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Weight in Airports and Schools
|by Seshu Chamarty|
Talking of weight that matters, I remember the days when I carried brass Tiffin boxes to school. Plastic boxes came later. Now, I see the school kids carrying their lunches in cardboard boxes or some other foil-covered paper boxes. Besides, the school notebooks seemed not as heavy as our Tiffin those days. In future the kids will not need even such notebooks. At worst, they will use pen drives to submit their homework and their teachers emailing the corrected assignments.
My ‘Tiffin carrier’ (Doesn't it sound like aircraft carrier?) had a handle like the bucket from the bathroom. Moreover, its handle would get stuck halfway (Moreover it was a riveted kind with no screws refusing to obey).
I always carried my 'Tiffin carrier' dangling, holding on to its skewed handle in addition to my schoolbag. Buttermilk and rasam would be leaking constantly. My schoolmates used to laugh at me, saying that way it was easier for the newcomers to find their way to the school along the line of rasam or buttermilk. The ‘Tiffin carrier’ boasted of no special compartments for the different items in the menu. No doubt my lunch tasted like a strange mixture of curries and chutneys. Yet the container was having a depressed lid and a convex lid to cover the same. This contrivance was meant to accommodate the pickle which was after all a saving grace.
We, the frail boys, used to get overbalanced thanks to the weight of our Tiffin, whether we ate or not. We would consume the contents under the big trees (they were our classrooms, seriously). Mango tree was synonymous with English Class, and banyan with our 1st Language. We used to look at the mangoes in the tree, to help counting in the math class. We moved between various trees for every session, duly cursing the birds that spoiled our shirts with their castings. By the colors left on the shirts we used to call one another the names after those birds.
Of late, technology does wonders trying to reduce the weight of the things. The motto runs as, ‘Increase the efficiency and reduce weight’. Olympics and space/aviation technology proved this axiom. Forgetting weight of the currency notes, money became virtual and carried online.
Coming to the weight of the people, many of us are becoming conscious of BMIs. The idea is to see our heart is never overworked due to obesity.
I remember the slogan, “Less luggage - More comfortable”, as painted on the railway bogies those days. Now, transporters are charging for the extra baggage, only to make more money on freight. To prove their class and style, most people are showing off their larger and trendy versions of travel gear (yet lighter in weight surprisingly.)
We need not be surprised if airlines come out with ingenious ways to charge some extra fares on humans. One such would be levied for the passengers having their BMIs over and above the optimum. People are not complaining if extra baggage (over and the above that is permitted freely) is charged since the latter meets some or other need during the travel or stay. A friend of mine from abroad arrived with her own exercise machine. I was shocked when she paid for the extra baggage at the check- in counter on her way back. I wondered if the machine could be bought as well here, for half the extra freight she had paid. Then I thought her familiarity with the machine might outweigh money issues.
Finally, out of desperation, airlines might charge passengers for their dentures/ artificial teeth, braces, etc. - by the weight of such appendages. Pity, the owners might not smile at all, lest they are forced to pay through their noses.
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