Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Snakes on a Plane

I was so occupied with the most interesting news last week (the launch of Google Chrome) that I overlooked the second most interesting news: Crew on an Air India passenger jet discovered a snake coiled up under a seat and were unable to catch it as it slithered around the plane.

The snake was discovered on the plane during a routine check on the Air India A319 aircraft, which had landed at Delhi airport after a domestic flight from Srinagar. It evaded capture by slipping into an air vent and could not be found even when staff unscrewed panels inside the fuselage, opened all the doors and fumigated the plane.

The plane takes off for its next flight for Bombay, and scores of snakes appear from all directions creating panic among passengers. A CBI agent on the flight takes charge and devises a plan to expel all snakes from the aircraft.

Okay, the last part is made up and inspired from the Samuel Jackson starrer Snakes on a Plane. But not the part till Delhi airport. The snake was found and then lost on the plane. The airport authorities might not have noticed it unboarding the plane but they did notice it was not a cobra; I fail to see how does that matter.

While trying to read more about the odd incident and trying to find a photo for the post, I hit upon an even more interesting story: Brian Finkelstein becomes a huge fan of Snakes on the Plane as soon as it was announced; he says the name says it all. The common man wants to attend the glitzy Hollywood premiere of the movie, and launches a blog publishing his quest, and hoping someone who has connections to Hollywood might stumble upon his request and help him with a few "table scraps".

Brian's faith is rewarded and his quest accomplished when he receives an official invitation to attend the premiere from Gordon Paddison, a Senior Vice President for New Line Cinema, a major American Studio now acquired by Time Warner.

In due course of 215 days since he began his quest and it was fulfilled, Brian posted 446 stories on his blog, which had 915,000 visitors and 47 millions requests for files (images, comics, and icons), and he had transferred 1.29 terabytes of data. He was interviewed by 3 TV crews and linked by thousands of blogs and over 6,000 other webpages.

Brian became a celebrity from his hard work of 8 months, and his blog became the biggest fan site for the movie. He was invited to the red carpet by the producers of the movie, and a short movie was made on his blog, where he starred too.

The blog is still running even after two years of the release of the rather flop film, functioning as a digital store house of everything the movie is related to, and with snakes on everything now. Though Mr Finkelstein doesn't believe the film is a dud, and why should he about something that changed his life?


Anonymous said...

Did the airline crew managed to catch the snake???

ashes said...


No they could not. They tried but could not locate the snake on the plane: ...could not be found even when staff unscrewed panels inside the fuselage, opened all the doors and fumigated the plane.

KT said...

o man ... this is pretty scary .. I mean I am very scared of snakes.

As a matter of fact, most of the snakes in India are non-poisonous but I am more scared of the fact that King Cobra too is found in India and seeing Discovery and NatGeo programs on venomous snakes and the extent to which their poison is lethal, scares me out of my wits.

Saurabh said...

The ridculous response of Indian officials in almost all similar scenarios can be seen in this statment - 'they did notice that it was not a cobra'. And they mean its not a cobra, no worries, why the hell are you disturbing us.
If it would have been a cobra, would their response have been 'they did notice it was not a python'. Or 'hey, it was a cobra, too bad it got on the plane. now shut up.'

ashes said...


I somehow never experienced real-life snakes except for a few very small water ones, or some in the zoo. But yes, Cobra and all are very dangerous and lethal, and that is why the fear that comes for snakes. Indians also have the mythological reverence to snakes, which increases the fear.

ashes said...


:) That's true. Officials would keep up covering their shortcomings by claiming it-could-have-been-worse.

Indigo said...

That is an interesting post. This Brian guy had immense patience and faith. He is a fighter, and a fighter always wins.

Roli said...

Its a good and informative post... even I am scared, if at all the snake is in my plane then.... ohhhhh then I would start jumping on my chair... hehe...

the humorous part is "The airport authorities might not have noticed it unboarding the plane but they did notice it was not a cobra; I fail to see how does that matter.
" :)

ashes said...


Yes, I completely agree with you. Even Javed Akhtar said: Fighter hamesha jeetata hai. :)

ashes said...


:) Yes, you would start jumping and shouting, and maybe even clinging to the neighbour :)

Amiya Shrivastava said...

I'll read all ur previous posts as soon as I get time..really busy in switching over..need peace of mind to do it...

ashes said...


All the best in your endeavours. Take your time. Have peace. :)

Amiya Shrivastava said...

So here I am now settled and commenting on your blogs :)

SNAKE must be quite common in the land of snake charmers.

I have a few things to say here:

1)Blogging is a real powerful tool and is being made use of quite wisely by many guys around the world. The cool part is that it gives you insight into nerdy aspects of a great projects by the project members, ex: Amir Khan's insight into making his movies.

2) The American society is very glamour oriented, if you are different out of the box thinker and have abilities to get yourself through stroms then your probability of being successful here is more than it is anywhere else in the world. People don't tend to neglect you because they are already on the other side of the ocean and living a cool life.

3) An embarrassing incident, I had encountered when I was flying to the US, not even related remotely to this one except for the part that that too had occurred in an airplane..
I was to fly in a British Airways plane and they used a disinfectant spray to sterilize their airplane after passengers were seated and settled. I have never seen such a ridiculous thing before and after this incident. If they had to do this they could have had done it before we had boarded the plane.

ashes said...


Yes, I got a comment from you on almost all my blogs today :)

Come on man, 'land of snake charmeers'! You changed so much in less than a year that you start calling India that? :P

1) Yes I agree, and this Brian guy made full use of that.

2) No, I disagree here. If you are different and think out of the box, you are rewarded in India as well. Only that you need the courage and the enthusiasm to put it forward in the right way on the right medium.

3) Interesting. And no one said anything?

Amiya Shrivastava said...


I love India more than anything else, you missed the wordplay in the sentence :P

Anyway, you have reiterated what I have said...I said, given identical conditions, chances of success are better in the US than in India because
A) US has a better infrastructure
B) Less people so less competition

In India if you work good, even then you'll have to rub your boss slow and sound to get a good appraisal.
In the US, the chances are less that you'll be rubbing your boss because if you work well you'll be rewarded well($$$$$).
What's the American Dream anyway? Why your friends from the US don't come back?

ashes said...


Abe toone seriously le liya :) I was only kidding. :)

Yes, the competition is much less there. And Indian friends haven't come back yet because they have not been able to amass enough corpus to come back to India, multiply it with 50, and live happily ever after.

Amiya Shrivastava said...

Now we concur!!

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