Left Washington DC on Northwest/KLM, stop over in Amsterdam for nearly 5 hours, arrived in Delhi airport at 11:00 pm local time. Amsterdam airport is much nicer than Frankfurt. Even with all my miles on United/Lufthansa, I am thinking of switching allegiance to KLM. :)
So, we all land in Delhi airport in a state of stretch- and sleep-deprivedness. There is a long line at the immigration stretching around the room and even sweeping up the stairs we are supposed to climb down. Thankfully the line is pretty organized and the immigration officials sound professional somewhere in the distance. You still cannot but think of anything else other than just getting out and finding a bed to sleep on. Everyone is at the tipping point of crankiness – almost there, need only one small nudge to actually get there. And then the kid gets into the act.
The boy is about 2 years old – let us call him The Kid :)
He is dragging his own little pink suitcase around. In a cavernous room interrupted only by immigration officers’ thumping seals down on passports, his voice carries all over. He is walking up and down the line, just like all those adults in the lines with their wheeled carry-ons. Of course, no adult can match his energy level at 11:00 pm after a 7.5 hour long flight, so we are staying put in our places.
Suddenly he drops his mini-carry-on and screams. He has discovered a fly that has alighted on his suitcase. His mother smiles apologetically at the crowd and says “This is his first trip back home and he has never seen a fly before.” Even those who were not paying attention to The Kid now turn around to look. And, thus starts our in-the-line-time-pass for the night.
The Kid would see the fly take off, and see another land a few feet away. He would run to the second one, absolute in his belief that it is the same one. He would watch it take off and yell that it is gone. In the meanwhile, his sister, a few years older than him, is watching this whole drama unfold before her with the caustic eye that only an older sister or brother can have. And in the same spirit, she informs The Kid that the fly is on his back or in his pant or on his shoe. This leads to a round of arm swinging and body twisting spree where he is trying to reach the fly that is not there. Until he sees another one land elsewhere. That can only mean that the fly that was on him is now somewhere else and that brings on a chase.
Thus, the almost-cranky adults find themselves moving along the line, amply entertained. We were reminded of a time when the sense of discovery prevailed. When the absolute joy in re-inventing the everyday and the mundane took precedence over physical limitations like time and place. A fly for one is a discovery for another! A timely note to start my trip with …
Shuchi’s parents were waiting outside… I went home.
It is a hot summer morning in Delhi…
I am drinking a mango milkshake made by Shuchi’s mom…
I am getting pampered today with great company and food…
Eat your hearts out everyone! ;-)