Friday, September 16, 2011

Traveling like dogs



I never had the opportunity to travel business class. One day when I have too much money to throw around or a thrifty employer, I may. Till then, I have to be contend with cattle class. Speaking about cattle class, an acquaintance has another definition. Traveling like dogs.

Recently, two of us had to travel to India. We represent different companies. As part of the organizational policies, he traveled in business class while I in cattle aka economy class.When I told him about the "economy class" situation, his spontaneous comment was about traveling like dogs.

If the conversation happened between me and my friends, they also would have reacted the same way. In fact, some of my friends can be more acerbic. In this particular case, the speaker was an European. On hearing his comment, I was overcome with strong emotions - hurt, anger and helplessness.

Ever since, I have replayed the conversation several times in my mind. I concluded it was a comment without malice. But why did I get hurt, angry and helpless? Is the fear of discrimination dormant in my mind?

21 comments:

  1. what a simple thing and what a labyrinthine question. yes, the person who utter it may have had no malice but the cause of your getting hurt, angry and helpless is really the fear of discrimination. This particular person might not have had that intention of discrimination, but this thought of yours is one because of your knowledge of the general human around you. Your knowledge and life might have somewhere shown you how discrimination is dominant in this world, not right on the face though but on the backdrop. That subconscious knowledge led to your fear. maybe i am right or maybe not. but this is a rich experience for you, when you get the answer, you will be a buck more rich than many in the economy of knowledge about the social world.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ThePhoenixArts - Thank you for dropping by. I have not had any bad experience so far. But I was intrigued by the way we think. Such an harmless comment and it was given a different color immediately.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it was a very natural reaction. Incidentally I think the Indian airlines, specially the domestic ones, are much better than the European or American ones. The food, the service,the attitude, everything is much better here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Aparna - I agree with you the natural reaction part. What is worrying is the natural way I react is negative! :) On the airlines, I have only one comments. They are getting worse as days progress.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Don't forget the reaction that people had on Tharoor's remark. What is wonderful IMHO is your ability to retrospect. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Dominic - Yes, his remarks did cause a storm with various people commenting on the mental frame of social network users! Thank for your comment. My ability to retrospect should not come as a surprise to you as projects always have a retrospective before closing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Even I would have felt like you only, however after a little bit of thinking,I might not have found it offending.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Maybe because dog is used to call names/abuse. That might have hurt you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Rama - Thank you for commenting. Glad to know that you think like me.

    @SpicySweet - It could be...

    ReplyDelete
  10. happens buddy..honestly, even i d have felt hurt...but it's ok..let people talk..let's walk like kings,,what say buddy?

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Ramesh - :) Yes, Let's walk like kings...

    ReplyDelete
  12. You must have replied, " Don't bark like a dog".

    Weakest LINK

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lovely post, came across your blog through sujata's blog, loved it, following you.
    About this post, I think it is a knee-jerk reaction to criticism by another, that we all have.....no matter how much we might bad mouth things that concern us, but if other's say something , even if it is valid, we have a defensive reaction and want to prove them wrong anyhow... I think...

    ReplyDelete
  14. He should have been careful with his words.

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Rachit - he he. I will not be able to say it.

    @AAD - Thank you for dropping by. You have a valid point. This is true.

    @Kavita - :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Indians and Dogs not allowed". This was a very common sign outside clubs, lifts and restaurants in pre-independent India. The Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai was reportedly built because of one such sign.

    Like you, i too would have felt offended by such a statement, even though it may have been just an expression.

    ReplyDelete
  17. @ThatAndThisInMumbai - I have heard or read this anecdote before. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. the western folks love their dogs, i wonder why would someone say something like that :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. @Chintan - :) Well, economy class has less space to move around. That may have been his logic.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well, I travelled with my whole family once in Business Class.. and at no extra cost. Unfortunately the flight was only 4 hours. It happened quite by chance. We were the first to arrive at the airport, but the lady at our counter was so lazy, gossiping and talking, and of all the places at Changi Airport..and by the time we got our turn it was around one hour and we must have been 6-7 in the line. She upgraded us. It was luxury, but I think I would rather travel economy class, the extras are unnecessary considering the cost. It may be like a kennel, but who cares.

    ReplyDelete
  21. @Radha - Thanks for sharing your experience. I would love to travel in business class if it is a free upgrade. :)

    ReplyDelete

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 India License.