going to Singapore, to the US

I'm going to Singapore today, there I'll stay a week and then travel to the US. I'll take Cathay from Singapore, but from Bangalore, because of Cathay, I should fly Indian Airlines—it's been some time since I flew with them. The last time I boarded Indian Airlines I was asleep within minutes; then midway I woke abruptly. The cabin lights were blinking, and the attendants were crowding the cabinets ahead of me and one of them was banging on their shut doors as though that would set the lights right. After each thud from a blow the little doors shook and rattled but stayed obstinately shut, and I felt sympathy for the doors. The technique wouldn't work, and the crew looked pained.

Meanwhile, the aircraft had developed a shudder above its drone as though its vital parts had come loose and they'd lost traction with each other. Was it the lights or was it imminent doom that was the cause for the anguish on their faces? I had thought, “Is this how the end begins in an air-crash?” After a while the lights went out and I went back to sleep all at the same time; about an hour of sleep was available, and when I woke the event seemed a lifelike dream.

They're not bad, they at Indian Airlines. They mean well. The upholstery may be soiled, the dinnerware stained, the cabin dingy, but they make an effort to please. They're older than the staff on other airlines, they haven't the style, but they've been trying harder to be cordial ever since the private fliers came. During travel, what more can one ask for than courtesy from other humans?