Friday, August 11, 2006

Untouchable

Last week I had to go to Chennai for a day. I took the morning flight and got back by the evening flight. On the way back, the flight was crowded. I had an aisle seat, seated next to me was an elderly lady and on the window seat, sat a foreigner, a white gentleman in saffron robes. As soon as we had boarded the flight and taken our seats, the white man called for the hostess and told her in no uncertain terms that he could not sit next to a woman as it was against his dharma. He had apparently checked in late and couldn’t get a seat of his choice. He asked the hostess to either find a place for him elsewhere or shift the lady to another seat. The helpless girl looked around and could not find any seat for him nor was she able to convince any male passenger to change the seat …maybe because it was a middle seat.

The white man became rather rude and told the hostess that he could not possibly sit next to the woman. I found his behavior appalling. Then he turned to the lady in the middle seat and told her that she should respect his ‘dharma’ and find a seat elsewhere. He went on to admonish her that as an Indian she should respect his ‘brahmacharya’. The poor lady was perplexed, as she was clearly not a regular traveler and got up. By this time I had had enough and told her to sit down. But she was clearly intimidated by the white man who was looking at her like she was a worm. So I told her to sit on my seat and with vicarious glee, I took the middle seat. The sight of the young and hence more ‘sinful’ woman moving next to him incensed the white man, but my don’t-mess-with-me attitude was very evident and he refrained from making anymore noises. I had planned to ‘accidentally’ touch him if he didn’t behave himself. I put my hand on the arm rest deliberately and he shrank away from me as though I was an untouchable. He remained in that position till we landed, cowering against the window like a trapped animal. He even refused the food given because it was offered by a woman and not prepared according to his strict vegetarian beliefs. Throughout the flight he kept his gaze stolidly out of the window.

When the plane landed and came to a halt, he remained seated and waited for people to disembark lest he touch a woman while disembarking I guess. He finally got up, took his cloth bag and walked out from the front exit, ignoring the hostess who stood smiling and wishing people on the way out.

I have met some of the strangest people while flying, but this guy takes the cake er …eggless cake.

21 comments:

b v n said...

i have seen some champs put 'i hate girls' on their profiles ,not sure if it works but the poor souls expect it to :)

it is said men think abt the opposite sex every four minutes,your guy must be a champion you know thinking abt women every sec.poor guy must have been thru a lot of rejections in his village :)

mathew said...

Lol!!..Maybe he is some cult guy..
This "swami" will have a tough time in indian trains..Hope he gets to travel in one..

Mind Curry said...

ha ha ha..cant stop laughing here..i wish you had touched him..probably would have jumped out of the window or something..crazy!

Jagan said...

now now..this is a kewl trick....am going to follow tht guy's idea and hope some young and "sinful" girl sits next to me and touches me ..rotfl ..

quills said...

Man!! Some people are plain crazy! Yeah, I am glad he suffered through the flight, what with temptation at such close proximity. :) Good for you!

neihal said...

'brahmacharya' in India was suppose to be a phase of life not a way of life...it infuriates me that people use hindu or any other religion to justify their madness....you did the right thing :)

silverine said...

b v n: This guy was a foreigner :)

mathew: LOL that would surely kill him!!!!

mind curry: I really wanted to do that but I guess he realised that I was quite capable of that :)) He might have actually tried to jump out of the window :p

Jagan: Bad boy!!!! :p

Quills: Temptation? rofl It must have been painful if he was putting up an act :))

neihal: Exactly, some of these people behave like fanatics!!

Rushes' Anomaly said...

unbelievable!! I bet hez one of those doped desciples of some total shady swamiji - U should have given him a hug ( and ofcourse showered later) and declared that you are celebrating "Eternal Globa Love"
;-))

Immigrant in Canada said...

I must say tht guy indeed took the (eggless) cake.. I am still trying to imagine, how would have reacted, if you accidentally touched him!.. may be he would have jumped out of the airplane??

Thanu said...

There is a lot u can do with out touching
-Like bitting ur lower lip.

and a lot more.. not specifying here though ;)

Maverick said...

sheesh wish he had a longer journey with u to give him company :)))

silverine said...

rushes anomaly: ha ha ha mebe I should have done that and then blamed it on "Eternal Globa Love" :))

sarah: He would have gone for ganga snan if I had touched him, or mebe took umpteen baths like Alexis when he fell into the cesspool rofl

thanu: Gurl you are a genius!!!! Why didnt I think of that. I would have actually done that! But he was looking out of the window so no chance :p

maverick: Wish it was a longer flight, I would loved to torment him :))

Alexis Leon said...

If all the passengers of all the flights were that guy then all the companies would have reported profits as there is no need to serve food :-) Just kidding...

I was ROFL when I read the post and it is amazing that there are people like that in this century.

monu said...

lol :)
kollam..

leval puliaynu ketta puli :D

Patty said...

Good for you, for standing up to such a rude boar of a man! He needs to by a car, if flying is that tramatic for him. Some people's sense of entitlement is pretty amazing. Glad he was shown that the world does NOT revolve around him.

Jeseem said...

so the poor jackel fought with the lamb and but felt like a trapped animal, with a lioness next to him. oops correction, a lady grizzly i mean.

seriously, people can become so myopic by their beliefs.

silverine said...

Alexis: Such people are quite common actually as there are quite a few westerners embracing eastern religions nowadays. Here in Blr we have dhoti clad white sadhus distributing pamphlets about Hinduism, Budhism etc. :)

Monu: :)

Patty: He was such a snob. Hope we taught him a lesson :))

jeseem: True, I guess it is the enthusiasm of a recent convertee!

Paresh Palicha said...

Here after a long while. Real LOL. The poor soul doesn't know the meaning of 'brahmacharya', if it broken by the mere touching a lady old enough to be his mother. He was a hypocrite.

silverine said...

Paresh: Hypocrite is an apt word to describe him!!!

G said...

I think we're being mean to the nice old man. Cut him some slack, he's in a country where being white still means he can get away with most things, including being a (pardon my french) prick.

The fact of the matter remains is that in his own country he would have been asked to a) Behave b) Shut the FCUK up and c) Sir your behavior is making the passengers uneasy, you will have to deplane the aircraft.

I'm glad you did what you did. I also ferevently hoped that you looked in his direction and breathed some of your third-world-germs on his pristine white form. Btw, having listened to him, did you get his nationality?

silverine said...

G: LOL :))
Sadly I couldnt make out his nationality, his English was without accent. But what you have observed makes a lot of sense.