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Jabalpur Jives, Vibrant Vibes. Jun'14

 
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4380
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:48 pm    Post subject: Jabalpur Jives, Vibrant Vibes. Jun'14 Reply with quote

Jabalpur Jives, Vibrant Vibes. Jun'14


94.1 Introduction

http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14724.html

Jabalpur! The city famous for its marble rocks has been a common
destination for me, since the year 2011. It is a small city with
medium yield, and demand, for air travel. I have written about my
visits to the city in various trip reports, over the years,

92. Jabalpur, if I May, in May'14
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14641.html
85. March to Jabalpur. Mar'14.
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14407.html
69. At 6s & 7s? No. On all 4s? No. Jabalpur, Oct'13
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14124.html
68. Jab We Met: JAB-alpur WE-e hours, nice METar. Sep'13
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14082.html
63. July Jabalpur Jet Jaunt, Jul'13
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13943.html
38. 2012: Jabalpur in July
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13001.html
15. Marble Rocks, Marbles Rock; Jul 2011
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12157.html

This visit, like all the trips before, was on official business.
Let me describe the build-up to the trip, first.

94.2 Are you game for A Tale of Three Generations

This section describes people and events around me, in the line-up
to this official trip to Jabalpur.
Let me start with one generation above. Mummy.
Mummy is a big fan of health-related articles in newspapers and
magazines, and also subscribes to a popular one, `Prevention'.
I just happened to mention this to The Wife,
``Mummy earlier used to subscribe to another magazine, `Cure'.
Now, she has fond something better.''
The Wife got the point, and smiled,
``yes, `Prevention' is better than `Cure'!''

Now, let me get to one generation below. Junior.
Or rather, Feeding Junior. This is an encumbrance, for both parties.
The reader may note the lame pun on the term `party', since it is
no cake-walk for either. It is my duty to ensure that
Junior gets some nourishment in the morning, just before going to school.
Now, this is a simple breakfast of a cereal and milk, with some
fruit, usually a banana. Usually, there is no other way to feed
him but to power the tab up, and fixate his senses on his obsession.
No, not the food, obviously, but...`Angry Birds'.

I thought of a way to get him interested in the breakfast, as well.
We call the breakfast cereal ordeal, as `Hungry Birds'.
If he does well at finishing a mouthful in good time,
I get elated, and the game we refer to, is `Hungry Birds Go!'.
``You win gold coins!'' says Yours Truly with some excitement.
Gold coins are the banana slices in the morning cereal (`see-real')
serial happening. Earlier, he used to be a cereal killer:
he hated cereals, but now, things are better.
If he has enough mouthfuls in good time, I scream out,
``Level cleared!''
If things go well, it goes towards, ``Event cleared!''
A good and filling meal often results in some activity.
``Vent cleared!'' is my shout, since poo-poo often happens after some
hydraulic pressure, from the water (which he is unwilling to drink much of),
as well as something a bit more solid.

I tried to give him some math exposure in the mornings.
Indeed, it was mental math: try math with him, and one goes mental.
Ele-mental and Alimentary, my dear Watson.
So it came back to `Hungry Birds', once again.
The `Mighty Eagle' character metamorphoses into `Bite-y Eagle',
when he takes a bit bite of the food, off the spoon.
Finishing the breakfast gives him a `power up'.
I usually take care of the breakfast alone.
The other `Hungry Birds' games are `Dads Free',
a pun to go with the `Ads Free' versions of the game.
If the player eats/drinks the magic potion, this is a `power app'.
The power app helps Dad get Junior's breakfast done,
while The Wife takes a `power nap'.

In `Hungry Birds Star Wars', especially when played in winters,
Junior sits with his blanket wrapped all around him.
His character is Obie Wan Kenobi bird.
He has to chew his food, so he becomes Chewbacca.
He has to swallow it as well, so that Papa will not complain
(`gilA', in Urdu/Hindi).
Hence, his spaceship is the `gilA-nIlAm' Falcon.

In `Angry Birds Transformers', the characters jive about.
In the `Hungry Birds' version, Junior's parents become
`Dance-formers', on seeing him finish his food.
In `Hungry Birds Transformers', it is Junior as `Eatwave'
(his parents hope so, at least), where he transforms into a grinder,
grinding food in his mouth well.
After he has had his food, his character changes to `Energon Eatwave'.
After all this word-play with Angry Birds, let me come to the metal birds,
which is the basic raison d'etre of posting on this forum.

94.3 A day prior to the trip, Mr. Edsel Murphy announces his presence

The regular reader knows how much I like some rare and exotic
types in the Indian skies, and otherwise, as well. Jabalpur
offers a combination of two, the CRJ-700 `masked bandit', and the Q-400.
The itinerary for my onward journey was as follows:

Set out 23 Jun (Mon) for Jabalpur from New Delhi
AI 9617: Air India Regional (CRJ-700) [Seat: 03A; PNR: YJDX1]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - Doomna Airport, Jabalpur
New Delhi (DEL) - Jabalpur (JLR)
[07:35 am - 08:55 am]

Mr. Edsel Murphy, after whom the famous universal law is named,
often takes a deep interest in the goings-on at my end.
If things can go wrong, they will.
Indeed, I remembered him briefly paying attention to me on my last
trip to Jabalpur, in May 2014.
90. Jabalpur, if I May, in May'14
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14641.html

I had to be back in Delhi that evening, and the SpiceJet flight
had got delayed. I was not even sure if I would make it back in
time, since I had to set out for Indore, the next day.
91. Hot Hotspot, In Indore. May'14
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14677.html

It was a SpiceJet flight, and SpiceJet being an LCC, would not
offer too much in case the scheduled aircraft went tech.
In the end, all turned out well, since the plane reached
Jabalpur after quite a bit of delay, and I made it to Delhi,
and Indore, the next day.

This time, Mr. Murphy's attention went to my itinerary, to start with.
A day before the trip (22 June 2014, Sunday), Air India sent
an SMS to the effect that the time of my flight had been advanced by 15 minutes.
From [07:35 am - 08:55 am], it changed to [07:15 am - 08:35 am].
That meant I had to inform a few people.
First, the friendly neighbourhood cab operator.
Fine, he would have his sleep cut by fifteen minutes,
and he would come in at 05:15 am, instead of the earlier scheduled 05:30 am.
This was not a big deal.
The bigger issue was my pick-up at Jabalpur's Doomna airport.
I quickly figured out that I did not have my host's phone numbers.
I tried to search for them on the Internet,
but those listed were his official numbers.
Like any normal self-respecting Government officer,
he did not go to his office on a Sunday.

I sent him an email, hoping that he would read it,
and re-plan the vehicle pick-up, accordingly.
He did not.
Jabalpur's Doomna airport is quite far from the city, and getting
to my place of work (which incidentally, is rather close to the airport)
was still far enough for more than a decent walkathon.
Public transportation to and from the airport was not very dependable.
What would happen, now?

94.4 The day of the trip

I woke up with a start.
Yes, it was Monday morning, and much like the famous cartoon
character Garfield (whom I idolise, for his favourite pastimes,
eating and sleeping), I dislike Monday mornings.
After turning the alarm off at the unearthly hour of 04:00 am, I
woke up with a start five minutes later, with the horror of
checking the time again, lest I miss my flight.
Rest assured, I dragged myself out of the bed, and went straight
into my daily routines. I usually consider taking a bath to be an
entirely avoidable encumbrance, but given that the average day
temperatures in Delhi were in the mid-forties, I would not mind
going through the grind, in the early hours of the day.
This would have the additional advantage of waking me up, as I
sleep-walked through my daily chores.

I remind the reader that this trip was circa June, 2014.
Air India Regional had discontinued serving snacks on board.
Neither could one pre-book a snack on the Internet booking engine.
My work at Jabalpur would start almost as soon as I would land up there.
I would need some nourishment to last me the distance.
I had five minutes on hand before the cab came in.
I utilised it to down a banana, wash it down with a glass of cold milk,
and just when the reader may suspect something being amiss
(how could Sumantra the hog, have only healthy food items?),
I decided to top it up with some biscuits. Not just some, though in
all fairness, I started with some. It went to quite a few, actually,
and for good measure, I included those of the sinful kind as well,
with cream in the middle, which adds more girth, to my middle.
By the time the cab came in, I let out a satisfied burp.

Just before we started for the airport, the horror of having left
an important item behind, paralysed my senses. I rushed back,
unlocked all doors I had carefully locked, and engaged in a
frantic search for the missing item. I was sweating by the time I
got back to the cab. It was getting late for me as well, in
addition to delaying the gentleman in the cab.
Mr. Murphy had not forgotten me.

Delhi was in the grip of the usual morning rush, compounded by
this being a Monday morning. While this is more visible in
Terminal 1-D (the LCC departure terminal at IGI Airport),
Terminal 3 also showed a sea of people. I rushed to an unmarked
Air India counter (Air India has quite a few of these opened up,
in periods of heavy demand), and tried my luck.
No, I did not have any check-in baggage.
Yes, I ended up with my pre-booked seat, 03A.
Shockingly for me, this did not take much time at all.
There was some rush for the security check, as well.

As I reached the X-ray machine, the usual word of the security
officers rang through my ears, `all electronic items on trays'.
I took my camera out, along with my laptop, the cables, and all
my pen drives. I literally had my hands, full.
The security officer there had a look at me, and asked me to get another tray.
Could he locate one, nearby?
No, I would have to rush back, look for a tray, and get back.
Should I have simply kept my laptop out, and kept the rest in my bag?
What if the security officer had asked me to take all items out,
and put it back in, through the scanner?

94.5 Plane-spotting at IGIA T3

The security check all done, I rushed around, to take a usual
look at the activity on the tarmac. Before that, I did not miss a
lovely Nissan Terrano, on display in the middle of the air-side
shopping and waiting area.



The International side had three Air India narrow-bodies,
one a classic double-bogeyed A320 in the new `Flying Swan' livery,
a newer narrow-body with the CFM-56 engines,
and an A319 in the interim `Indian' livery.
On the domestic side, I could see my ride for the day JE, the
`Junior Engineer' plane, in the distance. Right ahead of me was
PPT, the `presentable' plane, VT-PPT.



There were more wide-bodies around the domestic corner.
There was an Air India B77L VT-ALF, possibly on duty for the morning AI
439 Chennai run. On the other side was a Dream)liner VT-ANJ,
to operate the morning flight to Bengaluru. Would she be delayed?
I could see some engineering staff working on the port engine.
On a remote stand was the unlucky WA, the `wide-bodied aircraft' VT-IWA.
The lovely A332 had a freakish accident in the strong
winds and sudden storm in Delhi about ten days back, where a step
ladder had crashed into her wing, and damaged the engine cowl, as well.
From what I could see, the wing damage had possibly been patched up,
but the cowl still looked in bad shape.



Having a limited spares inventory for such a small fleet (two A332s) hurts
Air India quite badly, in such times. This A332 had been based in
Delhi to operate the Monday morning Chennai flight, and be there
as a stand-by for any other domestic wide-body flight (usually, a
Dream)liner one), in case any plane went tech. Now it too had gone tech,
and Air India put up its next best bet in terms of a capacity match
(at the cost of a huge drain in the operating economics),
by putting in a B77L on the job.

An Air India `masked bandit' CRJ-700 took off in typical bandit
fashion from the new runway 29, with the characteristic steep climb.
Another was there on a remote stand, the `Junior Engineer'
plane JE (VT-RJE), which was to be my ride for the day.



The `smelly plane' BO (VT-ABO), an Air India ATR-42 in the new
`Flying Swan' livery, was being prepared for it first flight of
the day, to Bhuntar airport, Kulu. She would come back, and
operate the next flight of the day, to Dharamshala.



Some time before, a Jet Airways bus had rammed into the
good-looking bird at Calcutta airport, and at the time of writing
(end-May'16), ABO had been written-off. Sad!



I now went towards the pair of bus gates, 42 and 44 (closed).
As I went down the stairs, I saw some biz-jets in the background,
and VT-SJJ, a Jet Konnect B738, being prep'ped for the next flight.



94.6 AI 9617 DEL-JLR

We had boarded a bit late. I overheard the conversation between the
gate agents, and one of the members of the cabin crew.
There would be 69 people on board.

We had a full flight, so it was 68 adults and one infant.
I had pre-selected seat 03A. When I boarded the aircraft,
I was horrified to find a little girl occupying my seat.
Yes, Occupying my seat.
And what would you expect a sensible adult to do?
I did exactly the opposite, I demanded my right, and with a sense
of jubiliation, put my ninety kilos weight, down on the seat.
Did I not have to take pictures, of the planes around,
the cloud formations, and interesting sights, from the air?
Such was the extent of my intent.
However, the window was too dirty to get good pictures, and I
would fall fast asleep on the flight. So much so for a good window seat.
My aim was to capture some nice monsoon cloud formations on the way,
and if possible, also click the Taj Mahal from the air,
in case we came anywhere close-by. I have seen this iconic monument
twice on the route (and twice, failed to take even a semi-decent snap).

A storm was brewing up at Delhi, with the sky darkening.
Captain Raj Kumar Rana was in command. Ms. Manjula Joshi
and Ms. A Kalsi were in the front of the cabin. The flight time announced
was 01:10 hours. Captain Rana just managed to escape the fury of
the rain-storm on the ground, as he made the plane do a
characteristic `bandit' take-off, with a steep angle of attack.
We flew directly into some nasty grey storm clouds, and were
tossed around, for quite some time. By the time we cleared the turbulence,
I regretted my hogging on the biscuits and milk.
Perhaps the banana alone would have done just fine.
Not surprisingly, I was now feeling a bit nauseated.
And not surprisingly again, sleepy.
The little girl next to me looked just fine.

94.7 A new code for Air India Regional?

With the strong morning sun streaming in from the port-side window,
I peeped down occassionally, only to see a very thick
cloud cover over most places, until the Captain announced the
descent into Jabalpur. The sleep was clouding my thoughts as well,
though the slightly heavy landing on runway 24 woke me up.
There was an announcement that I heard in my sleepy state, to the
effect that photography and videography were prohibited at Jabalpur,
this being a defence airport. Now, I have been to
Jabalpur quite a few times, and had never heard this announcement before.
As I gathered my senses, I gathered my belongings as well.
Please read on, there is more about the same in this report!
(Section 94.10)

I remind the reader once again, that this trip was circa June, 2014.
I glanced at my boarding pass.
`9I 617'?
what on earth was this?
Was Air India Regional (which was actually, the old Alliance Air,
a fully-owned subsidiary of the erstwhile Indian Airlines),
now being assigned another code? It used to be `CD', then.
Flights also used to go with the `IC' tag before the `merger' of
Air India, and Indian Airlines. Since then, the flights had an
`AI' tag, with a four digit code, all starting with a `9'.
I looked at the boarding pass, again.
It said, `9I 617', with `MKT: AI 9617' written underneath.
There had been some confusion around Air India Regional, over the
past month or so. First, tickets said the following:
AI 9xxx
(*) Trans Avia Export Cargo Airlines
* Flight operated by a partner airline
I had been a bit perplexed to see this, since my 24 Mar 2014
flight from Delhi to Jabalpur itself, incidentally.
On this particular trip, my ticket simply said,
(*) Codeshare partner, in place of the name of the cargo airline.
The rest remained the same.
I quickly texted a few friends, around.
Mr. J. R. R. Talking quickly confirmed my suspicions.
Yes indeed, this was the new code for Air India Regional.
Meanwhile, 23 Jun (Monday) was indeed the date, when Star
Alliance formally announced that Air India would join the
alliance in July. I would get this news in the afternoon.
This was a good day for Air India, with the Star Alliance news,
the Moscow DME flight announcement (commencing 18 July, 2014),
and the delivery of the 15th Dream)liner.

94.8 Mr. Murphy strikes, at Jabalpur

We had landed a bit behind time, at 08:38am.
The temperature outside was announced as a very pleasant
29 degrees Celcius. I looked forward to the cooler climes at Jabalpur,
a far cry from Delhi, higher by some 15 degrees or so.
I have lamented the slight level of degradation in the
maintenance of the airport, in the past, as well.
The lavatory at the arrivals section had a stink,
typical of establishments that did not have enough water.
Second, the air conditioning had not been switched on.
I did not have any checked-in baggage, and went outside.
Since my host had not replied over email,
I did not expect a vehicle to be there at that time.
I was not disappointed.
I watched the last of the passengers exit the terminal.
Now, I was completely stranded.

At 08:55am, I got a chance call from a person, calling on behalf of my hosts.
Was I on the Air India flight, or was I coming in on the SpiceJet flight?
I was outside the terminal at the Doomna Airport, Jabalpur.
On my last 22 May 2014 visit to the city, I had flown both legs on SpiceJet.
The SpiceJet timings were SG 2441 [07:50am - 09:45am], and there
had been some confusion as to whether I was coming in on the
SpiceJet flight, or the Air India Regional one.
A car would be sent in soon, he said.
I had just a little while to freshen up, before setting out for work.
I was done around 11:30am, and was looking forward to a nice
lunch at the Guest house, which was some distance off, in the city.
Mr. Murphy had not forgotten me.

First, the driver was nowhere to be found, along with his vehicle.
When he was finally located, he came in, and stopped.
The Mahindra Scorpio jeep refused to start.
A weak battery?
No, said the driver, it may be the bigger of the two critical issues.
The driver said that he estimated some 3-4 litres of diesel to be
still there in the tank, which would be enough to drop me at the
Guest House, for me to tank up with some lunch,
and the Scorpio, with some octane.
When the driver finally managed to urge the vehicle into action,
I uttered a silent prayer, as we sped on towards the Guest house.

The vehicle went into silence, close to the Nehra Company slope.
The driver made some desperate calls all around.
The vehicle refused to budge.
After about 10 minutes of trying, the engine came to life.
Must be some clogging of the fuel or air filter, he said.
I uttered a prayer again, as it was now getting close to 12 noon.
There was no food joint in sight along this nice road with lots
of greenery all around. I was completely green behind the ears,
if I were to go and look for some food around this place.
We sped along, before the engine decided to die out near the University,
to the right.

I was now getting hungrier by the minute.
Some desperate tries later, the engine again purred into life.
We took a left turn around some habitation, which was actually
close to the Guest house. I could now make a run for it!
My cheer soon died down with the engine.
The engine did not come up, but the hot sun had, by now.
The driver suggested that I could walk the way to the Guest house
(it was very close, now), and that he would try to get to the
fuel pump nearby, somehow. Alternately, he could call for some
help from the Guest House, to help him in this endeavour.
With my stomach growling as I neared the Guest house,
I heard a growl behind me.
The Scorpio has started again, and was making its way due South.
I reached the Guest house, only to be told
that lunch would start around 1pm.


94.9 Food for Thought

The lunch was well worth the wait, however.
I have always liked the lunch at this particular Guest house.
It is simple, homely and quite tasty, though a bit high on the oil.
Today had a nice Indian `green' salad, with chopped cucumber,
tomato, onion, a slice of lemon, and a green chilli.
I did not patronise the rice.

I had four freshly prepared typical North Indian unleavened bread
(chapAtI/phulkA), sometimes also called the
tawA roTI. The dough is kneaded over and over (with a bit
of the previous day's dough), left to rise a bit (while being covered).
From this, small balls are made, and flattened on a
circular base dusted with powdered whole wheat (ATTA), and
made into a circle. This is a real art. A flat pan (tawA)
is heated, and the thin circle is warmed. Once it gets to a
particular temperature, and the vapour inside the flat circle
starts rising, the pan is taken off, and the circle allowed to
blow up like a balloon, warming it on both sides. The steps in
the above procedure are repeated, like an assembly line,
or in Computer Science terms, a pipeline. The art is in getting the
dough to have just enough moisture to give fluffy roTIs,
just the right amount to prevent the dough from getting runny.
The outer dusting has to be just enough to warm the outside,
keeping the inside moist, till the moisture inside is just ready to blow up.
The warming has to be apt, for this purpose,
for too much moisture would leave a raw taste, too much of it may shrivel
up the circle, and perhaps burn it. One of the most important
parameters here is the shape and thickness of the circular
flattened dough. The closer it is to a perfect circle, the more
uniformly it will rise. If it is too thin, there may not be
enough moisture inside to make it rise, and it may burn out.
If it is too thick, the inside may be left raw and a bit runny.
The four pieces I partook of, were just perfect.

And what did I have them with?
There was a lentil-based dAl (masUr/malkA),
done with a bit of chopped tomatoes, and a hint of fried cumin
(jeerA)-and-curry leaves (kaDhI pattA) seasoning.
There was a dry preparation of lady finger/lady's finger/okra
(the latter, as the Americans call it),
with potatoes, and finely chopped tomatoes.
With curd/yogurt to go with it, it was a lovely lunch!

94.10 Heading back home

Some time after the nice lunch, I thought I heard the sounds of
Ivchenko AI-20R engines around. This could only come from the
Air Force's An-32s. The sound was around for some time.
Did some An-32s visit the Jabalpur airport?

As we neared the airport, much to my surprise and delight, there
was an IAF Communication Squadron B737-700 BBJ parked on the apron!
There was a lot of security around the place as well. It looked
like some dignitaries had come in. I knew a bit about the history
of the airport. At one point in time, the airfield was used
primarily for defence-related movements in the area.
There has been a steady demand for air connectivity to the city,
albeit enough for small regional aircraft (70 seaters, or so), and
primarily medium-yield Government and tourist traffic, along with
some for the commercial interests in the region.
Air India Regional/Alliance Air had the ATR-42 flights, initially via Gwalior,
and then direct ones. Kingfisher used the A320 to Jabalpur for a short while.
Kingfisher Red had ATR-72 connectivity
to Delhi and Mumbai (and Indore as well, if my memory serves me right).
The local operator Ventura Airconnect (with its Cessna Grand Air
Caravans) had flights to Bhopal, Indore, Khajuraho, Gwalior and Rewa.
SpiceJet now (circa Jun'14) had a daily Q400 flight on the
DEL-JLR-BOM-HBX-BOM-JLR-DEL route.
It was a pleasant surprise to see a larger plane on the tarmac,
operating from the nearly 2km long runway. The runway in use was 24,
which is the usual one (runway 06 is not used much, due to
the prominent direction of the winds).
I texted some of my friends about this development.
The BBJ took off around 05:25pm.
A Cessna 525 Citation VT-JSP belonging to the Jindal Steel and
Power Limited, gracefully flared in on runway 24, and parked at a
corner of the tarmac. My itinerary for this leg of the journey
was as follows:

Set out 23 Jun (Mon) for New Delhi from Jabalpur
SG 2452: SpiceJet (Q400) [Seat: 04D; PNR: GE928B]
Doomna Airport, Jabalpur - IGIA T1-C, New Delhi
Jabalpur (JLR) - New Delhi (DEL)
[06:35 pm - 08:35 pm]

Our plane came in a bit late, at 06:20pm. There was a flurry of
activity on the tarmac, with the SpiceJet officials trying to
expedite a quick departure. We stood in line to board the plane
around 06:30pm, and pushed back around 06:44pm.
Our ride for the day was VT-SUJ `Dalchini'. The flight time was
announced as 01:40 hours. Captain S. C. Pandey was in command,
with First Officer Karan Oberoi. Ms. Jaya was in charge of the cabin,
with Ms. Parul to help her. We took off from runway 24 again,
and since this was around the time days were at their longest,
there was some light still around to see some of the city,
as we flew overhead.

94.11 The Flight and the Food

At 07:20 pm, the Captain came on the air. He announced that we
were flying at FL240, with an outside temperature of -7 degrees Celcius.
The flight deck would come on the air some 6 more times
during the course of the trip, with announcements regarding what
areas we were over-flying, and what was to our right and left.
Passengers craned their necks, and strained their eyes to see
through the darkness and cloud cover. We also strained our ears
to hear the announcements. The PA system was not in good shape.
There was one overhead bin which was clearly broken.
The plane was clean, however.

I was eagerly awaiting the food service. I had pre-booked a
Chicken Tikka Sandwich in Masala bread. SpiceJet had advertised
their new revamped menu from their new caterers, Taj-SATS and
Cafe Coffee Day. While it was no match to what was on offer in
the days just after the Marans took over the airline (which had
lots of my favourite South Indian delicacies), it would perhaps
still be better than the fare usually offered on board, till then.
However, would it be fresh?



My hopes dropped as soon as I saw the expiry date on the sandwich pack.
It said 23 June, 2014, the day of my journey.



Yes, the size, was quite nice.
The presentation was decent, as well.
However, with the bread crumbling a bit, and the pieces dropping around,
my hopes about having a decent snack, were dampened.
Had it been fresh, it would have been a very good snack, indeed.
There were generous chunks of marinated and skewered chicken inside,
with a nice spicy filling, and an otherwise nice bread,
albeit tasting a bit stale, and looking more so.
It was quite filling however.
A loud burp at home would make The Wife guess what I had partaken of.
``You hungry hog, you patronised the buy-on-board again?''
As the old Onida TV ad went, there are still some people who will
not take good advice.
After landing, I would text the same to some of my friends.
``Be a vegetarian on Mondays, like me,'' texted Mr. All-Stare MacLean.

At 08:20 pm, Captain Pandey made a slightly heavy landing on the
main runway 28 at Delhi. The outside temperature was 40 degrees Celcius,
still a good 5 degrees or so less than what I had expected.
I got a pre-paid taxi quite soon, and headed back home!
---
Links to my 94 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3540
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Sir as always !

I envy you for your trips to these airports and on the CRJs - I have never been on any one of it !
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
I envy you for your trips to these airports and on the CRJs - I have never been on any one of it !
Thank you for the kind words, Ameya Sir! Given the exotic types you have flown on, I guess I must envy you!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sabya99
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Joined: 19 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice well developed airport.
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Nice well developed airport.
Sir, you meant DEL or JLR? The latter is an example of a relatively well-maintained tiny AAI facility, though it is a bit rough around the edges at times (not enough water in the washrooms leading to a stink, AC failure, etc).
Cheers, Sumantra.
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shivendrashukla
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Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1346
Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Trip Report sir and your description of Tawa roti is simply superb...
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4380
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivendrashukla wrote:
...your description of Tawa roti is simply superb...
Sir, now you know why I was so ravenously hungry on 19 Jun'16, when you had specifically asked me as to what the next one in the works would be about, and I had answered that it would be Jabalpur. I had typed in most of the text a while back that day, and as I told you, some pictures remained. You have seen what a glutton I am, Sir Razz
Cheers, Sumantra.
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avbuff
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 5015

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely TR sumantraji, you truly are a catering exponent! Very Happy

You are indeed fortunate to pass through some exotic airports in India.
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4380
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

avbuff wrote:
You are indeed fortunate to pass through some exotic airports in India.
Thank you Sir, for the kind words. I guess I am fortunate enough to be able to live my dreams, and ride my luck!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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stealthpilot
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 2281
Location: BLR, DXB

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You kicked a little girl out of your window seat .... well done Laughing
Your ordeal from the airport to the guest house was hilarious! I'm surprised you didn't get out and make the guy stop at a petrol bunk.
JLR is one of the airports I hope to fly thru on my next Bandhavgarh trip ..... anyway off topic 2 heavy landings? no silky smooth? Something is definitely wrong Wink
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stealthpilot wrote:
You kicked a little girl out of your window seat .... well done Laughing
He he...I guess I need to mentally grow up. I seme to have a history of seriously arguing with young kinds to get my coveted window seat on trains as well Razz
stealthpilot wrote:
Your ordeal from the airport to the guest house was hilarious! I'm surprised you didn't get out and make the guy stop at a petrol bunk.
stealthpilot, it wasn't that hilarious as it was unfolding, though Smile Compound that with my by-now infamous hunger! Petrol bunk: None on the route. More, below.
stealthpilot wrote:
JLR is one of the airports I hope to fly thru on my next Bandhavgarh trip ..... anyway off topic 2 heavy landings? no silky smooth? Something is definitely wrong Wink
He he Smile Yes, they were a bit heavy. We do look forward to a grand stealthpilot-style grand trip report on the next Bandhavgarh trip! JLR is a neat little airport, and the drive to the city is a really scenic one, especially in the rains. The emerald green has to be seen to be believed. However, there is not much habitation (or fuel pumps, or other infrastructure) around, on the route to the city, which is possibly why the pristine environs exist, in the first place. The Doomna nature reserve falls on the way.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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