Friday, 5 July 2013

No men please

Apparently men are heavier than women.  Did you know that ?  In many parts of the globe, that is probably true, but in India ?? Can you believe that Rajalakshmi, she of the considerable proportions, is inferior to Ramamritham, when it comes to the weight stakes ?? I somehow, seriously doubt that. But not, it appears GoAir, an India based airline.  This is the news from GoAir, that set off this post.

Cabin attendants, flight attendants, stew, whatever name you wish to call them, are predominantly women, everywhere in the world. It all started in the initial days of flying. A pretty young air hostess was part of the decor of the plane. Nervous travelers, usually pot bellied men, could relax by looking at a smiling pretty face. As the years went by, the pot bellied business traveler remained the same, at least pot belly wise, but the nervousness disappeared. The flight attendants meanwhile aged, and age discrimination laws in the US and Europe ensure that these days its a matronly woman giving you a geriatric smile. It is not the most pleasant of sights, unless you have a major mothering need. That's why every regular traveler instantly closes his eyes and goes to sleep on entering a plane - those that don't are just waiting for the booze to come before doing exactly the same. Asian airlines however still consider a pretty flight attendant as an important component of air travel - the Singapore girl continues to be, well, a Singapore girl.  The strong preference of this blogger for Asian airlines, should not go unmentioned.

GoAir, being a sensible Asian airline, wants to do exactly the same.  But then, it is extremely incorrect politically to say so. They have therefore announced that they would only recruit female flight attendants, because ( wait with bated breath)...... because women are less heavier than men and therefore they can reduce the total weight of the aircraft and achieve fuel savings !! Wow ! Double Wow !! That is the most ingenious explanation you can ever imagine. Not only has it flattered all Rajalakshmis, who will rise in defence of this move, but it has also cleared the way for the airline to recruit petite sweet young things.  Isn't that brilliant ?

Well, airlines have been known to do all sorts of things to reduce weight. ANA took the cake, by asking all passengers to pee before boarding, as a means of reducing total load on the aircraft. Ryan Air tried to achieve the same thing by thinking of charging passengers to go to the loo onboard - thereby forcing them to go to the loo before boarding. American airlines achieved this by abolishing all food on board and replacing them with peanuts. But GoAir is scaling new heights by trying to reduce the weight of its crew.

Perhaps they will now do some in depth research on the weight habits of Indian travelers. You see, the men are mostly those, who can only see their toes by looking at the mirror, because there is a significant protuberance that obstructs the natural line of sight. The women have a different problem - they can only walk down the airplane aisle sideways as, the width somewhat precludes a straight-faced progression. In such an environment, imagine the plight of a petite flight attendant. When the aircraft lands and she opens the doors, the onrushing melee will probably knock her off the plane altogether !

GoAir has probably scored a march over its competition. India's "national airline", Air India, believes that it should accurately portray a representative Rajalakshmi in its cabin crew - they are therefore, shall we charitably say, non petite. Kingfisher, which practiced the policy of all flight attendants being hired personally by the Chairman, could have probably beaten GoAir hollow - the Chairman's ability to spot the right talent in this matter being somewhat legendary. Unfortunately the airline went bust, pun unintended. So the field is ripe for GoAir.

This blogger is significantly underweight. He therefore intends to fly GoAir next time and ask for a weight discount. And while flying, he can appreciate, the petite cabin crew. Of if you prefer , as the verbatim technical specs the airline has put out says - cabin crew with a minimum height of five foot three inches and weight proportionate to the height !!


  1. ahem .... so many politically incorrect remarks in your post ;) u are in "huge" trouble, ramesh!!!

    i will try to stay as correct as possible--i don't want to incur nancy's wrath .... hehe!

    it is crazy that an airline would use such bizarre "logic" in order to hire only young women ... awful. can one sue against such practices in india? am guessing not ... i often joke that the fear of a lawsuit is one easy way in which we can make sure people and businesses behave the right way ... yes, sometimes the lawyers go way over the top, but even those frivolous lawsuits help in a big way.

    btw, most US airlines don't serve peanuts anymore--worries over peanut allergies!
    so, pretzels, if at all ....

    anyway, with every visit to india, i am shocked at the increasing girth there ... of course, that is also highly correlated with diabetes, with all the rice and rotis ... and wuth all the western fast food operations in india, it seems like all the bad habits from the US are the ones that are adopted really rapidly there ... indian fast-food has also proliferated like crazy. even in chennai, it seems like there are chaat places every corner. and fried stuff. and krishna sweets and adyar bhavan every other corner. in between, all kinds of eating places..... affluence doesn't mean one should eat more of unhealthy food :( bad role model the US has been :( :(
    in urban india, i rarely ever see kids eating fruits anymore ... good for me because i then get a lot more guavas to eat ...

    i wish they would serve guavas for in-flight consumption .... what we need is not GoAir, but GuavaAir .... muahahahaha ;)

  2. @sriram - Yeah - flitting with death, ain't I !! The "logic" was a spin I gave to the post - they are actually saying they will save money by carrying less weight !! So nothing to sue on .

    Oh - Indians were always prone to fat with the fascination for ghee and the number of fried snacks that are consumed. And sedentary lifestyles - catch an uncle or aunty really working out.

    Muahahahaha indeed on the guavas.

  3. manitha vedi gundu neria ulaavara intha kalathula..gundu manithanuku ipdi oru sothanaiya..enna koduma saaar ithu

  4. Kodumaiye illa Gilsu. You do not belong to the category of "gundu manithar". Therefore no kodumais. Instead you should join in geli pannufying the gundans :)

  5. Hehe! Nancy is definitely not taking any offense to the post or it's contents, because it's not my battle. I m infact intrigued by the 'feather weight discount' that Ramesh came up with and will sign up for any serious petition!

  6. As the geli pannufying gang is growing, I feel I should lodge a protest on behalf of Rajalakshmi with whom I can identify on such weighty matters :)

  7. Heh heh..Good one Ramesh :)

    This reminds me of the time, when i was travelling alone and I boarded an auto with a suitcase and a back-pack in tow. The Auto-driver said he will charge extra for my luggage. I asked him why would luggage be charged extra and he said that it was because it was 'extra-weight'. Whereupon I promptly asked him what would he have done had I been fat? :) I argued that since I was under-weight, the luggage compensated for it :D

    He didn't know what to say :)

    Needless to say I wasn't charged extra for the luggage :D

  8. @Preeti - Class. There's no answer for that, especially when it comes from a svelte young lady :)

  9. Well there is one of the airlines here in the south pacific (Air Samoa) that charges passengers by weight! Samoans tend to be of ample proportions and a 220 pound person is considered slightly below average weight. The airline has extra wide seats and charges passengers by the kilo. Not a bad idea - imagine the plight of rajalaxmis! Here is the link:

  10. Well Ramesh
    In your case the upper portion of your body (read the intelligent brain) is heavier :) and covers up for the lighter weight in the rest of the body... So you be paying more lah!!!

  11. I finally get an image of Ramesh in my mind. atleast the person i would conjure up in my mind will be a slim person with unpropotional head weight - dont get me wrong, th intelligent brain, (courtesy Sanjay) :-):-)
    Please help me put a face to your name.

  12. @Kiwi - Your brethren in the Pacific Isles are, of course, known for their massive proportions. I m amazed that the planes even take off with them !!!

    @Sanjay - OMG. That's some really creative pulling of the leg. And yes, I noticed that you have gone native and turned Singaporean

    @Vincy - Best to leave some positive chances with imagination than the sobering reality - don't you think !! Just kidding :) Mail me your ID to my email ID (in my profile)

  13. Hmmmm ... why do I have this annoying habit of going back to some old post and continuing with that conversation, right, when others have moved on? Will have this trait analyzed the next time I go to the rapist, er, therapist ;)

    Airline Aunties in China, though I am not sure if a weighty Rajalakshmi will qualify!

    "Spring Air, China’s biggest budget carrier, will give preference to married women with kids.
    It’s also a huge departure from what’s done at China’s big state-owned carriers, which place heavy emphasis on beauty and youth. Chinese airlines are known to host pageant-style competitions to choose new flight attendants, attracting thousands of applications from young women. ...

    In its latest recruitment campaign, Spring Air says it’s seeking college-educated females aged between 25 and 45, adding that those who are married with children are given top consideration.

    The airline says it’s beneficial to have a wider age profile among flight attendants, because they could provide different service advantages and skills. It notes that younger flight attendants are more enthusiastic, while older ones are more mature and reliable."

    So, the score is this: airlines are ok with slim young women. Airlines are ok with aunties. Looks like they are not ok with ....

  14. @sriram - No therapist required. Its perfectly normal for men to keep coming back when the subject matter is pretty young women !!

    Never heard of Spring Air. Well , even moms with children are slim and petite in China, so Rajalakshmis have no chance. And yeah - you and me stand no chance too, despite our handsomeness :)

  15. Sandhya Sriram20/7/13

    hmm... i am just worried if I am is going to be dropped from my job because i travel quite a bit and by travelling so much weight back and forth, probably, it is unsustainable for the enviroment.

    with so many svelte and sleek fan following, hope you wouldnt drop this oversized "Rajalakshmi" off your blog invite list Ramesh :-)

  16. @sandya - The first piece of rubbish I have seen you write here. You may not be the svelte, pencil thin lass, a la Deepa, but you are no Rajalakshmi milady. So keep traveling to your heart's content !!!!

  17. Hilarious.. the joy of travelling by air and the occupational hazards :) you see!

  18. @Vishal - Watch your weight, young man :):)


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