Welcome to ‘Airport Village’

23 Dec

Papa and I were at the airport yesterday evening, waiting for the Lady of the house to arrive.

Hunger pangs made me get down from the car in search of something to eat. We still had three quarters of an hour to kill and I was quite starved. I was looking for the sign board that would direct me to the food joints there. And this is what I saw:

“Welcome to Airport Village”. That’s what the green and white neon sign board said. I chuckled to myself. I was amused. Whatever gave them the idea to call the place a village? An airport it is, that I can see. But a village? Did I overlook something here?

So, instead of just idling away time lounging by the car, waiting for Mamma, I decide to take my magnifying glass out and observe the tell tale signs that render the airport, I am so fond of, a village.

I love the way the landscaping has been done at the airport. The array of vibrant flowers and trees. The Laqshya – advertisement boards, I just love the way they advertise themselves. “Watch your brand fly!” The long breaths of clean air and the long drive on a wonderfully maintained road and on the longest flyover of the country. It is exhilarating.

The airport in itself is another story. I had fallen in love with the way the airport when I had seen it first, for the way it has been designed. Chic. Utilitarian. The cleanliness maintained. I think it would make Howard Roark weak in the knees if he were to see the simplicity of the design and the convenience of it. A building entirely made of glass. It looks beautiful, especially at night. It gives you the feeling of having come somewhere else, abroad. Doesn’t seem like the place belongs to India, to Hyderabad.

So, if it’s the lush green trees and sprawling lawns and the fresh air that reminds you closely of a village with spawning fields and shady trees and a cool breeze, then call it a village if you wish to.

But I can’t say that my first impression has been an everlasting one. Its changing bit by bit with time. I have driven to the airport at all kinds of times. Driven down at midnight, at early hours of the dawn, at 12 in the noon, in the rush hours of the day and the dusk both. So technically, I have seen the airport in all its grandeur, at all times. Having gone to see my friends off, on journeys abroad, I have been at the airport at some unearthly hours of the day, or rather the night.

I have found myself surprised to see beggars and laborers occupying the benches there, sitting and admiring the magnificent structure. There have been times when I have seen these men spend the night out on the pavements, spreading their sheets and making their beds under the starry sky. But all that was long back, back when the airport was still under construction. And I thought that the poor people find it difficult to commute there and have that’s why probably set up their lodgings just there, till the construction is complete.

Now, a little more than 2 years since, I still see beggars begging for alms near the arrival and departure drop/pick-up points. Auto-stands, bus-stops, railway stations. It is common for beggars to throng these places. But AIRPORTS? What in the world are beggars doing at a place situated a good 25-30 kms off from the city? Or is it that they still spend their nights sleeping on the benches there? Makes up for a decent home, if you ask me! :X

The escalators are another thing that caught my attention. They moved at the pace of a bullock cart. It would not have taken me more than half a minute to go down by the stairs, whereas it took me twice the time to go by the elevator. People walking up and down the escalator rather than riding it is a pet peeve to me. And yesterday, I found myself just in the perfect situation to do it.

A village it is really turning to, in the sense that it is becoming more rural than urban! Let us just bring in a few cattle and let them graze the lawns there, use a ‘phatak’ instead of the toll booths and a proper village it will be! 😐

P.S: My spirits are high because Mamma is back. But, I really can’t see my beloved airport turning out to be village. It’s the one place in the city that I like to brag about. 😀

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