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Little BHO-Peep, Nov 2011

 
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:22 am    Post subject: Little BHO-Peep, Nov 2011 Reply with quote

Little BHO-Peep, Nov 2011
-------------------------
This report can be found at the following URL:
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12496.html

I was re-learning my nursery rhymes with Junior (`Jr.').
One of them goes like,
``Little Beau Peep
Lost her sheep
and doesn't know where to find them...
Leave them alone
and they'll come home
wagging their tails behind them''
And here came a trip to Bhopal - BHO-peep, I put it.
A peep into BHO, Bhopal - once again.
The second time, this year.
Yes, remember the previous trip report?
The City of Lakes: Mother's Heart, Heart of the Motherland
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11556.html
I was again going to the Heart of the Homeland.
Home is where the heart is.
And the plane was going to be...VT-EGC (not VT-ECG!)

The itinerary for the forward leg of the journey was as follows:

Set out 28 Nov (Mon) for Bhopal from New Delhi
AI 634: Air India (A320) [Seat: 10F; PNR: JSQDN]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal
New Delhi (DEL) - Bhopal (BHO)
[06:00 pm - 07:15 pm]

My favourite taxi provider was unable to provide me a vehicle, so
I went in for a Meru cab. I reached the airport well in time.
I was travelling to T3 along the impressive T1-T3 access tunnel
road, when a Spicejet B738 just landed overhead. The haze in the
atmosphere was quite apparent, even though the plane was very
close to us. I was using this road in the daylight after quite
some time - I noticed that the grass on the link road (which was
planted on barren soil there - I had seen some of the work on my
trips along this road. Now, the grass looked nice and green.
Of course, it is of a deeper shade on the other side!

Here is yet another picture of the beautiful check-in counters.



After the security check, there was a nice-looking Porsche parked
there:



There were other road vehicles, too! A Nissan Sunny, at the
shopping arcade.



...and a DC designs modification of a Toyota Innova. Dilip
Chhabria had started his career modifying Indian vehicles
extensively to look like other ones (e.g., a Hindustan Motors Contessa
which was modified to look like a Mercedes), and many more
original designs to give the vehicle a newer (and better look):
the touch-up on the Mahindra Jeep with the Peugeot engine, which
then became the Bolero standard, for instance. Other examples
included making the old Maruti 800 a three-box sedan, and making
a limousine out of the Daewoo Cielo or the Opel Astra (which
incidentally, the Daewoo Cielo owes its ancestry to), and many
more. Here was a fantastically modified Innova.





There was not much to write about at the terminal itself.
The very senior Captain S. K. Gupta was in command, with a very
fresh co-pilot. We made a powerful take-off on the new
runway 29-11, towards the west. The loads were quite good - as I
had overheard the cabin crew commenting on why there had been a
capacity upgrade (from the earlier scheduled A319 to an A320),
which unfortunately resulted in a product downgrade, since this
was an old A320. The loads were 03 J + 71 Y.
As soon as the seat belt sign went off, I set out to work. I
would let nothing divert me from the work I was doing.
Nothing, Nothing at all. Yes, except food.
But of course.
No, even a vegetarian menu did not diminish my enthusiasm to hog.
The diversion came in the form of a plate with a vegetarian
mayonnaise sandwich. A veg kebab/kabab was there on one side of
the aluminum snack box. This had mixed finely-chopped vegetables
in a potato base to make it sticky, and stay (and tasty!).
Alu in Alu-minium. Thankfully, not Alu-minimum!
Of course, I love both South American Portuguese imports:
potato(e)s, and tomatoes.
Potato(e)s: does that remind the reader of a certain
ex-US-Vice Presidential candidate's spelling Vice(s)?
The middle had nicely roasted melt-in-the mouth paneer (cottage
cheese) cubes (which were deliciously plain and not marinated:
there was just a hint of salt). The best paneer is made with the
milk `intentionally spoilt' using fresh whey - and I guess this
was the case here. The right side had a very soft (not hard from
excessive ove{n/r} heating) veg patty, with each muslin-thin
layer telling its own story, complemented by a nice filling
inside. This resulted in a nice filling inside my middle.
A nice hot and strong instant coffee rounded off Sumantra,
and his meal...but wait! There was a sweet dish.
Was it a sinful brownie?
No.
Was it dry?
No.
It was a nice chocolate cake with very little butter, and mildly
sweet. This was superb! Enjoying this meal reminded me of the
matter I had ingested before setting out from the house.
I was caught up in a major time crisis, and TW (`The Wife') was
reduced to the ignominy of force-(hand)-feeding two generations of
men in the family. One was ravenously hungry (no guesses as to
who that was), and one wasn't exactly interested in food, and
matters, thereof (Jr: Junior, but of course). As we were coming
in to land at the Raja Bhoj airport in Bairagarh, Bhopal, I
noticed - much to my delight, that the old terminal was not in
operation, and the spanking new glass-and-steel structure with an
undulating roof - was in operation! There was the usual Air India
announcement to permit operation of cellphones as soon as we
exited the active runway.

The official work was interspersed with meeting many old friends
- some after a gap of nearly 17 years. In an official meeting, I
made a complete ass of myself when I overheard,
``he is (in the) Board of Studies''
as
``he is bored of studies,''
and I openly wondered why, having guessed his position.
Time went by, rapidly, and soon it was time to come back.
The itinerary for the return leg was as follows:

Set out 30 Nov (Wed) for New Delhi from Bhopal
AI 633: Air India (A319) [Seat: 11F; PNR: JSQQN]
Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal - IGIA T3, New Delhi
Bhopal (BHO) - New Delhi (DEL)
[08:55 am - 10:10 am]

On the return trip, I was extremely impressed by the new terminal
building.





There was something to excite me, further.
I was pleased beyond words to see one of Air
India's four new A320s landing. This was DD, the `National
Channel' plane (VT-EDD), with Captain
U. S. Tiwari at the controls.





We boarded without much ado. Here is a shot from the inside of
the plane:



We used runway 30 to make a
powerful take-off towards the west.
And in almost no time at all, the food trays came out!
Much to my delight, I spotted a fruit box, with sweet lime
(`mousambi'), a large red grape, a candied cherry at the centre,
and two apple slices, one on each side.
There was an ordinary bun, with Nandini butter.
The main course box had a nice upama, and some semi-solid sambhar
around a (medu) vada. I can understand the need for the sambhar
being more solid than otherwise, but it was an ordinary sambhar
which is easily available in Mumbai - in taste.
I was lost in thoughts about the food, and my pending work, (which
I was busy working on), when the plane came in to land on the new
runway 29-11, from the east. We parked next to an old A320, in
the new colours (`old wine in a new bottle'). This was ESC: the
`getaway plane', VT-ESC.



Here was something I had not see, till then: a cleaning operation
in progress!



Here is a shot from the arrivals level:



The road vehicles theme at IGI T3 continued: there was an
impressive racing car in a small JK Tyres pavillion, just before
the baggage belts. This was of course, the cynosure of all eyes!



I will sign off this trip report with a picture, which I clicked
in the official accommodation, where I was put up. Look at the
picture below, carefully.



In computer architecture terms, this is an output port with
parallel processing capability. GIGO: Garbage-in, Garbage-out, of
course. Interestingly, the Indian style one is to the west,
whereas the Western one, is to the east.
Yeast is yeast, and Waste is waste - will the Twain ever get Mark-ed?
Cheers, Sumantra.
---

22. The Call of the Vaigai! Madurai, Oct 2011
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12465.html

21. Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: Beijing, 2011 Part 3
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12452.html

20. No Panda-monium: Beijing, 2011 Part 2
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12389.html

19. North By Northwest...er, AI and CA: Beijing, 2011 Part 1
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12348.html

18. Going Bananas over Oranges: Nagpur, Aug'11
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12333.html

17. To the City of Joy and back, on Air India: Aug'11
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12238.html

16. To Chennai, Mar'12 with a Celebrity Captain!
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12196.html
(This is out of sequence owing to sheer excitement, and nothing
else!)

15. Marble Rocks, Marbles Rock; Jul 2011
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12157.html

14. The Fish-Eye Beckons! Madurai, on Air India. Jul 2011
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12136.html

13. To Russia, with Awe: Moscow, 2011, Part 3: Monino!
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12091.html

12. To Russia, with Awe: Moscow, 2011, Part 2: The Central Museum
of the Armed Forces
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12016.html

11. To Russia, with Awe: Moscow, 2011, Part 1: The Overall Trip
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11717.html

10. The City of Lakes: Mother's Heart, Heart of the Motherland
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11556.html

9. Mostly Indoors, in Indore:
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11533.html

8. Inter-metro Shuttling on AI: DEL-BOM on AI810, BOM-DEL on
AI888
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11449.html

7. On the cusp: DEL-BOM on IC863, BOM-DEL on AI660
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11160.html

6. DEL-BOM on IT308, BOM-DEL on IC166
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10986.html

5. DEL-MAA on IC439, MAA-DEL on IC802
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10809.html

4. DEL-PNQ on IC849, PNQ-DEL on IC850
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10510.html

3. DEL-MAA on IC429 (A321), MAA-DEL on IC7602 (CRJ7)
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10401.html

2. DEL-NAG-NDC, NDC-BOM-DEL on G8
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10169.html

1. IGI T3, AI 314 DEL-HKG and AI 311 HKG-DEL
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10018.html
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jbalonso777
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Posts: 1425
Location: Never, never land

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great one, Sir!
Loved the descriptions all over!
I also liked the descriptions of the registrations of different aircraft...DD, ESC, etc...
Can you make one for ESI and EPI if you can? Razz
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ameya
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Posts: 3591
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is amazing ! Bring them on, Nov - 11 to Aug - 12, so many more waiting .. !

Amazing descriptions of the plane, airport and the captain detail as always .. superb !

Lucky to have the A319 upgraded to A320 on the return leg and get the new bird !
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sumantra
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Posts: 4485
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, Jishnu and Ameya!
Jishnu: I have flown on SI: the `units' plane. This was on 09 Apr 2012 (I had come in on VT-ESJ on 06 Apr, 2012 - I was doing DEL-BHO-IDR, and back) - it is rare to see old birds being so well-maintained. I will write about this, soon. these are two of the old double-bogeyed birds, in an all-economy configuration. PI is the `irrational' plane Smile I do not remember flying on this plane, at least since October 2010, at least.
Ameya - I wish I could fly as much, and write as well as you! Yes, I have had quite a few trips since then, and will put them down, hopefully, soon. The next one will be a dream trip to Hampi, with The Wife and Junior - I will put this down in possibly two or three parts.
Thanks once again, Sumantra.
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ameya
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Posts: 3591
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Thanks a lot, Jishnu and Ameya!
Jishnu: I have flown on SI: the `units' plane. This was on 09 Apr 2012 (I had come in on VT-ESJ on 06 Apr, 2012 - I was doing DEL-BHO-IDR, and back) - it is rare to see old birds being so well-maintained. I will write about this, soon. these are two of the old double-bogeyed birds, in an all-economy configuration. PI is the `irrational' plane Smile I do not remember flying on this plane, at least since October 2010, at least.
Ameya - I wish I could fly as much, and write as well as you! Yes, I have had quite a few trips since then, and will put them down, hopefully, soon. The next one will be a dream trip to Hampi, with The Wife and Junior - I will put this down in possibly two or three parts.
Thanks once again, Sumantra.


Awesome ! There was a time when Hampi was closest by landing at VDY - Vidyanagar airport, once serviced daily from BLR by DN / IT.
Then again it was HBX, serviced by IT from BOM and BLR.

But then IT has not serviced their loans now ! so services are affected !

How are you travelling to Hampi ?
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ameya - it was in December, 2011 - at it was BOM-HBX and HBX-BOM on IT itself. I had booked my tickets before the IT downfall had started, and it was a real hassle - I will detail all this in the report. The Chu Ladni airport at Hubli/Hubli-Dharwad was quite interesting, with this one flight, whose timings IT changed without notice, and refused to rebook the three of us. I have never had it worse with the customer service, more so, on IT.
Stay tuned Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely TR - thanks for posting!

That cleaning operation on the ground was pretty unique - I wonder if this was specifically on account of some oil spill or something?
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sumantra
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Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, Nimish!
Nimish wrote:
That cleaning operation on the ground was pretty unique - I wonder if this was specifically on account of some oil spill or something?

An oil spill: this is an Air India gate, but did a catering truck for a 9W flight do a wheelie here? ;-P Jokes apart, you have made a nice observation, I have no clue about this, but I liked the meticulous way it was being done. From what I have seen, IGI T1 and T3 are really extremely well-maintained in all respects, though what a friend tells me is that the airline offices are a different story, where even the air-conditioning does not work properly.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Ameya, I forgot - I have had a trip to your current hometown in the middle - a trip that I made on 06 Dec - 07 Dec, 2011. That will come first, then the Hubli one. I do not have too many pictures for the Pune trip, but I guess I will still go ahead and post it. Pune is always a pleasure to visit!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I managed to miss this one in the flurry of 'new' Trip Reports.

Nevertheless, just as good as the others Sumantra. Keep them coming!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for your kind words, Varun! Yes, there is a real flurry of new trip reports, and don't we love it!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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me111993
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr Sumantra, your food descriptions in this TR have made me jump off my bed on this holiday, head to the market and cook something using PANEER.

....diversion came in the form of a plate with a vegetarian
mayonnaise sandwich. A veg kebab/kabab was there on one side of
the aluminum snack box. This had mixed finely-chopped vegetables
in a potato base to make it sticky, and stay (and tasty!).
Alu in Alu-minium. Thankfully, not Alu-minimum!
Of course, I love both South American Portuguese imports:
potato(e)s, and tomatoes.
Potato(e)s: does that remind the reader of a certain
ex-US-Vice Presidential candidate's spelling Vice(s)?
The middle had nicely roasted melt-in-the mouth paneer (cottage
cheese) cubes (which were deliciously plain and not marinated:
there was just a hint of salt). The best paneer is made with the
milk `intentionally spoilt' using fresh whey - and I guess this
was the case here. The right side had a very soft (not hard from
excessive ove{n/r} heating) veg patty, with each muslin-thin
layer telling its own story, complemented by a nice filling
inside. This resulted in a nice filling inside my middle.
A nice hot and strong instant coffee rounded off Sumantra....

WOW WOW WOW! *drool*

You know, nicely roasted melt in mouth paneer is something we only get in The Trident in Chennai. The one we get at our hostel mess seem to be old discarded apsara nondust erasers. Believe me.

Off all the 20 odd 9W mainline flights I have done in the past year and a half, i've never been served paneer, ever. Sad

On the contrary, my dad does LHR/HKG, he gets paneer, my uncle and aunt came in from YYZ, they were served paneer, all of the sing the PANEER = UNHEALTHY anthem and detest it.

Although, on AMD-BOM flights, they do occasionally serve a perfectly made coleslaw sandwich, with just the perfect blend of spring onions and garlic, not a lot of mayo and the best part is that they use raw oregano, not the roasted ones we get at pizza hut.

As for Bhopal, i've always loved this city, my enitre family was born and brought up here (BHEL area) this is one city I proudly proclaim as my hometown.

I too travelled out of this new terminal a month and a half ago, while heading back to AMD with my aunt, and was equally impressed, they've made it the right size, not overly big, not overly small, the best part is on the departures side you can see all the runway action!

Thankyou so much for posting this TR, looking forward to many many more!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Rishul - I remember that your family is from Bhopal! I also remember your nice Bhopal trip report. A lovely place - I have quite a few friends there. The version of the language they speak in these areas of India is very sweet to the ears. I like the city, especially the area around the lake. I am also glad to know that I have a fellow lover of Paneer/cottage cheese. Being a Delhi'ite, I have grown up on excellent quality paneer being available at a few places in the city. There are some nice joints in South Delhi, Aurobindo Place being one of them. Apsara erasers! Ha ha - good one. My six years in Mumbai saw me yearning for good cottage cheese - I had called the ones available around the Powai area as `vulcanised rubber'. The only saving grace was the Amul Malai Paneer, which was sometimes available. South Indian cusine does not have much of cottage cheese, though I love to add Sambhar masala to any cottage cheese dish I cook. Mmm...there I go, getting hunger pangs well past midnight. I liked your description of the oregano - given your keen observation, I am sure you would also be a good cook! The Wife tried her hand at growing oregano, but my lack of appreciation of what plant needs what - resulted in me getting it, when she came back from her vacation! The best paneer tikka I have ever had would be on an Air India DEL-BOM connector in 2007, at 2am, on a `tubby' (`Pamba'). I had asked for a non-vegetarian meal (yes, a full meal at 2am!), but the lady smiled at me, saying that they did not load non-veg boxes, but I would not be disappointed. Right she was! All my sleep disappeared as the pieces simply melted into my mouth.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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