I flew India’s Spicejet last November. From Tamil Nadu’s capital, Chennai, I took my luggage to its domestic airport (which was undergoing refurbishments). Unlike Trichy’s airport, Chennai has a more urban standard – new xray machines, gleaming interiors, and an orderly system of receiving clients.
IMPATIENCE BECOMES HIM
After checking in, as it was boarding already, a 20’ish guy kept egging me to “just go” – and this was a queue where airport officials would frisk you before heading towards the door. I didn’t wanna go beyond demarcated lines before it was my turn – regardless of who’s in desperate rush! You see, we had to take the bus to get to our plane. “Just go, man,” he emphatically ordered me once again! I looked behind me and gave him dagger looks. No one was going to order me to buck standard procedures! “Stop ordering me around! Wait for your damn turn!” I shot back! Since it was my turn for the frisking, I told the guard about this impatient shmuck!
The guard stopped frisking me and waved his head, telling me to go. I did so, but not before looking back. I heard the guard shout to the man behind me - “Wait for your turn!" <Indian gibberish…yadda yadda yadda> And not only did he frisk him! He also made him turn back behind the xray line, while I made it to my bus - the last of the 3 transfer shuttles for my Spicejet flight!
The flight from Chennai to Delhi was relaxed, though it took almost 3 hours! It’s like flying from Manila to KL. And I am just flying from south India to somewhere-in-the-middle India. Such is the gargantuan landmass of this fascinating land! I kept looking around if Mr. Impatience made the flight – but I didn’t see him! That should teach him a lesson!
FIRST TIME AT THE INDIRA GANDHI
Later that day, I arrived for the first time at the Indira Gandhi International Airport – India’s mother airport, once tagged as “one of the worst airports in the planet”! I expected everything in disarray, but it proved otherwise. There was a buzz of electricity shooting through my spine. I was excited – and a little scared!
Even the taxi ride was much like my surgeries, uneventful! It was an easy pick! I expected riot, and taxi wallahs, but there was none of that!
Dusk enveloping the nation’s capital. I was also anxious. Would I find my street? (Yup, the driver took me to the edge. I had to walk from the stop.) Would I find the same hotel where I used to stay? (Nope, I didn’t even see it within the next 2 days in Delhi! Haha)
JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES
Paharganj (the city’s well appointed backpacker joint) - which literally means "Main Bazaar" -was abuzz with manual traffic and the usual bustling commerce a la Divisoria, but crazier. It was hard walking through the chowk without bumping into someone. Peddlers were selling every imaginable stuff. I reached down my pocket to get something to fill my grumbling stomach. Fellow backpackers were in every corner – looking lost, tired, amused, unshaven, delighted to be at the heart of chaos! My muscles were flinching from carrying my 8 kg baggage. I agree. Visiting India, Delhi in particular, isn’t just like watching a movie. It was being in this fascinating, mind boggling, sense-overloading movie! In a matter of hours, I were to celebrate another birthday alone – in a foreign land! Little did I know that this would make into a “most unforgettable birthdays” list!
But that story’s for another day! And this is the Eye in the Sky!
Purana Qila - one of the city's grandiose UNESCO World Heritage sites. Felt fortunate to have finally visited this - on my 3rd Delhi visit!