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   The wife was saying: "If Mr. Ratan Tata could be made chairman... (September 22, 1986)

The wife was saying: "If Mr. Ratan Tata could be made chairman of Air-India and Mr. Sadanand Shetty a member of the board, why can't you also be made some thing!"

"I have no desire of being made something," I said. "And if Mr. Tata has been made the chairman, it is because it is his family's airline, no matter how good or had it is."

The wife said: "You could have easily told Mr. Jagdish Tytler to appoint you on the board. You have always claimed he is you friend."

"I have never claimed he is my friend, all I have said is that I have met him," I said. "And, in any case, it is not Mr. Tytler who makes these appointments, he cannot even appoint an air-hostess, no matter how pretty or plain she may be. It is Mr. Rajiv Gandhi who makes all these appointments. After all, he knows more about flying planes than anybody else...the nation's pilot."

"You don't have to be sarcastic about Mr. Gandhi," the wife said. "Everbody is on the board of Air India, except you. How bad it looks. When people ask me-is your husband on the board of Air-India, I have to say, no."

"Please," I said, "everybody is not on the board and its chairman. Most of the people are not on the board, most of the people don't even travel by Air-India, they travel Lufthansa or Cathay Pacific or they used to travel by Pan Am. So you don't have to feel embarrassed to tell your friends your husband is not on the board."

The wife said: "All you are good at is excuses. "Formerly, you used to say you could not be on the Air-India board because they appointed only bureaucrats and politicians. Now, when they appoint regular people like Mr. Tata and Mr. Arun Nada, you say it is because their families owned Air-India. as if Mr. Tytler is interested in who owns what!"

"You are putting words into my mouth," I said. "I have not said Mr. Nanda's family owned Air-India, all Mr. Nanda has is the ad. Agency that got Mr. Gandhi and his party elected."

"And you tried your best to see that he was not elected," the wife said. "After that, how can you expect to be put on the board of Air-India. How nice it would be to be able to fly to London whenever we like and you making notes about the toilets being dirty and the pilot making unscheduled landings at Moscow airport because of engine failures."

"Well, I cannot be on the board of Air-India, so that is that," I said.

"Then why don't you at least try and get on the board of Indian Air-lines, Raj Kapoor's daughter is on it," the wife said.

"Not Indian Airlines," I said. "Next you would be telling me why I don't get on the board of Indian Railways."

 
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