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www:Work-Weakened Weekend.Half-Dead at Nanded,Dec'13

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

PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 9:48 pm    Post subject: www:Work-Weakened Weekend.Half-Dead at Nanded,Dec'13 Reply with quote

www:Work-Weakened Weekend.Half-Dead at Nanded,Dec'13


http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14348.html

80.1 Introduction
I am no stranger to this small city on the banks of the river Godavari.
The regular reader may also recount some of my trip reports, on
my now-numerous trips to the above-mentioned city.
Nanded is one of the holiest places for members of the Sikh
religion. The famous Gurudwara Sachkhand Sahib is in honour of
the last and tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh.
Nanded has always been a challenge to reach, given its limited
air connectivity. It was on the air map briefly in the Vayudoot days.
On the 300 year anniversary, Air India had a special set of
bi-weekly flights from Amritsar to Nanded on the then brand-new
A319s, spread over a total period of some 19 days.
There was a brand-new terminal building at Nanded as well.
Kingfisher Red had a Mumbai-Nanded-Latur service for a longish period.
The only other way to go to Nanded was to go up to either
Aurangabad, or Hyderabad, both of which are some 250-odd
kilometres from Nanded.
I had tried them out once each, in 2007, and 2010, respectively.
I have described these in some level of detail, in my trip
report, covering my latest Nanded trip, until this one came up.
53. Nanded. And Dead Tired. Dizzy iN NDC. Mar'13
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13463.html

There was a surprising move by Go Air to start services to the
city, starting from a twice-weekly service on an A320, which at
its peak, had gone up to four times a week. I had enjoyed my first
trip on Go Air in this context, in 2010.
2. DEL-NAG-NDC, NDC-BOM-DEL on G8
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10169.html
This was also my last trip from the now-closed Terminal 1-A at
Delhi, a building which houses many sweet memories for me.

Nanded was completely off the scheduled air services map by now.
It would be a working weekend for me yet again.
A weekend, weakened by work. And the long road journeys.
This explains the weird title of this trip report,
www:Work-Weakened Weekend.Half-Dead at Nanded,Dec'13

80.2 Special Casual Leave (SCL) for this trip

This time, I decided to make the trip via Hyderabad.
My hosts at Nanded also advised me the same.
While I was not looking forward to the 250km odd-road journey
both ways, the two Air India Hyderabad flights each had something
to look forward to. The pain of travelling far away from home on a
Sunday would be somewhat offset, by an Air India meal.
Actually, I would have liked to take AI 126, the ORD-DEL-HYD
flight, but I did not fancy going without dinner that day, and of
course, there was the small matter of the 250 km-odd drive in the
darkness, as well. My itinerary for this leg of the journey was
as follows:

Set out 22 Dec (Sun) for Hyderabad from New Delhi
AI 544: Air India (A319) [Seat: 08F; PNR: Y260X]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - RGIA, Hyderabad
New Delhi (DEL) - Hyderabad (HYD)
[01:15 pm - 03:15 pm]

I found it quite ironic that for this trip, I had taken
Special Casual Leave, or an `SCL', in Government officialese.
I would take SCL on this trip: VT-SCL.
This was an old friend, once again.
I was the second passenger to board the plane.
The plane was relatively neat and clean, with the fabric looking
fresh, and the plastic surfaces looking clean as well.
We pushed back on the dot, in extremely foggy environs.

80.3 A Feast for the Senses

Needless to say, my ears were expectantly looking forward to an
announcement that gives me immense joy, every time I hear the same.
I also have forum member and moderator Varun to blame for this,
at least on the day of the journey.
He had told me that his next Chennai visit
would happen some time around Pongal, the harvest festival of the
Southern part of the country. That tickled my taste buds, and I
told him that I usually look forward to my trips down South,
around this time of the year, purely for culinary reasons.
Varun egged me on, by reminding me that he too looked forward to
the utthapa(m)s and aDai. He added a naughty smiley
to his text message, knowing fully well that this would send me
into raptures first, and some stark disappointment, afterwards.
I had no trip planned down South around Pongal.
The considerate person that he is, Varun directed me to at least pick
up some biriyAnI from Hyderabad. Yes, Hyderabad is famous
for its own brand to biriyAnI, which is quite different
from the Andhra biriyAnI popular in other parts of the
state. Hyderabadi biriyAnI has a unique taste of the
vegetables/mutton/chicken cooked together with the rice over a
slow fire (ideally, in a pot, with the lid sealed with some whole wheat
flour, which also acts as an indicator of whether the
biriyAnI is done or not.) While this thought cheered me
up again, I was a bit disappointed at the realisation that I
would just pass the Hyderabad airport, as I would have someone to
pick me up right from there, and take me 255km away towards Nanded.
Paradise was the name of the famous joint in Hyderabad, and the
RGIA at Shamshabad, Hyderabad, had a joint named `Airport
Paradise', whose fare was excellent. This was in the domestic
departures section, however. I do not remember any similar outlet
in the arrivals part, hence I was a bit disappointed.
I was looking forward to a scrumptious Air India
lunch, which would have me quite full, and make me avoid having
anything else before dinner, least the toppings spoil the
post-lunch feeling of bliss, and wash away the taste from my mouth.

I must interject, and update the reader with some of the
goings-on in between. Captain Nitin Arora was in command, and the
very senior Mr. Parthi was in charge of the cabin. Captain Arora
took us to the threshold of runway 29, and we took off behind an
Air India Dream)liner: which I guessed to be AI 143, the Air
India flight to Paris, a flight I would take in April
2014. Ah yes, there was a JetLite B738 which followed the
Dream)liner into the foggy skies. The flight time had been
announced as an hour and 55 minutes. The flight would go onwards
towards Vijayawada from Hyderabad.

My hopes had gone sky high when I had seen a Taj-SATS truck pull
up beside our plane. Air India did not disappoint.

The lunch started with a brown bread bun, which I opened in
accordance with my well-rehearsed ritual. I took the packet close
to my nose, much to the shock of the person seated beside me.
In fact, I enjoyed the look of dismay on his face as I opened the
packing in one deft stroke, neither too slow, nor too fast, and
savoured the extremely appetising smell of the freshly baked bread.
The Taj group certainly keeps up to its name with their bakery items!
Beside it was a butter chiplet, rock hard, just the way I like
butter to be. After I had finished extracting the last dollop of ice
cold lipids from the butter chiplet case, I turned my attention
to the salad, in yet another well-practiced ritual. It was the
usual Indian `green' salad. I took the lemon slice, and sprinkled
a bit of it in the plastic case, so that the first drops of the
juice landed on the cucumber and tomato mixture, and some of the
essential oils made it around my nostril, from the rind I had
just squeezed. I sprinkled a good bit of the pepper, and a little
salt onto the bowl, and took a good bit of the lemon juice out of
the slice. The cucumber was a dark green thick-skinned variety
(much like that of the beholder, infamous as a thick-skinned person),
which was very fresh and crunchy. I could feel my
digestive juices flowing all around my middle, by now.
I had taken the plastic cling-wrap film out from the plastic
cases for taking my obligatory food picture, so the food had
cooled a little bit. I did not mind it much, as I extricated the
last drops of juice from the lemon, and some essential oils from
the rind as well, onto the yellow rice. It was done just right.
I enjoyed a bit of the plain rice with the lemon juice, and the
remaining pepper from the sachet, and a bit of salt as well.
To the left was a nice dry potato and capsicum/bell pepper curry.
I twirled the potato pieces in my mouth to let the dry spice
covering tingle my senses all around my mouth (thankfully, the
insides, alone). I turned my attention to the non-vegetarian offering, now.
I started with the gravy.
It was a thick tomato-based gravy, with the subtle sweetness
complementing the spice combination quite well. No, it did not
have much of the sinful butter or cream, it had some interesting
green shreds: spinach, giving it a nice taste. The chicken pieces
were very soft and succulent. I enjoyed the curry immensely.
By now, the beverage service had started. Coffee came first.
The reader well-familiar with my scheme of things knows
what I usually choose. And what I usually get, as well.
It was the usual flat common brand of instant coffee, which I
love to hate. It was very hot, and strong, so I did not mind it
that much. I had the excitement of digging into the dessert in
store for me. I was glad to get an Air India fusion dessert.
The orange-coloured shreds in the desiccated milk base were certainly
carrot shreds. Was this the North Indian gAjar-kA-halwA?
No, not quite! From what I could make out, some
gAjar-kA-halwA had been mixed with some desiccated milk,
with a hint of sweetness, and some crushed pistachios added to
complement the colour and the taste.
Needless to say, I polished the container clean.

80.4 halwA?

Captain Arora made a smooth landing at Hyderabad. The luggage
came out relatively quickly, and I spend onwards, to the waiting
vehicle, in the car park. It feels nice to be pampered by one's hosts!
The gAjar-kA-halwA had been on my mind ever since I had
partaken of the wonderful version dished out on Air India, an
airline that takes food and related maters, seriously.
The road trip was definitely not something to look forward to.
It took about 7 hours, and I reached Nanded at 10:30 pm.

I was a bit sleepy, and thoughts about the gAjar-kA-halwA
got me drifting in and out of sleep, and left me deep in thought
about the different types of halwA which one comes
across in India. Yes, incredible as it seems, all this happened
while I was in the car, making its way to Nanded. Trust me to
keep my mind occupied with thoughts of food, even when faced with
something as mundane such as a dreary road journey.
I know of the Turkish and Central Asian origins of the delicacy,
but we seem to have quite a few varieties of the same, in India.
Most of them are based on some cereal, and some, with some vegetables.
India's most common one is the sUjI/ravA one, which has
the Durum wheat semolina first roasted (sometimes with the
sugar), and then mixed with a good quantity of sinful ghee
(clarified butter), before adding water for the fluidity, and
then cooking it to the desired consistency. The art behind this
entire exercise is the fluidity, and texture, which comes out of
the stirring of the gooey mixture. There are many
variants of this basic recipe, with garnishing coming in the form
of different types of dry fruits, and saffron, as well.
The sheerA of Maharashtra and kesarI bAth of
Karnataka is supposed to have the latter as an important
ingredient, now substituted with turmeric, and sometimes, the
not-so-nice artificial food colours. These are often served with
pineapple slices, to lend it an unforgettable taste.
There is a version made of whole wheat flour as well
(ATTA), which is to be found in the North, and in the East as well.
Some interesting cereal-based variants include the
thirunelvelI halwA, which is based on refined wheat flour
(maidA), and the Calicut/Kozhikodan halwA, which has
cardamon and other spices Kerala is famous for, and is done with
coconut oil, which gives it its characteristic flavour.
The Karachi halwA has an interesting addition in the form
of cornflour, which lends it a good amount of solidity.
North India has some gooey halwAs based on vegetables,
such as the doodhI halwA, based on the bottle gourd, and
the above-mentioned gAjar-kA-halwA, which is cooked a bit
differently. The traditional recipe has the red carrot shreds
cooked in milk, on a low flame, with sugar, in such a way that
the orangish liquid thickens, and then almost dries out. Current
versions have the sweetened desiccated milk solids khowA
mixed in with carrot shreds cooked in sugar syrup, as a
hasty-and-less-tasty, but more common variant. This can do
without the cumbersome process of keeping the milk well-stirred,
which tends to stick (and brown out) if it sticks to the sides,
while it is losing its liquid form, into something tastier.
mUng dAl halwA is an interesting variant based on a type
of pulses, mUng, to form the gooey mush.

I dreamed on, and armed with a head-band LED light, ended up
typing quite a bit of this part of the mush in between bouts of
sleep, as we sped along roads, both good and bad, on the way to
Hotel City Pride at Nanded. My hosts had waited for me at the
hotel, to join me for dinner. If they were hungry, you can well
imagine how hungry I must have been. I do not remember that much
of the dinner in the low-light restaurant, except for a large
number of sinful items (in terms of spices, and the relative quantity
of oil used), which ended with a nice butter scotch ice cream.
The bouts of sleeping in the car had not satisfied my tired
visage, and the halwA-based dreams had only intensified my
hunger. I hit the bed, and fell asleep almost instantaneously.

80.5 Turning back, at mid-day

The next day was extremely hectic, with an early morning start to
the proceedings, and ending with no time to catch a quick bite,
as I had to head back to Hyderabad, to catch my flight to Delhi.
The return trip took exactly 6 hours, as we hit the outer ring
road after Nizamabad. I had set out at 1pm, and reached the
airport just before 7pm. My gracious hosts had packed some
sandwiches and a burger for me for my entertainment during the
long journey, so that I would not have to stop for food on the way.
Needless to say, I shared half with the driver, and devoured
the other half in no time at all. There were no bouts of sleep on
this return leg, as I tried hard to catch up with some official
work (limited to reading alone, I did not want to succumb to nausea and
end up throwing up, if I indulged in some heavy work on the laptop).

80.6 AI 127, HYD-DEL

There were long lines at the Air India
counters, with the ones for AI 127 to New Delhi and Chicago, and
AI 051 to Mumbai, leading the pack. After the Immigration and
Customs, and the security check, the boarding call was announced
almost immediately at the stroke of 8pm. From a visual inspection
of the crowd at Gate 32A, the loads looked good. From a visual
inspection of the registration number and name of our aircraft
for the trip, I was disappointed to get a familiar plane, on
which I have made two journeys in the past. It was `Chhatisgarh',
VT-ALK. I have written about my previous two experiences aboard
the particular plane in question, in a trip report:
51. `Chhattisgarh' & 36, Chappan-bhog & 56:Mumbai,Jan'13
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13333.html

Passengers were welcomed by a very senior gentleman, and a
young lady, at the gate. I went over to my favourite seat on an
Air India B77W, 42K. The itinerary for this leg of the journey as
as follows:

Set out 23 Dec (Mon) for New Delhi from Hyderabad
AI 127: Air India (B77W) [Seat: 42K; PNR: Y260X]
RGIA, Hyderabad - IGIA T3, New Delhi
Hyderabad (HYD) - New Delhi (DEL)
[08:55 pm - 11:10 pm]

As we boarded our plane, a new Air Costa E-170 taxied out for
take-off. I had noticed a similar aircraft on my arrival at
Hyderabad as well. It was occluded behind an aero-bridge, hence
I could not take a snap. To our left was an Emirates B772.
There had been calls for the Air India Dubai flight, as we were
boarding. I settled down on my favourite seat, and sat down to
work. The plastic surfaces showed signs of wear and tear, but the
plane otherwise, was quite spic and span. The fabric surfaces, and
the carpet looked clean and fresh. The handset worked, as did the
power-port. I was happy. PPM, the `concentration' plane VT-PPM
was parked to our right. Soon, an A319 in the interim `Indian'
colours (which was parked to PPM's right), pushed back. There was
an Indigo A320 at another gate. Soon, a SpiceJet B739 came in,
followed by a Jet Airways B738. An Air India A319 in the Flying
Swan livery came in, and took the place of the earlier A319.
PPM and the Indigo plane pushed back almost in synchronism.
Two SpiceJet planes came in: a Q400, and a B738.

We pushed back at the stroke of 08:55 pm.
I remembered that the last time I took this flight, there was a
Saudi MD-11F, which suddenly appeared in sight from the window,
in the darkness around. It had taken me by such surprise that I
could not take my camera out, and try a quick low-light snap.
The exotic bird I sighted this time was an An-124
`Ruslan' parked on the cargo apron.
Captain Vivek Nair had announced a flying time of 01:45 hours.
Mr. Deepak Ghate was in charge of the cabin.
After the seat belt signs had gone off,
First Officer Ravneet Kaur came on the air, and announced that we
were flying at 40,000 feet above sea level, at 1100 km/hr(?). The
temperature at our destination Delhi was expected to be 12
degrees Celcius. She announced our route as well. She announced
these details in both English and Hindi. When I went to wash my
hands in the lavatory, to my delight, there was a bottle of
moisturiser as well, much like a standard Air India international flight.

80.7 The Dinner. But of course.

The regular reader may have got quite restive by now.
No mention of food, by now? If the reader can get restive, you
can well imagine how restive I must have got. I had taken care
not to think about any delicious items, and their myriad
variants, on my road trip back, lest hunger pangs hit me badly.
What was served, was a treat for the senses.

The cabin crew had already pre-heated the food well in advance,
and the service started in right earnest.
The sight of a brown bun on the tray heightened my expectations.
Indeed, it was very soft, moist and fresh.
It is very encouraging that at the time of my trip
(December, 2013), Air India had almost `standardised'
this item on board flights, in place of the refined flour white bun.
As usual, I had my nose near the packet as I opened it.
Mmm...the freshness of the bake invigourated my senses.
I enjoyed it with a rock-hard butter chiplet.
As the regular reader would expect, my next target was the salad bowl,
with my olfactory senses being excited with a mild sprinkle
of the lemon on top of the salad bowl, with the juice drops going
into the plastic bowl, and the essential oils making their way
into an appreciative and eager nasal passage. I kept my nose relatively
close to, but at a safe distance from the pepper sachet,
which had retained the freshness of the ground pepper quite well.
A sprinkle of the salt sachet completed the exercise for the salad.
Aha, the presentation was nothing to write home about, but the
freshness of the offering would forgive just about everything.
The carrots were sliced lengthwise, and the extremely fresh
cucumbers, into disks, with the skins on. They were extremely
crunchy, and went well with the lemon juice, pepper and a hint of
salt. As usual, I emptied the remaining juice, pepper and salt
mixture from the salad bowl, over the main offering.

The main offering was quite interesting in itself. To the left of
the container was some plain boiled arhar/toor dAl (pigeon peas),
which went very well with the above mixture, and the
remaining lemon juice. The main course was representative of the
place from where the flight originated...a Hyderabadi biriyAnI!
I savoured the aroma a bit before digging into the treat.
The spice combination was simply delicious, with the rice having
finely chopped vegetables, some kAbulI chanA (large gram)
pieces, and some soft and succulent pieces of chicken, which had
been marinated to perfection in a medley of spices, among which
cumin powder, coriander powder, and a hint of ginger stood out.
This may have had a slightly modern touch to it, but was immensely satisfying.

As I hungrily eyed the dessert, I noticed the
beverage service commencing. A great coffee would be the perfect
conclusion of a great meal. So I thought, in eager anticipation,
knowing fully well that the same on Air India is only a
statistical oddity, when a brand of coffee is loaded on board,
one that is different from the multi-national brand that
advertises itself as the world's most popular coffee.
Well, it is certainly not so, at least, by taste.
The coffee was an insipid as ever. It was at least hot, and I
devoured it as quickly as I could, lest it spoil my anticipation
of a great dessert experience. The dessert was an Air India classic.
Air India rarely gets this wrong.
This was a rAjbhog, a delicacy fit for the kings, literally.
And that too, on an airline that advertises itself as treating
its passengers as Maharajas, great kings.
The rAjbhog is a cousin of the more popular cottage
cheese-based Indian sweet, the rasgullA/rosogollA.
It is larger in size, and is made around a crystal of
crystallised palm candy, or palm jaggery, coloured
(traditionally, at least) with a hint of saffron (now-a-days,
food colours, or better still, a hint of turmeric does the job),
and garnished on the top with pistachios.
The sheer sight of the green-and-brown chopped
pistachios on top of the light yellow delicacy, brought in gushes
of digestive juices flowing all around my (massive) middle.
Air India did not disappoint.

The trays were cleared quickly, with a smile.
I drifted into a deep sleep. I did not react on hearing the
announcement of the landing, and Captain Nair and F/O Kaur's
feather-touch landing did little to disturb my slumber.
I woke up as I sensed passengers around me getting up, after the
plane had docked at an aero-bridge at Delhi's Indira Gandhi
International Airport Terminal 3, in the International section.
I took a pre-paid taxi back home. Considerably Weakened by work
(and travelling for work), this concluded a rather heavy weekend for me!
---
Links to my 80 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
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himmat01
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Posts: 1369
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As usual a great TR. Simply love the way you write these mouth watering reports. Been a long time since I have flown on AI. Must plan a trip soon.
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abhijith16
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra ji, stop making me hungry with your deliciously explained food TRs Laughing Laughing Razz

Excellent TR!
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3591
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you sir for the wonderful Trip Report. I need to borrow your skills of reviewing food for my food reviews. I am sure I will get invited at far more places for free than I already do!

Only KF and G8 operated to NDC on a scheduled basis and I had the (mis) fortune of being there while the operations lasted. Indeed G8 went from 2x to 4x till the pull out completely. Once upon a time there were talks of HYD-NDC flight as well from KF, however that did not materialize. NDC does not see any economic activity thus there is nothing apart from the gurudwara traffic.
Thank you again for a 2013 TR . . I hope 2014 starts soon and you reach your recent IDR trip quickly
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot as usual, Himmat Sir!
himmat01 wrote:
Been a long time since I have flown on AI. Must plan a trip soon.
Yes, Sir. A trip. And a Trip Report, as well Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

abhijith16 wrote:
...stop making me hungry
Sir, you can well imagine my discomfort when keying them in, unless I am at home, with a larder to raid. I eagerly look forward to your TRs.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
I need to borrow your skills of reviewing food
No Sir, I can guarantee you, you are really the `Super Foodie' that the world knows you to be. I do not miss any review you send the URL to, typically on this forum. Please do share them with all of us, even if they are limited to Pune, which I have not got much of a chance to visit, for a while.
ameya wrote:
Only KF and G8 operated to NDC on a scheduled basis and I had the (mis) fortune of being there while the operations lasted.
Sir, I guess that we will not get to know much of these details, publicly, since these were work-related, at that time.
ameya wrote:
Indeed G8 went from 2x to 4x till the pull out completely.
I remember tracking the G8 ops at that time, and you telling me a bit of the G8 history.
ameya wrote:
Once upon a time there were talks of HYD-NDC flight as well from KF, however that did not materialize.
This is interesting...do share some details, in case you are able to. Else, a personal email will also do fine Smile I am a bit surprised - as a complete layperson, though, since most fo the domestic and international traffic to Nanded has been traditionally via Mumbai, though that could be due to the existing infrastructure.
ameya wrote:
NDC does not see any economic activity thus there is nothing apart from the gurudwara traffic.
True Sir, I have seen this in person quite a few times. This is low-yield, though in terms of numbers, an AT4/Q4 on alternate days would be fair in terms of occupancy. There is almost nil cargo potential.
ameya wrote:
Thank you again for a 2013 TR . . I hope 2014 starts soon and you reach your recent IDR trip quickly
Sir, I have to credit you for all your constant nudges, and encouragement. The 2013 TRs will close out with one more, a Mumbai Christmas trip. This was my last trip to the old Sahar CSIA T2, and has a few pictures, and mixed memories, before experiencing the fantastic new T2 in Sep'14. Thanks a lot once again, Sir.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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ameya
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There used to be a BOM NDC LTU NDC BOM FLIGHT which quickly was made BOM NDC LTU BOM ON 4 DAYS OF THE WEEK. The same rotation would operate to SSE on other days. It took one aircraft to keep Vilasrao Deshmukh (LTU), Ashok Chavan (NDC) and Sushil Kumar Shinde (SSE) happy. The same aircraft also kept Chagan Bhujbal happy (ISK).
For a limited period, there used to be a HYD-IXU flight, which did decent in terms of loads when when the yields were trash. IXU and HYD have nizami connection. With even today, more busses and trains heading towards nanded and Hyderabad than towards manmad and Mumbai. Also the railway was meter guage from hyderabad till manmad, which changed in 1990s.

This HYD-IXU flight was to be diverted to operate HYD-NDC in expectation of better yield, also that could connect well with BLR/MAA/DEL/CCU via HYD, unlike HYD-IXU which had next to nil feed.

The HYD-IXU route was tried again by SG and failed. Infact SG kept trying IXU but couldn’t crack it. IXU sees only tourist traffic and primarily to BOM. I can keep writing about IXU. . .

As for NDC – keeping a station operational for alternate day flight ops is not a great idea of any airline in current times. There is some bit of cargo potential – on the flowers and vegetables front.
Look forward to rest of your TRs
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
There used to be a BOM NDC LTU NDC BOM FLIGHT which quickly was made BOM NDC LTU BOM ON 4 DAYS OF THE WEEK.
Sir, I will shock you with the flight numbers, and some additional information as well Smile This information is circa 2011-12, when I was tracking NDC's connectivity. 2011 saw the first major disruptions in the IT schedules, and then I guess, most things went downhill very quickly.

BOM-NDC: IT 4145 {01 Aug - 28 Oct} Mon, Wed, Fri
[10:00 am - 11:20 am]
{30 Oct - 23 Jan} Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
[11:45 am - 01:05 pm]
NDC-BOM: IT 4146 {01 Aug - 28 Oct} Mon, Wed, Fri
[11:45 am - 01:00 pm]
{30 Oct - 23 Jan} Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
[01:40 pm - 03:05 pm]

Sir, you have virtually given the details of the hoi polloi in the Maharashtra political scene. If possible, do tell us about Nasik(ISK) as well. I also remember a Kolhapur(KLH) service tht got the boot (please pardon the pun!) with the 2011 troubles. Kolhpaur's Ujlaiwadi airport was the closest airport for Sangli, in 2011, from what I remember. You may remember my Sangli trip via your hometown, in 2013.
If possible, do tell us more about the HYD-IXU flight as well. I am glad you mention the Nizami connection between the two cities. One practical reality in favour of HYD, in spite of being 5-10km further, was the once bad road route in and around Parbhani. I have experienced this in person. I think there has been some welcome development in the roads now. You may know better, due to your Aurangabad links! Further, the history of airlines trying out IXU, and not making it work, is quite interesting. Yes, the IXU market is primarily to BOM, though AI does not do that badly with the DEL-IXU-BOM connection.

ameya wrote:
As for NDC – keeping a station operational for alternate day flight ops is not a great idea of any airline in current times. There is some bit of cargo potential – on the flowers and vegetables front./

Nanded's flowers and vegetables cargo potential: Sir, please tell us more about this one. I also need to ask my friends at Nanded about this one. While Nanded is not as arid as the Vidarbha core (thanks to the Vishnupuri project on the Godavari), I wasn't aware of this angle at all. My NDC trips did not see any cargo pallets being loaded, at least, at the times I had my eyes on the planes.

ameya wrote:
Look forward to rest of your TRs
Thank you, Sir. Your gentle but regular persuasion works wonders. I am trying to finish the Dec'13 Mumbai trip report quickly: my last visit to the old Sahar T2, before the lovely new one came up. That I would visit in Sep'14.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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avbuff
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing sumantraji...

By this rate of travel. Air India should arrange a special charter for you ...

Nice information on Nanded and the way you spell the titles, it always distinguishes the Sumatraji TRs vs others!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

avbuff wrote:
...By this rate of travel. Air India should arrange a special charter for you ...
Sir, thanks for the kind words, as always! An Air India charter would be great Smile
avbuff wrote:
Nice information on Nanded
I guess I have been rather lucky to visit many exotic off-beat locations, and also fly to many places: something that is not commensurate with my low position in my organisation, and moderate economic means. I just like to share my excitement on each trip, and utter a silent prayer of thanks, for being able to do so, in spite of the two impediments, I mentioned above!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic TR Sumantra and the food looks even more tantalizing. Since Air India is good in this department I think they should continue investing rather than cutting cost on food.

The tomato based curry looks good, although the rice looks a bit dry was it well cooked? The fusion desert is an interesting concept kudos to Air India.

Also your return dinner both biryani and the rajbhog looks great. Bengali sweets are my favourites and I can eat them even if they are not that great.

I noticed you got your rock solid butter the way you like it, my only issue with Amul butter is that they add artificial colouring (color E) which I am not sure why they do that as most artificial colors are not good for our bodies. I did check packaging from butters made in Europe and Australia and none of them use any coloring. Any idea is Amul butter made of cow’s milk or buffalo?

Thanks for the great report.

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sumantra
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the kind words, Srinivas!
sri_bom wrote:
Since Air India is good in this department I think they should continue investing rather than cutting cost on food.
Srinivas, thankfully, post-*A entry, while Air India haven't splurged taxpayers' money on the food, they have increased the quantity (much to my delight) from the severe cost-cutting days, and thankfully, they have kept their sky-high culinary expertise intact!
sri_bom wrote:
The tomato based curry looks good, although the rice looks a bit dry was it well cooked?
Yes! Most members of the cabin crew (more so, the senior and seasoned ones), take the re-heat instructiosn seriously. The Air India recipes call for the requisite amount of moisture in each Aluminium box, enough to add the final touches to the rice, and not to spoil the flavours of the dry preparations beside it. This is a culinary masterpiece, which Air India has not compromised on, ever since the heady days of JRD Tata.
sri_bom wrote:
The fusion desert is an interesting concept kudos to Air India.
The sheer experimentation that goes on inside the mids of the Air India chefs, is incredible. The fusion desserts are heavenly.
sri_bom wrote:
I noticed you got your rock solid butter the way you like it, my only issue with Amul butter is that they add artificial colouring (color E) which I am not sure why they do that as most artificial colors are not good for our bodies. I did check packaging from butters made in Europe and Australia and none of them use any coloring. Any idea is Amul butter made of cow’s milk or buffalo?
Srinivas, this part really got me thinking. We had always grown up, knowing that the yellow colour of butter comes from Annatto. Sometimes, beta-Carotene is also added. In the early 1970s, White butter was also commercially available in Delhi (DMS: Delhi Milk Scheme), which had the 500gm slabs of White Butter as well. This did not last long, as people yearned for the salted and coloured butter. I have seen butters in the US in the 1970s as a kid: they were all coloured. Margarine is also coloured. It is only now-a-days that we see some butters with the light yellow colour, as if they were natural. Some European and New Zealand butters have this light yellow tinge. Now, this is interesting.
In most parts of India, buffalo milk is more common. Why? It has a larger fat content, and buffalo milk is really quite white in colour. In Maharashtra, cow milk is more revered, as a Mumbaikar, you would have loved your Aarey brand gAyIche dUdh. Cow milk is tastier (IMHO), and has a distinct light yellow colour. It also has a smaller fat content, and is easier to digest. The cow milk used for the famous sweet from Tamil Nadu, pAlkovA from Srivilliputtur, gives it the characteristic colour (and taste!).
Why am I talking about all this? Most milk in the US, Europe and Australia-New Zealand comes from cows. The butter from cow's milk has some beta-Carotene, which gives it a light yellow tinge. However, the colour is often seasonal, depending on the feed. Hence, most butters from the highest milk-producing regions of the world, will have colouration added, for product consistency. This is unfortunate, but true.
In your adopted country Singapore, it was interesting to see Amul butter occupy a place of pride on shelves of the huge Mustafa supermarket.
Clarified butter, or ghee has a natural darkish yellow-light brownish colour, due to the frying of the SNF, the `milk solids', and this is true even for ghee made from buffalo milk. On a different note, some butyl compounds used for adulterating ghee have an incredibly similar aroma, and texture, as well.
I have always been fascinated by milk, milk products and substitutes, and would love to learn more from a fellow foodies like you, Sir!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Thank you for the kind words, Srinivas!
sri_bom wrote:
Since Air India is good in this department I think they should continue investing rather than cutting cost on food.
Srinivas, thankfully, post-*A entry, while Air India haven't splurged taxpayers' money on the food, they have increased the quantity (much to my delight) from the severe cost-cutting days, and thankfully, they have kept their sky-high culinary expertise intact!
sri_bom wrote:
The tomato based curry looks good, although the rice looks a bit dry was it well cooked?
Yes! Most members of the cabin crew (more so, the senior and seasoned ones), take the re-heat instructiosn seriously. The Air India recipes call for the requisite amount of moisture in each Aluminium box, enough to add the final touches to the rice, and not to spoil the flavours of the dry preparations beside it. This is a culinary masterpiece, which Air India has not compromised on, ever since the heady days of JRD Tata.
sri_bom wrote:
The fusion desert is an interesting concept kudos to Air India.
The sheer experimentation that goes on inside the mids of the Air India chefs, is incredible. The fusion desserts are heavenly.
sri_bom wrote:
I noticed you got your rock solid butter the way you like it, my only issue with Amul butter is that they add artificial colouring (color E) which I am not sure why they do that as most artificial colors are not good for our bodies. I did check packaging from butters made in Europe and Australia and none of them use any coloring. Any idea is Amul butter made of cow’s milk or buffalo?
Srinivas, this part really got me thinking. We had always grown up, knowing that the yellow colour of butter comes from Annatto. Sometimes, beta-Carotene is also added. In the early 1970s, White butter was also commercially available in Delhi (DMS: Delhi Milk Scheme), which had the 500gm slabs of White Butter as well. This did not last long, as people yearned for the salted and coloured butter. I have seen butters in the US in the 1970s as a kid: they were all coloured. Margarine is also coloured. It is only now-a-days that we see some butters with the light yellow colour, as if they were natural. Some European and New Zealand butters have this light yellow tinge. Now, this is interesting.
In most parts of India, buffalo milk is more common. Why? It has a larger fat content, and buffalo milk is really quite white in colour. In Maharashtra, cow milk is more revered, as a Mumbaikar, you would have loved your Aarey brand gAyIche dUdh. Cow milk is tastier (IMHO), and has a distinct light yellow colour. It also has a smaller fat content, and is easier to digest. The cow milk used for the famous sweet from Tamil Nadu, pAlkovA from Srivilliputtur, gives it the characteristic colour (and taste!).
Why am I talking about all this? Most milk in the US, Europe and Australia-New Zealand comes from cows. The butter from cow's milk has some beta-Carotene, which gives it a light yellow tinge. However, the colour is often seasonal, depending on the feed. Hence, most butters from the highest milk-producing regions of the world, will have colouration added, for product consistency. This is unfortunate, but true.
In your adopted country Singapore, it was interesting to see Amul butter occupy a place of pride on shelves of the huge Mustafa supermarket.
Clarified butter, or ghee has a natural darkish yellow-light brownish colour, due to the frying of the SNF, the `milk solids', and this is true even for ghee made from buffalo milk. On a different note, some butyl compounds used for adulterating ghee have an incredibly similar aroma, and texture, as well.
I have always been fascinated by milk, milk products and substitutes, and would love to learn more from a fellow foodies like you, Sir!
Cheers, Sumantra.


Thanks for the detailed overview on various types of Milk products. Although I love Amul butter but have stopped using it because of artifical coloring. With the amount of crap that goes in food processing like - Lead, chemicals, coloring, dyes, I am trying to elimnate products that don't use artifical stuff whereever I can.

Sri_Bom
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sri_bom wrote:
I am trying to elimnate products that don't use artifical stuff whereever I can
I guess you are really doing the right things, Sir!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am now honestly starting to wonder if you're TRs are actually mored focused on food rather than the flight itself Razz

Awesome TR again sir. Thanks so much for sharing! Question - would the biriyani joint be there at the international section of HYD departures? I have a flight from there, and I hope I get a taste of some of the biriyani.....

I see only 2 meal items in the main box for AI127 - is this normal? There usually is a third part to it too...


I look forward to your CDG TR, obviously! Smile

Regards
Jish
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
I am now honestly starting to wonder if you're TRs are actually mored focused on food rather than the flight itself Razz
Ouch...I guess as long as there i a good amount of aviation content, the obsession over food can continue Wink
jbalonso777 wrote:
Question - would the biriyani joint be there at the international section of HYD departures? I have a flight from there, and I hope I get a taste of some of the biriyani.....
Sir, most of my HYD departures (at least, those that I have a say in, when not coerced to do so, by senior colleagues) are on AI 127, from the International Departures. And the `Airport Paradise' joint is not there, unfortunately, or at least, was not there. However, the Pullareddy sweets joint should be there. Their sweets are nice Smile
jbalonso777 wrote:
I see only 2 meal items in the main box for AI127 - is this normal? There usually is a third part to it too...
This is something I have observed over the years: when there is a biriyAnI, there are only two! The spread the goodness Razz
Thank you for your detailed read as usual, and your kind words! Now that 19 June 2015 is behind you, we expect some really exotic things from you, on this section!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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