Latest topics

Airlines 7: Highs and lows

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Airlines 7: Highs and lows

Post by sashashyam on 2014-10-08, 16:43

Folks,

This episode was especially interestingly structured, in that the highs and  the lows, in the narrative and in the characterization, not only alternated throughout the running time, but at times came together in the same scene.  And this was not just  about the supporting cast but even about the main leads, except that Captain Akash Saluja  hit a high note early in the episode and never budged from there.  He gladdened my heart, for I like strong men who take charge of a situation and see it thru  no matter what, and if  it is a strong man with a compassionate heart, why then it is sone pe suhaaga!

So let us start, for once, at the beginning.

Scene 1: In the pilots'  lounge - Rathore, Karan, Akash, with Natasha and Ananya as  a sort of alarmed Greek chorus pleading for restraint. 

An A class jerk: This humdinger of a scene was preceded by the spectacle of First Officer Karan Rana making  an A class jerk of himself with Mahima's sister Megha.  I am not going into that, for there is nothing to be said about such a sorry spectacle.

But one point has to be made, though I do not mean this as mitigating Karan's despicable cowardice  in any way. Karan assumes that Mahima has committed suicide, for whatever reason. Now, the Indian law against abetment of suicide is not only strict but it is even more strictly implemented of late. So a young man who has broken  up with his girlfriend, who then commits suicide and leaves behind a note accusing him of traumatizing her emotionally and thus driving her to suicide, is pretty much done for. He will be immediately arrested for abetment of her suicide, and by the time he has got himself a good lawyer and proved his innocence, it might be months, if not years, and his  life and career will be practically on hold till the matter blows over. If it does, that is. A recent case of this kind was of the suicide of the young actress Jiah Khan, for which a boyfriend of hers, Suraj Panscholi, was arrested under this same abetment of suicide law. He is still struggling with what seems to be a baseless charge made by the girl's mother.

Given this,  one can to come extent understand his panic at Megha's approach. An honest and sincere chap would have handled it quite differently, and displayed both grief at  what had happened to Mahima and empathy towards her family.  After all, that little interlude between  Karan and Mahima,  when he interrupted her confidential call to her DIB superior showed that he was chasing her, whereas she was  handling him deftly but  with no great show of affection. Perhaps  for this very reason, Karan might have panicked at the thought of being shown as close to Mahima and as  a likely candidate for an abetment to suicide charge.

The above holds  provided that my alternate theory, that I had propounded at the beginning of my last post on Episode 6, that Karan is one of the bad guys, is not true, which is  by no means proven as yet . If he is one of the bad guys, it might well have been he who had alerted those out to get Mahima (as feared by Her DIB senior  who had wanted her pulled out the field at once ) that she was going not to Chennai  but to Bangalore. 

Watch out, Rathore!: To revert, the scene was really paisa vasool, and if  it had been in a film in a  large single screen theatre, the front benchers would have whistled and clapped for Akash Saluja.

Unlike the Amitabh  of the 1970s,  Akash  does not normally go looking for trouble,  and at times he is even ready to bend and be diplomatic, as with his apology after his defiance of the pilots' strike, in order to avoid unnecessary friction. But there is a thin red line with Akash Saluja that one crosses at one's peril, and when it is a question of  those  he cares for being maligned, he  comes alive with sudden fury.

I loved it when Rathore, after Akash has released him, feels his throat and straightens his tie, but does not utter a single word against his furious assailant of a moment ago. For he knows that he deserved what he got for his cheap, sneering, despicable  comments against a dead colleague.  

As for Ananya, she looked ineffectual as she knitted her eyebrows and opened her lips into an O of alarm,  while it was left to the more experienced Natasha to do something to avert actual fisticuffs.

The high of Akash, and the lows of Rathore and Karan, thus came together in a striking scene.

NB: Many here seem to have confused what Akash addressed to Karan - Tum Mahima jaise ho hi nahin sakte. For you are an A class jerk - as  addressed to Rathore. It was not, however much Akash might have meant it for Rathore as well, something that he   conveys bluntly later on, when he wants the flights switched.

Scene 2: Natasha-Akash-Ananya,  when the two ladies accost Akash as he is hurrying away  after Scene 1.

I begin to suspect that Sambag was right and I was wrong about Natasha too being a DIB agent.  The trouble is that I am addicted to John le Carre  and his  George Smiley's world of   distorting mirrors,  where no one, but no one is what he  or she seems to be, and I love complications in the plot hpee hpee . But Natasha pleading with Akash not to take Mahima's death so personally has somewhat dashed my hopes  in this regard, and almost relegated her to the commonplace slot of a woman obsessed with a man who does not care for her at all, except as a friend.

Almost, but not quite, for I still cling to the thin possibility that Natasha was just being in character when she ran after Akash to say that!

As for Ananya's 2 bits about Mahima's sudden volte face about the coffee (she seems to  have  done that after spotting someone over Ananya's right shoulder, but who?),  what impressed me there was the suddenly still, watchful look on Akash's face as  he stops and turns towards her. It was indeed  very well done.

He must have been afraid that Mahima had revealed something to Ananya that  she should not have. When it becomes clear that she had not said anything, his face relaxes  and he even consoles Ananya, saying that she should not be hard on herself, before he pushes off.  Here again, Ananya's limited stock of expressions  was noteworthy,  especially when contrasted with Akash's mobile features,  that can convey nuances effortlessly.

Incidentally, I  believe that the reason for Mahima approaching Ananya twice  was the same as what Ananya's sister Shefali (?) surmised it to be, about Megha's problem boyfriend. It  could not have been anything about her DIB assignment; for her to discuss with an outsider would have been a major, punishable breach of professional ethics. What else would she have had to discuss with another woman whom she barely knows?

Scene 3: Rathore, Akash and Sen in the pilots' lounge, with a worried Karan as a  sort of wallpaper.

I am skipping the emotional scene between a Megha convulsed with grief about her sister and a warmly affectionate and protective Akash, who  is seeking to  expiate his sense of guilt at his not having   been able to prevent what happened to Mahima by doing his best, and more,  for Megha and her mother.  It was a straightforward big brother-little sister scene, and Akash came thru convincingly. I wish I could have said the same about Ananya, struggling to  project admiration for Akash and empathy for Megha.

NB: I do not think Megha or her mother firmly believe Mahima's death to be a case of murder. Neither says that at any  point during their interview with Inde Air Airport Manager Sen. They insist that it was not a case of suicide, that is all, which could mean  either an accident or a murder. Inde Air of course would prefer suicide due to personal trauma, for that would give them a clean chit!

That Akash would stride in and declare, in true filmi hero fashion, that he would get Mahima   back from Bangalore the same day (he never refers to her as a body, but always as a person,  which shows  both a sense of delicacy and affection) was a foregone conclusion.  That he would unhesitatingly go back to take on Rathore, regardless of their falling out a little earlier, followed directly from this,  for  what Akash Saluja has promised, Akash Saluja will do, no matter what demands that promise makes on him.

The way in which he did it was, however, a classic of its kind. He never raised his voice,  nor did he fail to add If it is all right with you, and With due respect,  though it was clear that respect was the last thing he had for Rathore.  His  explanation of why it would be a matter of dishonour for Mahima if Rathore were to bring her back  was delivered  calmly, without the slightest hint of anger, but the words rang like hammer blows and the seething contempt that lay beneath them  was there for all to see. Rathore, normally so pompous  and voluble, was for once left speechless, succumbing helplessly under this tide of  condemnation, condemnation that he could not refute.

Another paisa vasool bit,  though I doubt if the front benchers I had mentioned earlier would have been satisfied with anything short  of  Akash punching Rathore's face and pummelling him into submission!!

Scene 4: Ananya and Akash before the mid-air turbulence crisis.

It is said that fools  rush  in where angels fear to tread. This seemed to be  a neat fit for the part where  Ananya probes Akash about the extent to which he was going to help Mahima's family.  He is by far her senior, and she does not know  him at all well enough  to ask him personal questions.  Besides, his closed, remote face would have been enough to warn anyone  with any  sense to stay out.

But not our Ananya, who first remarks about her never having seen Akash so shaken (how long has she known him? One month!), and then notes, almost patronizingly, that the way in which he was helping Mahima's family was "commendable". It sounded like  pure impertinence,  though she would not have meant it as such, and I was not surprised at the icy cold look that Akash directed at her. If a look  could have scorched, that would have been it. It shut up even Ananya for  a bit, but only  for a bit.

She was back at it soon enough, regardless of his averted face. I am sure you were very close to Mahima, nahin to kaun itna.. I was really shocked by this probing, not only because it is the height of bad manners to ask such an intensely personal question, but also because of the rank insensitivity it betrayed. It was the sort of  unseemly curiosity one would have expected from a gossipy dadimaa, not from a young, modern  woman  professional.  Ananya fell several notches in my esteem.

I was not surprised that many here are reading romantic implications into Akash's reply that Mahima  had been  like  a sister to him. My take is somewhat different. Where Akash was concerned, for Rathore to hint at such a thing  was only to be expected. Not for Ananya to do the same. Her question, and its clear implication, must have come as an unpleasant shock for Akash, for who would like a sister figure to be suspected of being  his girlfriend or lover, and that too by someone he has begun to like and respect? Whence  his kneejerk clarification, for he  cannot stand Mahima being thought of in that light.

Scene 5: Mid-air turbulence of  various kinds - Akash and Ananya.

Akash puts it  with admirable succinctness  later  when he tells Ananya that the pilot and the co-pilot have to support each other and also keep a  check on each other.  

He is probably buoyed by Prasadam's effusive praise and admiration, and his clarification about what had happened in flight QS72 in October 2008 when the pilot followed the rulebook,  and the multiple injuries which would have happened here too if Akash had descended instead of ascending. So  he  is generous in letting Ananya down very lightly. He even praises her for having kept a check on him and done her job as co-pilot  very well in this respect.

But what of the first part, of the need to support each other? Ananya is not merely anything but supportive,  she is a positive hindrance to the man struggling to master the sudden  crisis caused by the violent turbulence, which has left the plane bucking like a bronco in a rodeo.  

In fact, but for Akash's single-minded concentration,  Ananya could have been a dangerous distraction and nuisance. And if she had not been cut off from the controls, she would have, in her blind subservience to the rulebook coupled with her inexperience,  thrust the plane into a spin, with consequences that can be easily imagined.  She  is in fact almost hysterical: We need to lose altitude.. Why are we descending?..I am registering my protest, Captain..Why are we at the same altitude? This is highly irresponsible..

She is convinced that with a month's flying experience, she is so perfect that she knows better  than a pilot with much greater experience how  to handle this mid-air crisis. That too one who, she ought to have known by now, is a rational and very capable professional, who has surely not gone suddenly mad! It should have been obvious   that if he was doing something at odds with the rulebook, there would  be some valid reason for it, but it never occurs to Ananya to ask him why he  is doing what he is doing. She is too  full of shrill self-righteousness for any such sensible thoughts to intrude on her ranting.

She does not stop even after the aircraft is back to normal and things have settled down. Oh no! She continues to lecture Akash about procedures, and to lambast him for his thoughtlessness: Agar aapne  aisa (plane neeche le jaana) kiya hota, to cabin pressure disturb nahin hota..aur passengers pareshan nahin hote.. And then a  sharp glare at him to  drive home these points. No wonder Akash comes back with the  sterile cockpit rebuff, which I for one thought was very mild.  A strict senior would have torn  a strip off her.

The whole interlude  made me think very poorly of her commonsense, and if she had been in the Army instead of in a private airline, such a rookie would most likely have been court-martialled and dismissed from service for insurbodination.

Scene 6: All in the day's work: Akash, Ananya and Prasadam

I  am not handing out any brownie points to Ananya for  trotting after Akash to apologise for  her ranting at him. For after Prasadam's  crystal clear statement, which made her look ignorant (she was constantly citing the 2008 QS72 flight, but she obviously  did not know what had happened to the passengers after the pilot followed the rules to the T) , inexperienced and  overbearing, there was hardly anything else she could have done.

Moreover, rest assured that she will find new mistakes to make very soon, for she shares with many TV serial heroines the one  cardinal, and  disturbing  trait: she is convinced that she can never be wrong. She is  not yet quite as bad as the regular issue mahaan   heroine,  but this episode did not augur well for her staying the course in this respect. 

The only silver lining is that the hero is not a standard issue TV serial wimp, far from it!

A very self-confident man, Akash wears his laurels lightly and so he makes little of Prasadam's effusive praise, however well deserved it is. But I was struck by his remark It was all in the day's work,  for that is exactly what the captain of an Air India Boeing 747 told me in Bangkok in the  early 1980s after he had successfully handled a far more dangerous situation.

I was then the No. 2 in our Embassy there . Three of our Embassy colleagues were going on home leave  on this flight from Bangkok to Delhi.  The plane, which had flown in from Tokyo, was serviced  at Bangkok airport before the next leg of the flight. Unfortunately,  the Thai technician did not  fill up the oil in the front right engine after draining it. The plane took off, and  45 minutes out of Bangkok, that engine caught fire. Soon 8 foot flames were raging from it, and our colleagues were busy saying their last prayers, convinced, with justification, that the plane would crash into the  Gulf of Thailand.

The pilot, Captain Kishore Gupta, if I remember rightly, had other ideas. He turned around and started flying back to Bangkok. He jettisoned 18000 litres of aircraft fuel over the Gulf of Thailand, to reduce the risk of an explosion. As he neared the airport, with another  engine almost packing up, bits and pieces of the burning engine fell off and landed on roofs in the city.  He made an emergency landing from the wrong side of the runway, and all the passengers were hastily evacuated using rubber chutes. There was only one injury, a Japanese passenger who fell off the rubber chute and broke his leg.

I rushed to the airport  to be with our colleagues and congratulated the captain very warmly, for the consensus among aviation professionals was that if the auto pilot had handled the crisis the plane would have crashed, and it was only the human skills of the pilot that had saved the  lives of 329 passengers and the crew.

He replied to my praise in exactly the same terms as those used by Akash Saluja:  It was all in the day's work, Ma'am.

How often do we underestimate, or take for granted, the  quiet courage and dedication of these men and women who ferry us across the skies?  Almost always. I was also struck, in this episode, by the commitment and  resilience  of the air hostesses, who coped with the vicious  turbulence that rocked the plane, forgot their own fears and concentrated on calming the fears of the passengers, assuring them that since the captain had not sounded an alert, there was nothing seriously wrong.

Scene 7: Akash, Prasadam  and  the Minister

I do not know about you folks, but I thought this scene was a tad overdone and clichd. The arrogant, overbearing Minister threatening the captain with instant dismissal,  was standard issue,  the cowering airport manager was the same, and our brave duo, thumbing their collective noses at the Minister Over and out!, were clearly intended to be pattern cards of guts and  dedication to duty, and  the determination not to kowtow to such abuse of power. All nice and fine, and worthy of applause.

But firstly, I could not understand why Megha had to fix Mahima's funeral the same evening, when it was not at all certain that her body could be brought back  in time. In fact, but for Akash's DIB clout,  the body would have been left in the morgue for at least another day.  Surely one arranges a funeral only after the body is safely with the family?

Incidentally, I liked the way  in which Akash kept his temper and did not lash out at the un-cooperative policeman at the morgue, but then he is always practical and careful not to make unnecessary enemies.

Next, I could not see how, if this takeoff had been delayed  at the instance of the airport manager Prasadam, there would be no  other takeoff window for 4  hours, as stated by Akash. This  was pure  nonsense. If Prasadam had delayed the flight by 30 minutes, say, to accommodate the Minister, he would have found a slot immediately afterwards, for after all the whole of the airport is under  his control, including  the  ATC.  Not that he should have done so for this reason, but the fact is that the flight could  have taken off as soon as he released it.

Then, I could not see the meaning of Ananya's response, when Akash asks her, in effect, whether she is ready to run the risk if incurring the Minister's hostility, Mahima ke liye this is the least I can do!  What has their taking off at once got to do with Mahima? Surely she would not have complained, poor girl, if her funeral had   been delayed by a day? Which is what would have happened in the  normal course.  As for the distraught family, while one's heart goes out to them, I cannot understand this scheduling of the funeral before  they are sure the body will arrive in time.

The funny thing is that the Minister, probably unsure about the captain's  compliance with his demands, arrives at the airport within minutes of the takeoff, and they could just as well have got him on board for a domestic flight in 10 minutes!

The whole scene looked cliched and contrived to me.

Scene 8: Akash and his DIB boss

As Akash intoned, in his best Amitabh Bachchan style Kisi ko nahin chodoonga.. Ek ek to dekh loonga.. I was  back  with the Vijay of Deewaar  and Trishul. Come to think of it, there  is a lot of early Amitabh in this Akash,  and then there is a  leavening of pure mischief  that lightens the mix.

Scene 9: The precap

I am sure 90% of this forum is already aux anges,  in a  pink cotton candy heaven, after listening to Akash tell his lady love to be Tumhein apne baal khule chodne chahiye..It suits you..  before toasting her in what looked like red wine for many, many, many more air miles together.  I, being not at all romantic, was reminded that he had seen her with khule baal  much earlier, in her hotel room in Goa before they discover the drugs. Then he was joking about his hoping that her iraade were nek. hpee But I suppose things have moved a good bit since then!

Shyamala B.Cowsik

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Airlines 7: Highs and lows

Post by Tanthya on 2014-10-08, 22:25

1. Ananya was a big let down ...From a sensible grounded flying pilot, she came down to a woman with an inordinate interest in other people's affair

2. Fine U and sister were both school mates , but why  the rush instead of waiting for big DI to come home ..

3. If SHE was such a close friend, how come none of the family knew esp when they are shown as close knit ?

4.caricaturing of Prasadam was atrocious  to say the least..Over all  Apart from Akash and Karan as the deflated casanova ..SUCKED!

Tanthya
Dazzling Diamond

Posts : 16602
Join date : 2013-02-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Airlines 7: Highs and lows

Post by slmu on 2014-10-09, 19:08

Nice post as usual Shyamalaji

When the staff watch the TV news regarding Mahima's death - Ananya's reactions were terrible. She could not show shock, sorrow nothing. That girl really needs to expand her expression range. Like you, I was completely annoyed with her during the mid air crisis. Loved your story about the flight from Bangkok. We do underestimate them that's for sure.

The minister drama - totally unnecessary I thought. Boring.

I loved Akash's determination in getting to the killers.

slmu
Channel Moderator
Channel Moderator

Posts : 21953
Join date : 2013-02-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Airlines 7: Highs and lows

Post by pollyanna on 2014-10-09, 19:28

Awesome post Aunty......I loved Akash , guess needless to say....

am not warming up to Ananya.....she is just not there.....

and thanks for sharing ur thrilling real life experience too :) :)

pollyanna
Channel Moderator
Channel Moderator

Posts : 5890
Join date : 2013-02-02
Location : Bangalore,India

Back to top Go down

Re: Airlines 7: Highs and lows

Post by sashashyam on 2014-10-10, 00:23

Thank you, my dear. As for Tulip, she is exactly as you describe her, and at times worse. That trick of hers of knitting her eyebrows and opening her mouth is  a staple. No wonder her Mere Yaar ki Shaadi Hai had such bad reviews  for  the heroine!Shyamalaslmu wrote:Nice post as usual Shyamalaji

When the staff watch the TV news regarding Mahima's death - Ananya's reactions were terrible. She could not show shock, sorrow nothing. That girl really needs to expand her expression range. Like you, I was completely annoyed with her during the mid air crisis. Loved your story about the flight from Bangkok. We do underestimate them that's for sure.

The minister drama - totally unnecessary I thought. Boring.

I loved Akash's determination in getting to the killers.

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Airlines 7: Highs and lows

Post by sashashyam on 2014-10-10, 00:27

Thanks a lot, my dear Pallavi. As for Ananya, I share your views. The girl is a non-actress if ever there was one, and I have no hope of her improving. If she is this bad after years doing   films, she is hardly going to get any  better now. Plus,I do not like the  way she walks, either in the montage or during the episode. It is more like a model on the catwalk than like a female pilot. Yes, that Bangkok near accident was a cause for much post facto rejoicing, and rightly so. That captain was a very cool-headed and capable man.Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:Awesome post Aunty......I loved Akash , guess needless to say....

am not warming up to Ananya.....she is just not there.....

and thanks for sharing ur thrilling real life experience too :) :)

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Airlines 7: Highs and lows

Post by sashashyam on 2014-10-10, 00:32

I agree with most of what you have said here, which is often the case!  As for Ananya's sister and her  anxiety re: Megha and Mahima, it was OTT with a vengeance. As for Prasadam, it was exactly like Mehmood's take on \"Madrasis" in the 1980s. I was surprised that such an otherwise well written show should stoop to these pathetic caricatures.Not that there  are not  many South Indians who cannot speak Hindi at all well - my father never managed it even after years in the North -  but one should not include such caricatures as if they were the norm.Shyamala B.CowsikTanthya wrote:1. Ananya was a big let down ...From a sensible grounded flying pilot, she came down to a woman with an inordinate interest in other people's affair

2. Fine U and sister were both school mates , but why  the rush instead of waiting for big DI to come home ..

3. If SHE was such a close friend, how come none of the family knew esp when they are shown as close knit ?

4.caricaturing of Prasadam was atrocious  to say the least..Over all  Apart from Akash and Karan as the deflated casanova ..SUCKED!

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Airlines 7: Highs and lows

Post by Sponsored content Today at 00:16


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum