Skip to main content

Homecoming


Landing at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, I was in for a surprise. The airport has got a face lift. Despite the bad press, the Commonwealth Games has made homecoming less depressing. It didn’t bother me much that the rather ugly brown and yellow carpets stank of dampness. Gone will be the days, hopefully, of people falling from escalators and dying. Indians are always in a hurry, so we are witness to all sorts of mishaps. It was also a relief not to be part of the great mix of unruly compatriots whose loved ones outnumber visitors at the arrival gate. Save for the diplomatic passport holders and the other privileged lot, the rest of us lowly mortals took to the queue waiting to be scrutinised with venom and envy by grumpy immigration officials. On one occasion, one went to the detail of asking me how I met my husband, married him and settled abroad – in the way you would expect from a frustrated moron, not a government servant.

But some things haven’t changed. Tired travellers don’t get a smile at the duty free shops. The taxi driver outside is lazy and does not want to ferry you despite a pre-paid ticket at hand. Instead, he is peeved at the number of luggage you have and expects a good tip. “Samaan jaada hain madam (too much luggage madam),” he frowns. I wonder if he has equated his engine to a mule.

I was once again back to the heat and dust, the clamour and people of the city which had been home to me for decades. When I commented about how suddenly I was transported to chaos, I met with a firm, “Oh you have forgotten your slum days so soon?” Of course, I was not complaining. I was just saying I had begun to lose the sense of the chaos and it all felt new again. Alive and aware!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies. The mad man said [sic] " You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer ." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the ma

O-B-A-M-A

Two million people at the National Mall in Washington alone. The world watched too as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. So did I. I rudely cut roomie's soap operas and switched to CNN to witness history being created. Some day I may live to tell the tale of how Barack, the much touted Afro-American President of the United States, stumbled with his swearing-in oath. I was a bit disappointed as I watched the man who had run the most successful of election campaigns, the man who Americans were pinning their hopes on, take his oath. Clearly, he was under too much of a pressure to be the best. So before Chief Justice John Roberts could complete the first sentence, there was Obama abruptly breaking out into his first names... " I Barack Hussein Obama.." and then waited for the judge to complete the sentence.. The next line was even taxing. He stopped short after two words... " That I will excute ..." and then Justice Roberts cont

Good Girls Don't Drink?

I have been disturbed by the news coming out of my region – the northeast of India - where a teenage girl coming out of a bar at 9:30 pm was molested and beaten by a group of 20 men. The news has even found its way down under for the shocking nature of it. Tabloids and even TV have carried the news. I have always prided myself in belonging to a region that is known for its high tolerance and where women are generally safe and independent. But I have always felt a bit squidgy about Guwahati unlike the rest of the seven sisters. The place is so like the rest of India in many ways, dirty and claustrophobic. That explains why bars are looked upon as sleazy places and women going there beaten up as with the recent case. Just 150 km away is Shillong, the place where I grew up. Night clubs thrive there and till date there has been no case of attacks against women. Reading the news, I am appalled by some of the reactions. “But the girl was drinking,” or “only prostitutes visit that