india

The Great Indian Male

An airline has a separate seating policy for this sub-species of homo sapiens

When I first arrived on this planet as an Indian male all those years ago, I never imagined that one day I would become a personal embodiment of a global embarrassment. Please don’t think I am exaggerating; I am not.

Just the other day, I was settling down in my seat on a flight back from Antigua, where I had gone to say hello to a patriotic Indian businessman, when a girl in the seat next to mine asked me if I was Indian. When I said yes, she immediately signalled to the air hostess. When she came over, the girl pointed to me and said, “This creature… it come from India.”

Keeping Indian men away

Before I could object to the girl’s insulting language, the air hostess looked at me suspiciously and said, “Is it true? Are you from India?”

I couldn’t believe my ears. “Madam,” I said, “It is not a crime to be from India, is it? Haven’t you heard? The power of the Indian passport has shot up multiple times in the last four years. How dare you speak like this to an Indian?”

“Sir, just answer the question,” the air hostess said. “Are you Indian? Yes or no?”

“Of course I am!” I said. “I am proud to be an Indian.”

“In that case, I’m afraid you’ll have to come with me, sir,” she said. An air marshal materialised from nowhere and grabbed my hands from behind.

“But what have I done?” I protested. “You are curtailing my right to sit in my reserved seat for which I have paid an extra 200 dollars for leg room and another 100 dollars for reclining backrest.”

“Sir, I must inform you that it is our airline policy to seat all Indian males of reproductive age at a minimum of 20 ft from all female co-passengers.”

“Really? And why is that?”

“To make sure that you do not inadvertently urinate on women passengers.”

“But-but…!” I spluttered. “I have never done such a thing! This is blatant and racist discrimination!”

“And also to make sure that you do not spit paan on female passengers,” said the air marshal.

“What?!” I was speechless.

“And besides, as you may have noticed, our airline logo is a goat,” the air hostess said.

“But what’s that got to do with anything?”

“You tell me,” the air hostess said. “Didn’t you guys recently gang-rape a pregnant goat in your country?”

“But I don’t like goats!” I said, almost yelling.

“Calm down, sir,” said the air marshal, in a tone that suggested he might wrestle me to the ground if I didn’t immediately calm down.

“I am calm,” I said. “I am practically meditating right now. But you can’t punish me for what other Indian men have done.”

“I’m sorry, sir,” the air hostess said. “Studies have shown that Indian males are consistently obnoxious and/or threatening to females of every species that currently inhabit the planet. In keeping with our brand commitment of offering harassment-free flights to female passengers, Indian males will be allowed in only a restricted part of the aircraft.”

A flight on a commode

So saying, she and the air marshal forcibly paraded me down the aisle, in full view of all the other passengers, to the back of the aircraft, where there was a small trap door. The air marshal opened the trap door to reveal a stepladder. He motioned to me to climb down, and when I did, I found myself in the cargo hold.

All the baggage and other cargo items were stacked up on one side, while on the other were a dozen plastic seats. These were all occupied by Indian-looking men. It was when the air marshal made me sit down that I realised they were all toilet seats.

“You want me to spend the entire flight sitting on a commode?” I asked, outraged.

“We can’t take any chances, sir,” the air hostess said. “What if you want to go to the bathroom? This way you can do it without getting up from your seat.”

“All these other men here… did they commit any of the atrocities you mentioned? Inappropriately attending nature’s call, inappropriately expectorating, or inappropriately interacting with goats?”

“Not that we know of,” the air marshal said. “But they are all Indian men. Which means that the chances of such behaviour are more than zero.”

“So these are all innocent Indian men? And who knows, some of them might even be feminists?”

The air marshal shrugged. “Please fasten your seat belt, sir.”

“This is not a seat belt, it is a manacle,” I said.

The air hostess and the air marshal exchanged a look, shook their heads sadly, and left, shutting the trap door behind them.

I looked around at the other Indian men, all shackled to their (toilet) seats. They were all so quiet you could have heard a pin drop, or a goat smile.

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