The unsung, ruthlessly consistent heroes of domestic flights who inspired the terrible pun in the title of this piece make the 2 ish hour suspensions in the air amusingly eventful. These eclectically mixed passengers with their endless supply of Khalifa plastic bags and suspiciously wrapped suitcases can loosely be assorted into categories most frequently found on local airlines.
You will at one point be seated next to the extremely opinionated uncles who deem their worldview as the universal and absolute truth. You will hear their loud self -righteousness piercing through every possible attempt of blockage. They will make it their divine duty to make sure the entirety of their vicinity is aware of their well-researched opinion based off of the hugely enlightening Facebook of course. Once they verbalize their expertise on the ‘damned’ political system they will look around for nods of approval. They will also be definite experts on democracy and will proclaim proudly that ‘aisi qoum’ can thrive only on dictatorship.
A universal favorite on all flights- crying infants. These tiny bundles of shrieking, wailing joy are always welcomed with the hugest sighs and groans. But the real terror lies not with them but their selfless bearer. That’s right. Their mothers are the actual villains with their smug ‘kids will be kids’ look when a tiny but monstrous foot from the seat behind kicks you in the back with Herculean power. They will expect you to smile through their child’s incessant prattle and will answer EVERY single question their toddler shoots at them in the GREATEST detail. Now I’m a great advocate of education but not at the price of my sanity.
Men parading their masculinity with unsolicited shows of chivalry are a sight always pleasurable. Surrounding the baggage conveyer belt these men will ease the lives of frail, delicate women by unwittingly and instinctively lifting their heavy suitcases for them. This macho instinct, however, will be extended only to young, rose cheeked ladies. Older women are indubitably better equipped with handling heavy baggage with their ultra-mighty rheumatic arms.
The ‘too good for Pakistan’ clan has its tentacles spread magnanimously throughout but is found in consistent and unfortunate abundance especially on domestic flights. This GAP wearing, Uncle Sam worshipping, R slurring synchronized idiocy will not a miss a single chance to roll their heavily lined eyes at the ‘jaahil’ and ‘kharrrabb’ Pakistani system while their mothers gloat at their child’s adorable inability to say ‘dhaai’ instead of ‘saarre dou’. These casual victims of post-colonial complexes will ceaselessly allude to the West’s organization and systemization and at the flight’s slightest technical inconvenience will break into America mein tou’s until they’ve made their fellow passengers fully aware of their routinely international trips to the civilized worlds. They will inevitably contort their faces and ruthlessly giggle at the flight attendant’s mispronunciation of words of the English language and at her unpardonable inability to slur her r’s as professionally as they can.
The thrilling company of the aforementioned types might be hard to recover from emotionally but it is what makes our very own flights so distinct and ‘exotic’. Now I’d show the ‘positive image’ – that is so obsessively desired by every un-delusional Pakistani citizen- of our flights too but that would mean parting with my hard earned pun and prioritization is key.