The sheer pleasure of more
It had been pouring since last few weeks. Mother earth had worn a green garb and was looking fresh and resplendent after the showers had quenched her soul. The rivers were swollen as life bounced back to a verdant celebration. Suddenly the earth opened up and out stepped a portly man dressed in silk dhoti, gold ornaments and a crown on his head. He held a palm leaf umbrella in his hand and walked with poise, authority and a broad smile plastered on to his face across the streets of Kerala.People thronged to get a glimpse of their favorite King Mahahabali who visited his subjects on the day of Thiruvonam (Onam festival) and gave his blessings. He had long been banished to netherworld by Lord Vishnu who had appeared in his Vaman Avatar. But the king’s nobility had earned him a visit to his land once every year during the festival of Onam. And so with all the pomp and splendor Mahabali had arrived to explore his land and greet his subjects. People welcomed him with Flower Rangoli and delicious Kerala Sadhya offerings. As he passed a vegetable market he noticed a lady haggling with the shopkeeper. He walked towards her and asked her the concern. The lady turned towards him, picked her bag and greeted the King with a grin like a Cheshire cat.
SASTA SUNDAR AUR TIKAU
She spoke in a hushed tone, ” Oh, it was nothing I wanted the shopkeeper to give me some coriander leaves and chilies as add ons. Guess what I got a handful.” “Add ons?” queried Mahabali. “Oh the usual stuff, wouldn’t you want something extra after your regular shopping? I bought so many vegetables from him and deserved some freebies in the form of chilies and coriander leaves, hence I was arguing with him”. The King seemed lost with the current happenings. Looking at the expression on his face she continued ” Don’t you know value for money? It is basically I should be happy with the quality and quantity of the product sold. More for less. We ladies even call it Sasta Sundar aur Tikau. We go to markets and look out for offers. Buy more to save more. It is fun and end of the day I am happy with what I get in terms of ROI. Of course Return of Investment is what I meant” said the flustered lady who soon seemed to run out of patience looking at the King’s perplexed look. He raised his eyebrows and gave her a helpless gaze. The lady pitied the monarch and exclaimed, “Why don’t you go and watch the Mohanlal movie Drishyam? It is being remade in Hindi as well with Ajay Devgan in the lead. After you watch this movie you would understand the term Paisa Vasool that I have been trying to ram into your head”.
BANG FOR THE BUCK
She left the erstwhile ruler cooling his heels and lost in thoughts. Soon he came back from his short reverie and looked around. A huge glass walled mall stood towering across the street. He walked into the structure that was never found during the good old days. His palace was the biggest and the best no other edifice could match its standards. Being a Sunday families were seen relaxing, strolling or eating in the restaurants. A huge shop with a banner that said 50% sale was over crowded. Ladies were standing in long queues outside rooms with signboard Trial Room. The cash counter had string of men and women waiting for their turn. The king walked to a man who seemed to be waiting for something. “You don’t look good, what happened?” asked the sovereign. The man cursed under his breath and stated, ” How can you expect us men to be? Don’t you know its the end of season sale? I have been waiting here for the last two hours with no luck. My wife is shopping and trying out new clothes”. “But why is she in such a hurry to finish her shopping today? Can’t you come back some other day? The whole world seems to be in a hurry” uttered King Mahabali. “I wish I could do that My Lord, but the sale ends today and we wouldn’t get a better deal”, exclaimed the frustrated soul. “Deal, what is that?” “Don’t you know deal, value for money? We Indians are frugal and want 100% satisfaction and higher profit margin. Now imagine if you win a lucky draw or passes for a New Year Party it would be awesome ain’t it? So we go for these deals where we get to experience the best with lesser expense. Plenty of bang for the buck, as they call it.”
Mahabali came out of the mall and pondered over the day’s happenings. The world had changed a lot since times of yore. He had got some idea about the concept of Paisa Vasool as the lady called it but a real life experience would be better. He wondered how could he experience this state called Paisa Vasool. Should he go shopping for clothes or vegetables? Both of them didn’t sound alluring. He reflected on the idea of winning a lucky draw but was clueless how to go about it? A poster on a nearby wall had a picture of a middle aged mustached man clad in veshti (dhoti) with his wife and two daughters. In bold letters was printed Drishyam in Malayalam. The name did ring a bell. Wasn’t it the name of a movie that the lady in the vegetable market mentioned as a must watch? The thought of watching a movie fascinated him. He walked into the multiplex in the mall and bought a ticket for himself. The walking and talking had got him thirsty. A picture of colorful drinks and snacks meant water would be available in the snack shop nearby. At the counter he asked for a bottle of water. The sales guy said, “Sir why don’t you buy a burger you would get a soft drink free? The drink would be enough to quench your thirst. You can go for a jumbo burger as per your size.” Mahabali mulled if he was being conned in the name of Paisa Vasool. Something didn’t add up here. A bottle of water would suffice he said.
Drishyam was an experience Mahabali thoroughly enjoyed with people hooting and whistling whenever Mohanlal appeared on screen. The second half tugged his heart with a stellar performance by the protagonist. The King remained glued to the display till its finale. The story was a masterpiece and very compelling. Mahabali was pleased with the entire affair. It couldn’t have been better than this. Drishyam had taken him to a completely different level. He felt satiated with this experience. Was this feeling called as Paisa Vasool he wondered?
As he stepped out of the mall with a grin on his face he had a gnawing thought that the movie was fulfilling but at the same time fiction. If only he could experience a reality not a figment of imagination! A sudden noise made him look up. He saw a huge bird flying in the blue sky. Was it Pushpaka, Ravana’s flying machine? But this looked quite different it was covered and he couldn’t see any living being. He asked a young gentleman walking down the street what was the bird flying in the sky. “That’s a plane. People board the flight and travel to different locations across the world. It is an absolutely wonderful experience. You are transported in a very short time”.”But where do I get to board it?” asked the King. “You will have to go to an airport to embark on this journey. Go for the newly launched Premium Economy Class of Lufthansa. You would absolutely fall in love with it as you get pampered. Head to Bengaluru airport now and get started with this mind blowing journey. You can check this video to know more”. He then tapped his mobile to show a video.
Mahabali could feel the excitement in the eyes of the youngster. It caught his interest and he was tempted to fly over the white puffs to explore the world. He had stayed for a good long time underground. He wanted to spread his wings and soar the sky for its thrill, comfort and opulence. He headed straight towards Bengaluru airport.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
The Lufthansa folks at the airport welcomed him with a warm smile. He had arrived with two huge bags. Well he wasn’t a person who could stay away from his silk garments, ornaments, parasol. He had to carry them wherever her went, but he wondered if the airline staff would agree to take his luggage. His pensive mood vanished as soon as his luggage was checked in. Looking at his facial expression the staff explained, ” Sir you have been booked under Premium Economy Class so you can carry two bags weighing 23 kg each”. The ruler who was fondly called Maveli in Kerala looked at his ticket and realized it indeed was a premium economy ticket and that there wasn’t a huge difference between economy and premium economy rates.
THE MORE EXPERIENCE
As soon as he was ushered into the flight the attendant made him feel comfortable in his seat and offered him a welcome drink. The King who had since long stayed in the nether world had forgotten the luxuries of life. He was taken in by surprise with the hospitality and warmth extended towards him. He noticed his seat had 50% more space compared to the Economy Class that was few seats behind him. He had his own arm rest with a cocktail table. There was greater distance between his seat and the front as well as side seat. It meant more leg space, larger seat pitch and perfect foot rests. He had his personal storage space and a 11″ x 12″ screen with wider movie selection. An amenity kit had been given to him which had moist towelette, toothbrush, ear plugs and sleep mask. He wiped his face with the towelette that made him feel clean and fresh. As the plane was air borne the attendants served him with his choice of food in china tableware. He found himself spoilt with choice and remembered his good old days in the palace where he was pampered. Kids, Women and Men seated around him seemed to be happy and having a gala time.
He watched people using devices like notebooks and a small box like thing that was used to talk to others. It was similar to the gadget that the youngster used to show him a video of Lufthansa. He later got to know those notebooks were actually laptops and the workaholics were glued to it. Both the gadgets required power supply and passengers regularly charged them in the power socket located in every seat. The world sure had jumped million years ahead in its race to stay connected.
He was drowsy and felt the need for a nap. He looked around and noticed people pushing a button that made the seat recline. He wore the sleep mask and slept like a baby as the plane glided through the clouds. He saw himself having a gala time in the comforts of paradise. Was he in cloud 9 or a jamboree? Didn’t the lady say something about Paisa Vasool? But this experience was beyond it more, much more. He wished it would never end. Wasn’t it the Non Stop You?
This post has been written in view of the #LufthansaPremiumEconomy contest held in association with Indiblogger. Refer Lufthansa for further details.
Video and Lufthansa Premium Economy Image courtesy – Lufthansa.
King Mahabali Image source – Here