I’ve been researching Bali and Indonesia thoroughly for my upcoming honeymoon. And I’ve come across a lot of scary literature about the corruption, thievery and chaos rampant in the country. But there’s one common thread in all the advisories. They all say that if you’re from India, you may not have much cause to worry. We Indians are among the toughest lot, you see. We’ve already clawed, pushed and sweet-talked our way through the trickiest of skirmishes. And it would take a LOT to challenge our hardened guts.
Crowded trains? No problem. We’re used to it.
No road signs? Piece of cake.
Pickpocketers on the loose? Been there, done that.
Crying babies on an airplane? It’s all right, we understand.
Okay, the last one may not be entirely true but we Indians certainly have an admirable tolerance for noise, unruliness and things going wrong in general. Maybe that’s why we excel in so many fields, despite battling so many disadvantages that the First World countries have never experienced. And amidst all of this, there’s our culture – soft and squishy as a mother’s embrace and in stark contrast to the hardships many of us face every day. India is really like a coconut – tough on the outside but sweet and welcoming once you’ve made it past all the roadblocks. Lufthansa, a German airline, has somehow managed to capture this essence of our country in its marketing campaigns and advertisements. Their team knows that the world is #MoreIndianThanYouThink. Here is their latest commercial, themed around our favourite religion – cricket.
I’m writing this post a day after many netizens in India took offence to an alleged comment by Snapchat’s CEO, where he called India ‘too poor to use Snapchat’. India may be poor but there are so many of us here, that even if only a fraction of the population constitutes potential customers, it’s still a very significant number. Lufthansa is definitely not making the mistake of ignoring India. Rather, all their thoughtful customisations in flights from India point to their respect for our global standing and consideration for our sweet-as-halwa cultural habits. You and I may be really global in our outlooks but let’s face it, we’re still Indian at our core. Even decades of living in a foreign country fails to blunt our sense of ‘jugaad’ and our craving for dal. Let’s imagine that your proudly desi mumma is flying to see you in Trump country on a Lufthansa flight.
She doesn’t care for ‘hi’ and ‘bye’. It’s all good – Lufthansa crew are trained to greet her with a perfectly executed ‘Namaste’ and a smile that actually feels real.
She believes in using the Matrubhasha. Lufthansa’s crew are all ready to charm her with their fluency in Hindi and adept use of ‘aap’ and ‘jee zaroor’.
She doesn’t do rolls and baked beans. Great, because she’s going to be treated to expertly cooked paneer sabzi, roti and pulao on Lufthansa flights.
She can’t get enough of KJo films. Lufthansa knows that angrezi and experimental films are not for everyone. So they’ve stocked enough Bollywood films to last an entire flight and more.
And I have a sneaky feeling you won’t find too many crying babies on Lufthansa flights. All those smiling faces ought to allay their crankiness, right?