Delhi Airport. Fog bound. Sitting in an overcrowded departure lounge. Passengers flying everywhere or rather flying nowhere. All flights have been delayed. Some are cancelled. A nice old Indian lady from Bangalore asks me where I am going to and if I am delayed. When I tell her “yes I’m on the way to Bhubaneswar” she asks for my boarding card and promptly rushes off to get me free cup of tea and a very big pastry. I thank her and as I continue to write this blog the man next to me asks what I am writing. His wife bossily tells him not to disturb me. I assure him it’s OK. Then he begins to interrogates me even more ‘where am I from what do I do? ‘ and to stop his flow I ask what he does. “I’m a judge in Delhi ” he replies “Oh” I say with a big smile “you must do a lot of questioning”. He laughs with me and we continue chatting about India, the government and how he thinks India is doing since the election of the new Prime Minister. He is circumspect and pragmatic – very judge like!
My plane is supposed to be delayed by three hours. I continue to write and chat and periodically check the board as they don’t seem to be making audible announcements. That’s when the shock of the LAST CALL sign for my plane hits me. Without warning it has been brought forward two hours.
I hurtle for the escalator – (this is so much not my style, as Follow Grandma readers will discover.) I battle through the hundreds of would-be travellers at gates 10/11/12/13/14/15 all anxious for the possibility of call to a plane to Bengaluru, Cochin,Mumbai….
The teeming masses are unyielding as I elbow my way through . At last the attendant at Gate 16 sees me. She’s waiting for stragglers for the last bus out to the plane. PHEW! Three of us make it onto the bus.m
The final experience of Delhi Airport was boarding the A320 plane was surreal. The bus drove out into the dense fog and then we were dumped on the tarmac to join the end of a slow shuffling queue of passengers making their way up an elevated walkway into the door of the aircraft.
I’m now writing this as I fly south east across India to Bhubaneswar Airport where I am trusting a driver and car await me. It will be close to midnight and there will be a two hour drive through Indian countryside to a small town by the sea called Puri and the Golden Sands complex where my good friends will be waiting.
Time to catch my breath, write and reflect. I now know we were the last plane out of Delhi tonight before the fog closed it down for 24 hours. Thing are going well.