Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Conspiracy Theory

I would like to put forward my “conspiracy theory” involving Indian airport management companies and luggage manufacturers. It is so subtle—the conspiracy, not my theory—that I need your full attention for the next few minutes.

Don’t get me wrong: If you are a seasoned air traveller, you sort of get used to your favourite suitcase acquiring a variety of dents, bumps, cuts, scratches and cracks during the course of your travels. You resign yourself to the fact that your luggage will be thrown around, dropped from heights, crushed under heavier brethren, scanned, wrongly-labelled, misdirected, lost, found, and generally subjected to such extreme punishment and humiliation, that it will break the most iron-willed of men, if applied to human beings.

No. These things you learn to take it in your stride. You learn to accept them as the price you have to pay for acquiring all those frequent flyer miles, fancy lounge cards, and the occasional upgrade to Business Class while your boss sweats it out in Economy.

No. We are talking glue here.

Yes. Glue.

When Airport Security scan your check-in luggage, they slap on a tiny, pre-gummed label or “sticker” on your suitcase.

Initially, when your suitcase is all shiny and brand new, you hasten to take off this offending object off your case at the earliest opportunity, with as much care and consideration as possible. But soon, if you are an indolent chap like me, the stickers accumulate and start completely obliterating the front part of your suitcase: the snap-out openers, the number lock, the keyhole – everything. That is when, on a Sunday morning, you decide to clean up your suitcase, by peeling away the stickers.

Disaster! The stickers will refuse to peel away with any modicum of amiability. The glue used is so bad that part of the sticker will stick to your fingers and part to the suitcase. You try moistening the stickers with water and suddenly the problem becomes worse; everything has turned into a gooey mess. Wherever the stickers have come off, there are black, sticky blotches and all your ten fingers have little pieces of stickers attached to them. In desperation, you get hold of a knife or a screwdriver and start scraping the blasted things off the surface, but it is a losing battle. Your suitcase looks as if it has been in a car crash and now you have knife scratches on the fascia to contend with.

With half your Sunday gone, you are left with no choice but to go out and buy a new suitcase before your next trip.

And here is where my conspiracy theory comes in.


Vijay said...

Ha ha.. thats why I NEVER clean the stuff... by the way, no "pre-boarding" security scans at the New Bangalore Airport..

Anonymous said...

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be wow.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘Stepping Sideways...’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)


Rada said...

Hello Ray!

Thank You!

Thanks for pointing me towards

Have registered and posted a link to this particular post.

Pls do visit often! :-)

Shaan said...

Really a true and funny one.... i have some of them on my airbag n i just dont want to waste my time in removing them...lolz

Lekhni said...

Do people visit your blog from rambhai? I got an identical comment from this Ray on my blog sometime back.

On the glue, I would try acetone (or nail polish remover). Of course, there are also detailed tips on the Internet that I never follow :)

gerimox said...


Rada said...


Thanks, mate!


Yeah, I did get a few visitors via Rambhai. Too early to see any trend though..

Shall try nail polish remover! Thanks for the tip!


Surely, you can do better than a simple "LOL" comment? :-)

Nikhil Narayanan said...

This ray is spamming the whole blogosphere and email ids!
Like he has a form in which one just need to key in the blogname and dang! the message is posted.

Rada said...

@Nikhil: Could our friend Ray be a commission agent for Rambhai? The thought cracks me up! :-)
To be fair, one of my posts did make it to their home page, garnering 27 votes in the process, whatever it means!

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.