Cougar Airlines – Extract from Book

The first thing that you notice , especially if you are Indian, is the striking difference between US Airlines air hostess and Indian air hostess ( especially from the private sector). While US Air Hostess are more often in their late thirties and early forties, Indian air hostess are in the early twenties to late twenties. This could be explained by the fact that India of course has a median age in the twenties while the US and the west have much higher median ages due to lowered birth rate.

These were some of the amusing lines I heard while flying in the US.

Hostess- Sir, can I get you a drink.

Old Indian Man- I like whisky.

Hostess- Sir, we cant serve you in Indian air space . We can serve you once we are in international borders ( thanks to ancient indian laws)

Old Indian Man ( The chap is 70 plus) – Kicks up huge row . I am preparing to pay ,blah blah.

Hostess finally gets his whisky.


Hostess- Sir, Can I get you a drink.

Me- I would like a Red Bull

Hostess- Red Bull ?

Me- Yeah, its an energy drink.

Hostess- Confused- Well I am sorry we dont have any Red Bull

Me- Guess I will just take water then.


Hostess- Sir, Can I get you anything.

Me- Yes I would like a cougar

Hostess bends down and says- Oh no dear, we all know what that means.

Me- Guess I will take water then.

Another annoying thing are the dumb airlines rules. I might have mentioned if before but I am still mad about it so here it is.

You are allowed to take two bags. Each bag can take 20 pounds. But if one bag has 23 pounds and the other ten pounds you still have to pay the overweight charge. How much is that ? That will be fifty dollars sir. Any attempt to reason and point the sheer mathematical madness was met with a smile. So I end up taking out my bag opening both and transferring stuff from one to another. The rest of the passengers, especially the well clad ladies give me pitying, pathetic look.

Security rergulations is another nightmare. You can be brown, but if a brown male, slightly tall and thin ( 5 ft 10 ‘ and 150 pounds) walks , he gets to do all kinds of strip tease.

I empty my pockets, my wallet ,my belt, and my shoes. Take the laptop off the cover. Put the mobile and the spare change in the trays.

When I walk in , the metal detector goes ” Beep , Beep , Beep”.

And this tiny customs lady in a Hispanic voice shouts loud enoguh for half the airport to hear.

“Sir, Please get back immediately. Please take off your sweater”

I take off the sweater and attempt the metal detecting walk again.

Again, ” Beep , Beep”.


I am now in bare vest and trousers.

Still , ” Beep ,Beep ,Beep’.

The custom lady eyes me. I eyeball her back. She finally notices my thin bracelet ( its copper and less than o.4 cm thick , its called a Kadha , and a religious item’.

” Sir , I think its your bracelet”.

I try and take it off, which I havent done since my wedding three years ago. I am not as thin as I think I am. Much squirming, twisting and bending later I get it off.

Sucess. No beep ,beep. No loud Sir take this off,take that off.

As i gather up my stuff , I think I can see the glimmer of a smile on the Customs lady. Its okay.. she is good looking enough for me not to resent that smile.

“This is an extract from :Flying with the Cougars” an upcoming book on a brown boys trip to Austin, Texas. its semi -fictional so some coincidences would be just a resemblance to a reality.

All rights reserved for publication and reprint.-Ajay

Author: Ajay Ohri

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