In December, I was in Delhi’s brand new Terminal 3, waiting with my mother for a flight to Chennai. The terminal itself is pretty consistent with most such new constructions in India – one enters and is immediately transported to Anywhere, Cosmopolitania – shiny floors, ginormous ads for stylish bathroom fixtures, and food courts featuring the generic and exotic (Subway and dosas, respectively).
Eventually we made our way to the gate, where we listened to the departure announcements.
Friends, it was hilarious.
First, an automated voice would make an announcement in English butchering the pronunciation of the destination city (presumably for the phoreign ear). A few seconds later, the announcement in Hindi would pronounce the city name perfectly.
Guwahati via Bagdodra:
Khajuraho via Varanasi:
Srinagar via Jammu:
If that wasn’t enough, my mother was back in the same terminal a week later. To her surprise, this time boarding announcements came in French and German. When she asked the ticket agents why, they told her that there were French and German nationals on those flights.
Of course it would never strike anyone to make announcements for the Chennai flight in Tamil, the Bengaluru flight in Kannada, the Ahmedabad flight in Gujarati, or the Hi-dehr-a-baaaaaad flight in Telugu…