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Journey to The Centre of the...Country. Bhopal, Oct'13

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

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:45 am    Post subject: Journey to The Centre of the...Country. Bhopal, Oct'13 Reply with quote

Journey to The Centre of the...Country. Bhopal, Oct'13


http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14160.html

72.1 Introduction

It would be my second trip of the year, to Bhopal.
I had titled it, in the fervent hope of capturing the reader's
interest, as a vain take on the title of the famous H. G. Wells'
famous novel, `Journey to the Centre of the Earth.'
The previous trip had been a torrid same-day return trip:
66. Jet, Take a Bow, Pal...Bhopal, Aug'13
I have also written about two other trips to Bhopal,
23. Little BHO-Peep, Nov 2011
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12496.html
and
10. The City of Lakes: Mother's Heart, Heart of the Motherland
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11556.html

The Wife implored me to explore some food options, but I was in a hurry.
I had barely packed my things to take along, and the vehicle had
come in. I set out for the airport at exactly 12 noon.
The check-in and security check happened without any hitch, and I
was air-side in almost no time at all.

IGIA T3 always has a beautiful green welcome for the traveller,
just after the security check:



I had described the giant razor in the last trip report. Here are
two other pictures of the same installation:





The razor had generated some sharp (pun unintended!) replies on
this forum. The inimitable Ameya responded with
ameya wrote:
The first picture which you posted - were they
advertising the razor, car or vodafone Razz

I guessed that it would be the razor, the cut-throat competition
in car racing, and perhaps the,
throat-cutting prices of some Vodafone packages, as well.
Popular Netizen Jishnu also knows much more than most of us
on...yes, it is hard to complete this sentence, since there are
just too many categories that would be apt here. Let me try
`at least in F1 matters'. He writes,
jbalonso777 wrote:
Clearly, it is a McLaren Mercedes car. Which
exact model? Who knows.
On first thought, it looked like a 2006 'MP4-21' model (driven by
eventual 2007 world Champion Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo
Montoya), or a launch spec model of the 'MP4-22' (driven by 2006
World Champion Fernando Alonso, no intro required Razz and
eventual 2008/2014 world champion Lewis Hamilton).
On further observation of the nose/front wing end plate/front
suspension/brake cooling ducts, I think it is safe to say it is
indeed the Adrian Newey designed MP4-21 of 2006. While it was
quick over one lap, it didn't achieve a single race victory. Mind
you, Newey was the brains behind the 1992 Williams cars and the
2009-2013 Red Bull cars which gave Sebastian Vettel his successes.
Furthermore, I also believe that this 2006 chassis because I sat
in one at a Vodafone event in Phoenix Mills, Mumbai. It was a new
chassis for Kimi Raikkonen, which in fact delivered 3 pole
positions, but no race victories.
The car also has 2013 colors - Lucozade drinks, Jenson Button's
car number 5 illustrated, and that is in fact his crash helmet
Smile The 2006 livery had Fly Emirates and Johnnie Walker stickers.

Thank you, Sir!

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

Set out 24 Oct (Thu) for Bhopal from New Delhi
AI 634: Air India (A319) [Seat: 05F; PNR: HGGCR]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal
New Delhi (DEL) - Bhopal (BHO)
[02:00 pm - 03:20 pm]

As I excitedly looked outside, I saw an old friend SCI, the
`limit' plane. Of course, the naming is all SCI-Fi for me, and
this journey aboard SCI would be the limit, as far as my patience
and hunger were concerned. Have I given the plot out?
We were to board from gate 36, at the extreme end of the domestic finger.
I watched the traffic around with a lot of interest.

It is not very usual to see the private aircraft and Bizjets use
the new runway. I have mostly seen them use the main or the
secondary runway, since their parking apron is adjacent to the
main runway. A beautiful Bajaj Bombardier Global Express VT-KJB
went past us:



An Air India B77W parked at a remote stand on the
domestic apron, was becoming a more common sight, now. This time,
it was VT-ALM `Himachal Pradesh':



CW, the `direction/clock-wise' plane VT-SCW, went past the end of
the domestic finger, along a taxiway.



DF, the `hearing-challenged' plane VT-EDF, one of the four new
A320s in the Air India fleet, now went past us.



A smart Jet Airways B738 VT-JGS also made its appearance.



At the gate, there was a familiar face.
Mr. S. Gonsalves? I think I have flown with him, before.
He would be the chief purser on this flight, I guessed.
The Captain, the First Officer, and the cabin crew were already
waiting for the gate to be opened.

72.2 Smack or snack? Tea-Totaller at-Tea-tude does not hold water!

Captain D. Irani was in command,
and Mr. S. Gonsalves was the chief of the cabin crew.
The flying time was announced as 55 minutes.
With that, my heart sank.
Would this be a food-less flight at 2pm?
Perhaps.
The Economy section was full, completely full, as far as I could
see. There would have been two passengers amidst the two rows of
Business class on this plane.
This being one of the early A319s, had the smartly-patterned
Indian Airlines wall-paper on the walls.
No, the plane was not quite spotlessly clean from the inside.
There were grime marks at the edges, and some joints.
The fabric was nice and clean, however.
We pushed back at 2pm, the take-off time, waited for some regular
movements on the main runway, before taking a good length of the
runway to take off towards the East. We would take-off in the
less-than-usual direction at Delhi, and land in the
less-than-usual direction at Bhopal, too.

My heart leapt up when I beheld, a food cart in the plane.
Beauty lies in the eyes (and ayes) of the beholder.
And this got a nay from me.
The small trays were fine, but...there was just a cup on it.
Just a hot beverage?
No, there was a small packet having two biscuits.
Marie biscuits.
The one which is definitely at the rock bottom,
in my list of favourite bakery products.
My hopes (and my blood sugar, too) fell.
I consider the Marie biscuit as the most vile of biscuits ever
designed and developed by mankind.

Would I wait for an attempt at waiting for some coffee?
No, I went in for the tea, served by Mr. S. Gonsalves himself.
The tea was a light Tata Tea Gold brew, and not too bad.
However, this left me yearning for more.
Literally, as well as figuratively.
If you go by the dimensions of my figure (`figuratively'), the
massive belly was quite empty.
To add insult to injury, Mr. Gonsalves was apologising to
passengers who expected something filling, saying that Air India
had now uniformly started a snack service on flights of less than
an hour and a half duration.
Was this even a snack?

I also noticed that the crew were handing out water bottles only
on request. This looked like cost cutting on a zenith, more so
for an airline which still prides itself on the quality of the
food served on board, which I and my fellow gluttons, often
patronise, and have patronised, often primarily for the cuisine.
We Indians are heavy drinkers.
Water is something that Indians drink in good measure, as can be
seen from the requests to the crew from people of Indian origin,
on almost any flight. Which is something good in itself, since
water cleanses the body better than anything else.

I guess the Air India management chose a hot beverage over
something such as a fruit drink or an aerated beverage simply
because after water, the drink we Indians love to consume in
copious quantities is tea, and to some extent, coffee too, the
latter primarily in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
A disorder we Indians suffer from in copious amounts er...a
significant part of the population has it, is...acidity.
This is sometimes referred to ignominiously as `Acidi-Tea'.
To avoid that, we Indians love to take something with our hot
beverage, typically salty biscuits, or slightly sweet ones.
Salty biscuits are a no-no for people with high blood pressure,
and the slightly sweet Marie biscuit is one which often diabetics
consume at different times of the day.
Trying to seek the logic for Air India's choice of the
parsimonious (`sparse with regard to money') was giving me quite
a headache. I had work to attend to, as soon as I dumped my
things in the Guest house. I was not amused.

The scene outside was quite impressive, however. There are some
shafts of light coming from the clouds, as seen over the engine:



The crew had not switched the IFE on, too. I wondered, why.
Was it literally an off day for Air India, when there was
some snag in the IFE, or had it been switched off on purpose?
All my hopes of having a nice experience on the flight were
finally dashed, when I noticed that we had descended quite a bit,
but the famous large main lake at Bhopal was nowhere in view.
We would land on runway 12 at BHO, and taxi towards a near-empty
tarmac. A Cessna Grand Caravan was parked there, serving the
Madhya Pradesh-based Ventura Air.



I have always been impressed by the terminal building, which is
alleged, is a bit too large for what Bhopal's projected traffic
will be, even in the future.



The plane emptied out at Bhopal.
`2J+100%Y,' I texted my friends, adding for good measure,
`2hungry+100% MT TuMmy.'
There was some tight security at the Raja Bhoj airport in
Bairagarh, Bhopal. An attractive Canadair Challenger Bizjet was
waiting for passengers to alight from a helicopter - a delight to
the eyes. By the time I had noticed this action, most people had
already alighted from the helicopter, and boarded the Challenger.
The Challenger then moved on towards the runway. We reached the
terminal building, where there was tight security inside as well.
One look outside told the same story. The baggage took quite some
time to come out. It was only some time after the Challenger
reached the runway that bags came in, and passengers boarded the
A319 for their onward trip to Mumbai. I was later told that the
BJP political leader Ms. Sushma Swaraj had come here, and was
leaving on this chartered flight. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
would come in the next day. The arrivals section of the
airport is neat and clean, and looks quite well-maintained.

I was received at the airport by my hosts, and we were taken
along the short path to the meeting venue, which was actually
quite close to the airport. The straight road from the airport
has a Y junction, where the road to the right goes past a new
structure (a grand-looking building, which can be seen from the runway
30 end quite clearly), and the next structure on top of a hill,
a temple. We took the road straight, and turned left
after a while. The Guest house loomed up in front of us.

72.3 Hunger Management, Anger Management

On the flight, I had been quite worried, since by the time I would
land up at my destination in Bhopal (which admittedly was close
to the airport), it would be well past meal time at the Guest
House, and I would have to go hungry all afternoon.
I was in the centre of the country, in what was at one time,
India's largest state, Madhya Pradesh, and my Madhya Pradesh
(Central Provinces) would go empty. What an irony!
That was exactly what happened.

The Guest House staff were slightly taken aback when I asked them
what time dinner would be served. 08:30/9pm, they said,
and were taken further aback when they saw the expression on my face.
When do you serve tea, I persisted.
Anytime you wish, said the man, a bit worried, but I reassured
him that all was fine, I would like to have some tea at their
usual tea time.
The effect was all the more heightened when ten minutes later, a
person came with a cup in his hand - mistakenly.
Exasperation, can you put it any better?
The tea came in an hour behind schedule.
Can the reader imagine my at-Tea-tude towards the man?

I had a visitor, albeit for a short while. Yes, it was
Mr. J. R. R. Talking, the talkative (over SMS!) gentleman, who
tracks most Air India movements throughout the day. Like me, he
works for a Government organisation, and hence has to make most
of his official travels on Air India. These are often routed
through Delhi and Mumbai, to other places around the country, and
abroad. Like me, he also often gets a chance to travel on other
airlines, on a few occassions. We got an opportunity to met up,
and talk on aviation, and other matters of mutual interest.
I guess all this somehow kept my ravenous hunger at bay.
The other reason was that there was no food available,
anywhere close-by. Anywhere. No, not even a snack, until the
Guest House staff came in with supplies, and cooked dinner.

As did some beautiful sights around the place where I was put up,
There were some very interesting layered rock formations:



24 October is United Nations Day.
Would I be at peace with the world at the end of a hard day?
The dinner was welcome, albeit quite late. 9pm.
I gorged on the chapAtIs, I wiped the salad bowl clean, and did
justice to the two items on offer, shAhI paneer (cottage cheese
slices in a tomato and onion-based gravy), and a pulses-based
preparation (moong dAl, with bottle gourd).
It was quite tasty, but very high on spices (including chilli powder),
and oily, too.
Ah, there was some curd/yogurt at the end of it, too.
I had it without sugar or salt, just to get the real taste of the dish.
I hoped that this would counter some of the (bad) effects of the spices.
I find it odd that the spice is hot, yet is termed as `chilly'.
I was reminded of the American who commented, after having
experienced hot and spicy cuisine, ``Now I know why you Indians
do not use toilet paper. It would simply catch fire.''
I was too hungry to complain about anything, and had the spicy
and hot food, to my heart's content. The stomach would come later.
Literally, so. I fervently hoped that there would be no
fundamental distress the next morning.


72.4 A busy day again

I was looking forward to the next morning.
I would be joined by a good friend, `Dr. Don'.
This is a pun on his last name, and the person who should take the
credit for christening him thus, is someone the reader is familiar with.
A common friend.
Mr. Green, from Jodhpur.
We have done many things together, both good, and bad.
As well as the ugly, to complete the trio.

Dr. Don came in at 8:15 am. We had a chat, as his room was
readied for his short stay. He had come in from Gwalior by a
night train (the Habibganj Bhopal Express), and would leave in
the afternoon by the G. T. Express. So, we would set out for the
airport and railway station at the same time, in the same vehicle.
Dr. Don also loves food.
He also has a fragile digestive system, like mine.
Unlike Mr. Green and Yours Truly, he cannot eat as much, though.
Whenever we meet, we first compare notes about the state of our
respective digestive systems, and then come to other matters.

His first question to the Guest house staff on coming in, was
what was on the menu for breakfast. `pohA and toast,' was the reply.
`pohA' is a preparation made of beaten rice, moistened, and
cooked with spices and condiments, along with some chopped
vegetables, and is an almost staple breakfast item in Central India.
`Don't you have any eggs?' Dr. Don was insistent.
`We might have one or two,' said the man, a bit surprised.
`How many eggs do you need to make an omelette?' Dr. Don said.

At the end of the breakfast session, I was contended.
The tea was passable, and the toast, though a bit over-done, had
a hint of butter to make it less sinful, and be well outside the
reach of someone who goes crazy on butter.
The pohA was done in very little oil,
and went well with the slice of lemon.
Dr. Don joined me after breakfast, as both of us mentally
prepared ourselves for a gruelling day of official work.
Do you want the room to be cleaned while we are away, asked Dr. Don.
``Haven't you seen the under-side of my socks?'' I asked.
``I've done the cleaning for the week,'' I added,
to the background of his chuckles.
Would the lunch be something to look forward to?

It was a fairly ordinary lunch at the guest house, but at least I
was quite full. I gorged on the Indian `green salad' (of which
only one item was green in colour - the cucumber). There was
some roasted pApaD/poppadom (which I love, I like these much more
than the fried counter-parts, in my opinion, the subtle taste is
get masked by the presence of the oil, with the worst offender in
this respect being mustard oil.) The main course was an oily and
spicy dry cauliflower and potato curry, and some pulses (moong dAl),
but thankfully, there was some rAitA (a curd-based
preparation, with small savouries sprinkled on top), along
with...some chilly powder. I hesitated a bit, but then, memories
of the tea-totaller Air India onward flight came to mind, and I
gorged down some more food, lest I get hunger pangs aboard the
Air India return flight.


In the midst of my somewhat tiring official work, I managed to
perform a web check-in for my return flight.
The itinerary was as follows:

Set out 25 Oct (Fri) for New Delhi from Bhopal
AI 633: Air India (A321) [Seat: 09A; PNR: HGGCR]
Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal - IGIA T3, New Delhi
Bhopal (BHO) - New Delhi (DEL)
[05:50 pm - 07:05 pm]

72.5 Tea Time, again

The same vehicle had Dr. Don and I together - I was heading
towards the airport at Bairagarh, and he, towards the railway station.
We set out from the Guest house at 04:10pm. The check-in went off
smoothly, as I noticed a large crowd building up in the land-side
waiting hall. I have always been impressed by the undulating
roof, and the large inlets for natural light, all beautifully
contoured in shape, and impressive, in size.



Here is another view of the air-conditioning ducts above the
ground floor, and a view of the first floor, under the roof:



Here is a slightly wider-angle view of the check-in area.



The security check had not commenced by then.

Once the security check was over, I noticed runway 30 being in
use again, as our plane landed softly. The plane came in, and
parked right in front of the ground floor gates.
It was PPF, the `investment' plane, VT-PPF.
I saw a lot of cargo being loaded into the plane.
Captain Indrani Singh was in command, with with Ms. Anjali as the
chief of the cabin crew. The flight time was announced as an hour
and five minutes. Captain Singh made a very powerful take-off.
As soon as we reached cruising altitude, a `snack' was announced.
I had over-eaten at lunch time, so I was not too worried about
the announced `snack'.

It was the small tray once more.
This time, opted for the coffee.
Much to my pleasant surprise, the coffee was nice.
There was a packet of two cookies, and the packet said
`Taj-SATS'. The catering had been taken in from Mumbai, and the
Taj group showed its class even in this minute offering.
The cookies were excellent.

For once, the audio channels were working.
For once, the audio channels were just not worth listening to.
The choice of the programmes was simply terrible, for my peculiar liking.
I turned to the 5 video channels - I guess they did not put the
6th regional movie channel on, since this was a very short 01:05
hour flight. Channel 1 had a rather interesting Hindi film on it,
one with a rather arty touch, `The Ankur Arora Murder Case',
which sees the extremely talented K. K. Menon deliver yet another
fantastic performance in a negative role.

Captain Singh landed the plane on the new runway 29, coming in
from the East. We taxied to the closest aero-bridge, which let us
out rather quickly. The bags came out quickly as well, and I set
out for home in a taxi, on an unusually over-crowded outer Ring
Road, soon after.
---
Links to my 72 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
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ameya
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Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sir for the TR. Madhya Pradesh is a diverse state with Indore – the economic capital and Jabalpur – the tourism capital being close to Maharasthra in terms of food, culture and people where as Bhopal – the administrative capital being Nawabi and culturally close to Lucknow.

The traffic potential has always been more for Indore than Bhopal and thus when AI recently went double daily to BHO – it was a pleasant surprise, since IDR continues as it is.

VT-KJB of Bajaj is night parked at Pune, more often than not it does day return trips to Delhi & Chennai.
Interesting Trip!

When in Bhopal, you should have tried Nihari for breakfast. The poha is eaten with Jalebi or hot milk towards Indore & Jabalpur and less towards Bhopal
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Sir, for your constant encouragement, and in-depth reads of my trip reports!
ameya wrote:
Madhya Pradesh is a diverse state with Indore – the economic capital and Jabalpur – the tourism capital being close to Maharasthra in terms of food, culture and people where as Bhopal – the administrative capital being Nawabi and culturally close to Lucknow.
Absolutely spot-on, Sir!
ameya wrote:
The traffic potential has always been more for Indore than Bhopal and thus when AI recently went double daily to BHO – it was a pleasant surprise, since IDR continues as it is.
Yes Sir: I remember telling you about the BHO double daily, when the news was still hot off the oven, since I had to book Papa's ticket to a Vidisha trip, and the AI system was adjusting to changes over the evening! IDR always gets the business traffic, whereas the BHO one is typically a lot of Govt traffic, plus religious tourism (Sanchi, on the Buddhist circuit, patronised by the Thai, Japanese, and the Sri Lankans, primarily).
ameya wrote:
VT-KJB of Bajaj is night parked at Pune, more often than not it does day return trips to Delhi & Chennai.
Nice piece of information, Sir!
ameya wrote:
When in Bhopal, you should have tried Nihari for breakfast.
Sir, I come from the city of Karim's, whose nihArI is said to be among the most delectable! I remember an AI international flight where nihArI was served, and it was delicious.
ameya wrote:
The poha is eaten with Jalebi or hot milk towards Indore & Jabalpur and less towards Bhopal
The pohA is clearly a Maharashtrian influence upon Madhya Pradesh, and not unsurprisingly so, since Gwalior was with the Scindias, Indore with the Holkars, and a large number of Maharashtrians settled in the state from ages. Many in the current Chhatisgarh region have Maharashtrian-sounding names, though they seem to have lost some link with the language, and the culture. The culinary contribution of Indore cannot be under-estimated. Historically, the sweet element to savouries has come from Indore itself, and it will not be wrong to suspect a Maharashtrian angle to it. this influence tapers off a bit as one goes towards Jabalpur, and while the pohA could still be had with jalebIs, the basic pohA is not made sweet, as it is typically done in and around Indore, also extending to Ujjain. The North Indian chiwDA possibly has had some influence from the post-1857 settlement of many Maharashtrians around UP and the current Uttarakhand, spreading out from around Kanpur and Bithoor, the people who had come along with Peshwa Nana Saheb. Many Joshis and Pants of North India actually trace their ancestry to Maharashtra. The cuisine is expected to follow suit!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra sir, another fantastic trip report from you, a very interesting one due to the lack of food Razz
You really didn't have to give me so many mentions, but thanks anyways! Smile

I'm guessing this was the first ever flights you had with the new on-board meal scheme? But still, you managed to describe everything very well!
I loved your experiences in the guest house, too!

Yup, that is a 2006 MP4-21 alright!

Looking forward to more. Very Happy

Regards
Jish
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
I'm guessing this was the first ever flights you had with the new on-board meal scheme?
...or the lack of it: Yes, Sir, Oct 2013, first `short' flight on main-line Air India. Thank you for the kind words, and the constant encouragement, I wish I could be as eloquent, as keen an observer, and as regular as you are!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:02 am    Post subject: Re: Journey to The Centre of the...Country. Bhopal, Oct'13 Reply with quote

Loved this bit in particular:

sumantra wrote:
I was in the centre of the country, in what was at one time, India's largest state, Madhya Pradesh, and my Madhya Pradesh
(Central Provinces) would go empty. What an irony!


Razz

Water bottles on request is a bad touch, I presume they were facing a crunch or shortage of some sort, as these are relatively inexpensive to procure in large numbers.

Thanks for the read as always, and keep them coming!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:57 am    Post subject: Re: Journey to The Centre of the...Country. Bhopal, Oct'13 Reply with quote

Spiderguy252 wrote:
Loved this bit in particular:
sumantra wrote:
I was in the centre of the country, in what was at one time, India's largest state, Madhya Pradesh, and my Madhya Pradesh (Central Provinces) would go empty. What an irony!
Ha ha! I would have loved it had my reputation preceded me, but since it doesn't my belly does. You have seen it in all its glory, not once, but...thrice! Smile Thank you, for going through all these reports, Varun!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
72.2 Smack or snack? Tea-Totaller at-Tea-tude does not hold water!


Loved this section header Sumantra - thanks for sharing your short and quick flight to BHO and back. Was the Shatabdi an option for this trip and would you have preferred the Shatabdi (with it's good sized catering) to this hungry flight?
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
...your short and quick flight to BHO and back. Was the Shatabdi an option for this trip and would you have preferred the Shatabdi (with it's good sized catering) to this hungry flight?
He he...Nimish, thank you very much for your appreciation! As regards the Bhopal Shatabdi, believe me, I have taken this train of late on the Gwalior-New Delhi segment, and it has been quite an awful experience, food-wise. I had never imagined that the catering aboard India's premier tourist train would fall down to this oily and spicy mess. There has been some huge cost-cutting aboard Indian Railways as well, but I guess the prices of cooking oil and spices have actually gone down, since they seem to be replacing the dishes and other offerings with spices and oil, by weight. They had run out of the continental option, thanks to the large number of tourists on board, and my seat number did not help. The breakfasts are still decent, but my recent train experiences have been quite horrid, with regard to the food served. Oh, to think that this was one of my favourite trains, along with the Lucknow Shatabdi, the two Rajdhanis to Mumbai, and the two to Calcutta!
...and if you remember my lament with the closing down of JetLite/Jet Konnect and is JetCafe, at least the BoB had a semi-decent sized offering, even if the recipes weren't exactly Air India-like.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sri_bom
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting the report and a very interesting title which is quite apt with your destination.

Some great shots of the Bajaj airplane and the Air India, Jet Airways plane as well as the Bhopal airport. Although there is not much traffic it is still a smart move to build airport keeping in mind future growth.

I am not sure how you survived this flight since you got only “two Marie” biscuits and some tea. Also on your return journey I like the fact while having lunch at the guest house you remembered the nightmare of your hunger pangs that was very funny.

Sri_Bom
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sri_bom wrote:
I am not sure how you survived this flight since you got only “two Marie” biscuits and some tea. Also on your return journey I like the fact while having lunch at the guest house you remembered the nightmare of your hunger pangs that was very funny.

Srinivas, it was quite an ordeal for me to go on two vile Marie biscuits and a cup of tea to last me till dinner time, with a delayed tea break in between. Yes, I got that nightmare (or...`nightMarie', should we say?), it wasn't funny at that time...hence, I hogged, as usual Smile
Thank you Srinivas, for going though this TR in detail!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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rakesh959
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra sir!Yet another awesome TR in Trademark Sumantra Style!Loved the descriptions of the A/C regns.I have in fact become a fan of that!And beleive me,The first person who came to my mind when i heard abt these AI cost cutting measures on food was you!I really beleive this is not going to help them much.A nice sandwich and a drink is much better than these cookies and it wouldnt cost them a bomb for the same But then Its AI Rolling Eyes
Wonderful read!Thanks for sharing!
Cheers!
Rakesh.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rakesh959 wrote:
SAnd beleive me,The first person who came to my mind when i heard abt these AI cost cutting measures on food was you!
Thank you for the kind words, Rakesh! Yes, this was the first time I experienced the cost-cutting at its worst (with regard to my gluttonous tendencies), and I just dread the short sectors, now-a-days!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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stealthpilot
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the TR
- Amazing descriptions of the food, another sumantraesque report.
- I'm impressed they built a big terminal at BHO, not too often we build for the future.
- Too bad about the crappy meal (third most important on my list), but if the crew are friendly that's the best thing IMO .......... seat/IFE being the second (clean and on time is a given). If the crew smile/joke/are friendly that makes me forget the bad meal.
- Thanks for the Bhopal terminal pics, never seen it before.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the kind words, stealthpilot: I appreciate your going through the TRs whenever you find time out from your busy schedules, and also to plan out some really exotic trips, and write TRs for our enjoyment as well! Yes, a nice crew does help in having a nice experienced, but it also help if one is well-fed, else one gets fed-up Wink
Thanks once again, Sumantra.
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