Page 36 - Seniors Today -Volume no1
P. 36

Travel Tales

        Just how do we change this Pehchaan of Indians?

        We are like this only, but it’s no excuse for bad, boorish, rude behaviour. Vickram Sethi takes
        a close look at why ‘desi’ is the new four-letter word, in an open letter to Swiss Tourism
        brand ambassador Ranveer Singh.

           Switzerland is swamped by Indians

        Dear Ranveer,                                          gets offensive. This is a normal scenario in

        You make India proud. The fact that you are            economy class.
        the Switzerland Tourism’s brand ambassador             We are compulsive talkers and regale each
        is itself amazing. Earlier, only the very very         other with stories of our lives and of the
        rich Indians visited Zurich, Zug and Zermatt           anticipated trip. Each one of us knows of
        and ate pseudo-Indian food at The Hilti.               some very special place where the shopping is
        Thanks to you Ranveer, all that has changed.           cheap etc, etc. If all this is not enough there is
        Last year, it is estimated that 350,000 Indians        the loud talker behind you, who feels the need
        visited Switzerland - the saviours of the Swiss        to share every detail of the current political
        tourism industry. The Swissair flights on              situation. You want to turn around and say
        the India sector have air hostesses well past          “Man, shut the heck up”. Keeping our voices
        their prime and who in previous jobs have              at a reasonable level is basic travel etiquette
        been matrons at delinquent boys’ schools.              which we lack. I can see it coming when the
        Announcements in four languages extending              person in the next seat smiles at you. After the
        a warm welcome to platinum, gold, silver, tin,         basic pleasantries, it becomes increasingly
        copper, turquoise and rusted steel members             obvious that they want to talk and I simply
        cruising etc, etc. The flights are chock-a-block.      don’t have the energy for that. I pretend not to
        I have great regard for families travelling            notice and fall asleep.
        with young children but it’s a horror story            Nevertheless, thanks to you Ranveer, we are
        when parents allow their kids to run up                everywhere from the big cities to the small
        and down the aisle, thinking nothing of the            towns of Gstaad, Sannen, Montreux and
        inconvenience to others. Or a kid next to you          Rosemont; and in the trains our theplas,
        playing Mario Kart constantly beeping and              bhakarwadi and chivda come out of the bags
        booping. You ask the flight attendant to tell          so that everyone can partake of the treasury of
        the kid to turn the volume down and the chap           olfactive sensory delights.

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