HYDERABAD: Before I bring you stories from Holland I need to share about my recent ten-hour blissful, smooth ride in the skies accompanied by pampering by the Jet Airways flight crew. I don’t want to sound clichéd but the journey is as important as the destination if you want to cherish good memories of your travel. I am sure you will agree with me that it’s a blessing if you can lie on an absolutely flatbed and enjoy uninterrupted sleep for more than seven hours while travelling overseas, especially after a long wait in the airport.
After giving me a cup of hot chocolate, the air hostess made my bed. Imagine someone lovingly making your bed, smoothing every small crease with a smile and tucking you into bed. It was just short of kissing me “good night”! Thus spoilt, I went into a nostalgic mode and slipped into a deep sleep that transported me to my childhood. I dreamt of the story I read as a child, which is about a Dutch boy who saves his country by putting his finger in a leaking dyke. The boy stays there all night, in spite of the cold, until the adults of the village find him and make the necessary repairs. Then I also dreamt of the tall windmills and the gorgeous tulip fields. I was lying on a bed of yellow tulips staring at a huge windmill when I was woken up by an announcement.
Well refreshed, I had my “breakfast in bed”, that rare luxury you are entitled to, which happens either when you are sick or when you are indulged. I chose the South Indian breakfast of Pongal, Idly and Uttapam after a croissant and some fruits. The special coffee the air hostess made for me wasn’t to my liking. Seeing my untouched coffee, she came back and offered to make a fresh one with only milk, no water - just as I would have it at home. Oh dear! I was getting all the comforts of home, minus the responsibilities of running a household!
As I normally strike conversations with friendly fellow passengers (I mean those who don’t dip their heads into smartphones or type away fervently on their laptops), I happened to chat with the congenial Jet Airways official (Gaurav Sahni, DGM – Corporate Communications, who was travelling on work). Throwing light on the newly introduced daily non-stop flight from Bengaluru to Amsterdam, he said, “This direct flight, introduced in October 2017, is part of a strategic move to deepen the airlines’ presence in Bengaluru, while connecting an increasing number of Indian cities to Jet Airways’ international gateways via its hubs.
This also connects India to the world by facilitating seamless one-stop access from Amsterdam to 64 destinations across Europe and North America, with our codeshare partners. Additionally, guests can benefit from Jet Airways’ unique benefit: to travel through one gateway and return via another, on a single itinerary from its three European gateways, like Paris, London and Amsterdam, while they can also accrue and redeem points on each other.” This sounded fabulous to me. I am sure it does to many others if they come to know about it.
After 10 hrs 45 minutes of non-stop flying, I reached a cold, frosty Amsterdam that welcomed me warmly. The next few days flew like the gusty winds of Holland as I travelled around in The Hague, Rotterdam and the surroundings, gathering rich experiences.Delightfully, the return flight from Amsterdam to Bengaluru is a much shorter one - just 8 hrs 45 minutes. Well, two hours do make a lot of difference, don’t they? That means, in less than nine hours you are back from your Holland trip fresh as a tulip!
The stewardess explained the technicality behind the shorter return journey. It is the direction of the wind: while going West you travel against the wind whereas, while coming back, you travel along with the wind in the same direction, which pushes you faster. Though I found it quite interesting, I need to check on this and get a clearer picture. But for a layperson like me, all that matters is just a quick flight that takes me places! To celebrate this point, I chose from their “Sky Chai” selection, a Kashmiri Kahwa: the blend of woody spices with green tea leaves took me on a journey through the exotic landscape of Kashmir.
The lunch menu was equally delectable, with a choice of Western, Mediterranean and Indian cuisines. Missing home food, I had Murg Handi Laziz (that came with Awadhi Dal (yum!) and Bhindi-do-Pyaza (ugh!) preceded by wild mushroom soup and a salad of farm grown baby courgette, orange segments, candied beetroot hand-tossed with Greek feta cheese and smeared with Guacamole dressing; I rounded off with a heavenly chocolate and orange marquise for a dessert.
Now that you read about my pleasant journey to Holland and back, I shall share my awesome experiences in the land of tulips and windmills in the coming weeks. Can’t wait? Neither can I.
(The author is a documentary filmmaker and travel writer; she blogs at