Last year, after flying the national carrier on more than two occasions, I’d felt so very strongly about the fare served during the flights that I’d written about it .Whining, complaining, requesting that healthier food be served. The food served during those flights was like a plateful of teasers to the diabetic. Well, almost two-thirds of the meal was unfit for diabetics, including the so-called ‘fruit juice’. So what is the diabetic passenger expected to do? Gulp down all this sugar-laced fare or sit semi-starved. I decided to do the latter.
Last month, while travelling, I faced a series of situations. I decided to travel in the newly christened Indian, assuming that it would retain some of its earlier Indian-ness at least vis-a-vis the food it would serve. Nope. Cookies and similar concoctions all the way. Extremely hungry, I mustered enough courage to request the stewardess whether she could serve some non-sweetened fare. Her neck swayed from left to right, like a frightful pendulum, before she chanted in a nasal, determined manner, “No, that’s all we have.” ‘That’ was a tray full of sweetened concoctions and a small, extremely well-patted (read crushed) patty. Responding to my request, she produced a small bottle of water. Her eyes said, “Ms Fussy, drink this up. This has no sugar in it!”
The very next week, when I boarded a private airline, it was the same story there. Almost two-thirds of the fare was unfit for a diabetic, including the nimbu paani which had sugar in it and chocolate-laced toffees and sugar-laced mouth freshener.
To make matters worse, a veritable food riot broke out — some passengers complaining that one tray of food was not enough. I sat nibbling a few morsels fit for a diabetic.
Tell me, Mr Civil Aviation Minister, what should a diabetic passenger do? Carry her own home-cooked roti-sabzi? Or sit starved staring out of the window at the sky. Do let me know.