just about everything about mumbai gives one an adrenalin rush! stepping out of the arrival gates, mumbai fills your lungs! a deep breath 'pranayam' just extended my longevity by that much! had it not been for the distance, a walk to saki naka would've been the ultimate nectar. settled to getting drunk in its air.
was glad somethings never changed. the comfort of coming back to all that was so familiar, so warm. however strenuous it might seem, living in these environs comes as second nature. the traffic filled roads, potholes thanks to the rains, wobbly autos and cars wading their way through. people oblivious to these little obstacles in their lives, all they had to do was get to work. they seemed to be walking on water. little kids loaded with school bags twice their size, covered in flowery raincoats right down to the toes. looking like miniature jayalalithas. amma would be proud of this fan following :-)
i was there to attend an engagement and a wedding. but for a moment had forgotten all about it. oh yes, the e. and w. revels are a blog post on their own!
out to catch the early morning flight back here. the wee hours too have something distinctly mumbai. 4:45am and i am walking towards the main road. there's a auto chap at the turn. all he can see is my silhouette. a lanky figure with a bag on one shoulder. and he doesnt wait for me to reach the main road. try stopping a rick in chennai. wave out when he's 10ft away; he'll be crawling on the road but would still stop 10ft ahead of you. soon am off to the airport once again.
the santacruz stretch of EE highway never looked so beautiful. a medley of 5 taxis performing a ballet as they race down the banking. looked like an indy car race in silverstone. out emerges the prima donna BMW behind me cutting across like a knife through butter. but the peasants are not humbled, they have their pride very much in place. eventually they all turned at the same airport. my auto included.
while my flight was being readied, heard a rather lifeless bark from an air sahara crew, "sahara passengers to bangalore!". dont know what made her sad. maybe that she was to stay here at the airport while her fellow crew members got to go there! i am told that airline counters at gates have PA systems that help reduce stress on the vocal cords. apparently she wanted to make a point. the walkie-talkie only made her look more important. she was sad no one took notice of her or her call. passengers headed to bangalore anyway were moving to that gate. but i had heard her, even though there was little i could do.
jet airways is not in the LCC category. here are people who have pockets deeper and its imperative that they show it. ironically i have found more bluetooth enabled phones at chennai central railway stn than at the international terminal. i should have checked it here. they maybe on an official trip, but would still show that 'air of superciliousness'. they HAVE to pick a pink paper, wear thin rimmed glasses and have black coffee. an occupational hazard in a way! for me, i had my priorities. a screwed up playlist and lack of sleep in that order. but jet provides breakfast which i have already paid for! cannot afford to miss that, so held eyes wide open with toothpicks. could hear aerosmith crooning in the background "dont wanna close my eyes, dont wanna fall asleep..."
as the plane taxis down, the air crew starts its drill. reminded me of the PT sessions from my school days. good exercise to the wrists and the waist as they show where the emergency exits lay. but heads were still into the pink papers. hmmm, we just rolled past a plane that said 'global peace ambassador'. wonder what that is. got to google it.