The ‘Flight Mein Fight With Kangana Ranaut’ That Didn’t Happen
One woman's experience of being on the same flight as Kangana Ranaut.
Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan
Haters gonna say “The Quint paid for her ticket and now she is 'reporting' about it.” My reply, “I wish!”
After a short trip to my janambhoomi, I was returning to my karmabhoomi and as luck would have it, I happened to be on the same flight as Padmashree Kangana Ranaut.
Her Grand Arrival
But, this isn’t about her. It’s about the media circus that happened inside a flight in the time of COVID-19 and social distancing.
More than half the flight was occupied by media crew, reporters and cameramen. I could spot Republic TV (of course), Times Now (obviously), India Today and News 24, to name a few.
Zero Marks For Logic
Now, I’m not the editor of a TV news channel but I have just been wondering that what were the editors of these news channels expecting from this crew of 3-4 members to get? Did they hope for an exclusive episode of ‘Flight mein fight with Kangana’? Or just casual updates on the actor?
If it was the latter, I have a suggestion - follow her on Twitter. She gives everyone live updates there anyway.
Also, last I heard, COVID slowdown led to many job losses and salary cuts in the media industry. It’s possible that some media houses were cutting costs just so they could afford a trip for their crew to follow Kangana from Chandigarh to Mumbai, you know, fire some to fly some?
Anyway, coming back to the flight experience. “FILMING INSIDE THIS AIRCRAFT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED”, this is something I heard the flight attendant say more times than I have heard Arnab Goswami say “drugs” in the last 2 months. How to handle media on a flight is something I suggest aviation industry add to their training module.
What Was I Doing All This Time?
I tried to sleep, I swear I did. But, every 10 minutes some reporter from some channel would come near my seat with a camera, trying really hard that their lens captures one glimpse of the actor.
Maybe they wanted to see if she is sleeping during the flight or discussing her next tweet with sister Rangoli, I have no idea.
Every time I shut my eyes, I’d hear the flight attendant arguing with a reporter. This kept happening throughout the journey. Of course, that disturbed me. But keeping that aside, I was also scared that they would capture footage of me sleeping and it would be telecast on all channels - I like to be prepared for the camera too.
Now, about the landing - the second the wheel touched the ground, the entire media crew parked at the back of the flight came running towards the front row and started having a one-sided conversation with Kangana. I actually heard them say, “Dekhiye hum hain Kangana ke saath Mumbai mein (As you can see, we are with Kangana in Mumbai)”
I’m pretty sure his lens captured him standing next to a rival channel’s reporter.
Most of the media folks didn’t even wear their face masks properly, forget wearing the face shield. Social distancing? Their motto seemed to be zameer diya hai, jaan bhi denge ae TRP tere liye! Btw, Kangana and Rangoli didn’t wear their face shield either... at all, not even for a second. Naaaa.. humari bhi nazar unpe thi, bhai! #JustSaying
*Also, googles COVID cases in India and attaches screenshot*
Did I Mention She Was Sitting Diagonally Opposite Me?
In hindsight, I feel I should have just offered the seat to one of the reporters on the flight. I’m sure they would have paid any amount just for 1) a seat close to the actor and 2) a window seat. It would have given me some shaanti and the reporter, a promotion, probably.
The only plus was that I actually saw Kangana and her sister Rangoli calm and quiet for the first time ever.
As soon as I landed at the Mumbai airport, I received a call from my dad. He asked me to stay inside the airport for an hour as TV news channels were reporting the madness outside the airport. So, all these channels who flew their crew from Chandigarh to Mumbai also had their staff reporting from outside the airport? My question again, what were you expecting? An exclusive episode of ‘Flight mein fight with Kangana Ranaut?’
Ending this with one image that happened to catch my attention.
UPDATE: DGCA Pulled Up Indigo After Our Story & They Responded
After this report was published, DGCA pulled up Indigo for ‘safety violations’ by mediapersons onboard the flight. Indigo said the following in a press statement:
“We have given our statement to DGCA regarding the matter pertaining to flight 6E 264 from Chandigarh to Mumbai, on 9 September 2020. We would like to reiterate that our cabin crew, as well as the captain followed all the requisite protocols, including announcements to restrict photography, follow social distancing and maintain overall safety. IndiGo also followed the requisite protocol of documenting this matter in its post-flight report. We are committed to providing a safe, hassle-free experience to our passengers.”
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.