as comfy as we could in the about six cubic feet of space alloted to us, and eagerly awaited dinner. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the rep plane food has. Still, we were expecting some rendition of Indian food. But the non-veg entree turned out to be chicken cacciotore (or however you spell it), that Italian-esque amalgumut of chicken, tomatoes and peppers, in this case doused heavily with cheese. Still, it was accompanied by dahi (desi yogurt) and achar. Chicken cacciatore is apparently known dramatically as Shikari Murg in Hindi.

After dinner, Navdeep and I each squished into one-and-a-half seats to catch some zzzzs. It was painful at best, an arm-rest in the neck, Navdeep’s foot in my stomach. After a four-hour nap, we awoke to see what was playing on our individualized six-inch TV screens. Navdeep watched the taut crime thriller Shootout at Lokhandwala, while I watched some inane Akshay Kumar romantic comedy I still don’t know the name of.

Another few more four-hour naps and we were landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. And after sitting on our asses for 17 hours, boy were we exhausted.

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