Pineapple Cakes on a Plane

A few weeks ago there happened to be some empty seats on our company’s chartered flight and my boss and I were put on it as we had to travel to Delhi for a meeting. So we took off from Ludhiana. Yes, Ludhiana has a runway and I’ll just leave it at that.

The aircraft was an 8 seater reminiscent of CID Moosa’s flight from Kochi to Scotland Yard. Apart from the both of us, the flight was carrying the Chairman and the CMO among other hi-fi people. The charter came with a complimentary food basket. As soon as we took off, sandwiches, chips, cola and what not started manifesting from it. Soon a container full of pineapple upside down cake was handed to me. I took a slice and offered the box to my boss. Since she was fasting, she refused. So I tried to pass it on to our CMO. He also turned it down. By this time my general social awkwardness took over and I stopped offering cake to people.

It doesn’t take long to fly from Ludhiana to Delhi. And on short flights, food freaks me out because I’m a slow eater. Once, by the time I had managed to de-foil a roll the flight was about to land and my tray was confiscated by the air hostess in spite of my tugging efforts at the other end. So this time I determinedly gobbled up my oversized sandwich immediately and concealed a bag of chips so that people would assume I had eaten it. Now I had this box of cake with me. It tasted brilliant. The pineapple slices were juicy and the cake really moist. My social awkwardness was now taken over by a sense of responsibility to not let the cake go to waste. So I ate it all. Then I just sat there staring out of the window, admiring the cloudscape and avoiding eye contact with anyone else.

Later in the night, at the guest house after a brainstorming session, we were at the dinner table. My boss was eating her fast-food, sabudana khichdi. Usually she brings food for me as well so I helped myself with half of it. Then I proceeded to have dinner again with the rest of them. As I was finishing up, CMO gave me a curious look and asked, ‘Though you’re small, you eat a lot don’t you?’

Apparently he wanted to try the cake earlier. Well, too bad.

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