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That choice voice

india Updated: Dec 02, 2009 20:55 IST

Hindustan Times
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India’s fleet of Sukhoi-30 fighter jets might have been grounded following the recent crash, but the pilots are alive due to the timely intervention of — you guessed it — a woman. Well, at least a woman’s voice, warning them of impending doom if ignored. A female voice warning system in the cockpit — better known as ‘Natasha’ in the corridors of the Indian Air Force and ‘Bitching Betty’ in the United States — warned the pilots of an engine fire, allowing them to bail on time. Add to this the fact that the crash might have occurred due to a possible failure of the fly-by-wire system — following the male pilot’s failure to get the plane to respond to his command — might just be the harbinger of things to come.

Now, fighter squadrons across the world might get into a combative mood at the idea of a real, live female for company up there. But the buzz in military circles is that those flying fellas are more likely to respond quicker to a lady’s voice than to a grisly man’s. Must be something in the air up there, for such luck rarely seems to befall ladies on land whose siren-like voices don’t seem to do the trick. We’re sure that the eternally harried human members of the female species are crying out ‘Not fair!’ right this moment.

It’s not hard to imagine why. Think about it. If this ‘voice’ could somehow be adapted for daily uses on the ground, like warning that slob-of-a-spouse that the TV was going to self-destruct in 15 seconds unless he starts washing the dishes, changes the baby’s diaper and puts dinner on the table, Natasha/Bitching Betty might just become a woman’s best friend. It’s still too early to write off the booming baritone in favour of the soothing notes of his mistress’s voice. For, going by the same logic, the Natashas would probably need a Nathan very soon.