Mind Your P's and Q's
“The Little Pissing Boy”
The above advice is directed strictly at our errant Desi Bhais in the air and on earth or even under water! The recent brouhaha over the shocking behaviour of an inebriated passenger should nudge this breed to heed the warning. Shankar Mishra, urinated on a woman passenger, on an Air India flight from New York to Delhi after downing several glasses of the choicest whiskey. Being in the business class, the said gent didn't quite get it that he couldn't do his 'business' right there in full public view.
One would've thought that the national Swachh Bharat campaign with toilets as a priority would've left an indelible mark on the minds of people not to leave a 'watermark' on a proximate passenger in the air or on earth!! The distraught lady after this unexpected anointing in the aircraft was expectedly 'p*****off'(apologies for this crass pun!). But the crew and the captain took no firm action and this offender was let off after he apologised.
Brava to the lady, a senior citizen, whose persistence, despite being traumatised, led to an FIR being lodged. The culprit has been apprehended a month after the incident. Such behaviour deserves a flight ban for life. It seems a similar incident happened on an Air India flight from Paris to Delhi, but it was hushed up at the request of the victim. Indians are gathering layers of infamy over odd behaviour like refusing to sit in an upright position on take off, abusing the air hostesses and putting Mary Kom to shame by boxing attendants on minor matters.
Fortunately DGCA has stepped in to warn airlines to take the strictest action against unruly passengers. An Air India vintage poster showing the Maharaja standing with an umbrella in front of the famous bronze statue of the 'Little Pissing Boy'( Manneken Pis) in Brussels urinating in the fountain basin is doing the rounds on the net. With Tata's unassailable reputation, Air India will have to do damage control and assure ladies of all ages that flying with them is safe.
Perhaps the inflight crew could follow the example of the bartenders of the 17th century taverns and pubs in England who would keep a tally slate to record the pints and quarts(p's and q') consumed by the patrons. Airline crew could also keep a watch over those going berserk in downing their drinks and set up limits to alcohol served . Thankfully airline baggage screening eliminates weapons being carried onboard. One is reminded of Jessica Lal, a lovely model, being shot in the head at a Qutub restaurant, on being denied a drink after the restaurant was winding up. Manu Sharma ,who had been trigger happy,was a politically well connected and entitled male, but he did get a life term eventually. Perhaps society and our schools need to redefine masculinity and teach them young!
Cover Photograph: One of the many memes in circulation after the hideous incident on board the Air India flight.