hints, allegations and things left unsaid...
flickr | feed | latest | last 10 

Jet-lagged in my own country!

Travails of traveling through the length and breadth of country can be extremely taxing. I discovered this when I had to do a quick lap across 3 cities, that too within 3 days - a day in each city - something that I hadn't ever done (there's always a first time) and something I was gleefully looking forward to for the sheer material it was bound to present for this blog. The profound impact of Monsoons is prominently telling on the cities I touched, with the exception of Chennai which seems to be reeling under severe heat, or at least what seemed severe to my Bangalore acclimatized self. Here is a humble attempt to sketch what whizzed past me during last three days (or at least what caught my fancy for more than a minute)

Hyderabad: You cannot miss the rocky terrain while driving past Banjara hills. There are rocks and boulders of varying sizes, some of them stacked upon each other, sometimes rocks that are lot bigger, stacked on top of rocks proportionately lot smaller - rocks so small that they could be called stones. Yet, the entire magnificent assembly is rock solid (the pun here is purely accidental), the rocks brave breeze and now rains, but don't budge a centimeter. The strange marriage of profusely disparate rock forms, unnerved by vagaries of nature.

Chennai: The sultry, warm Chennai air frosted my glasses the moment I stepped off the plane. The climatic contrast with the city I had just come from could not be mistaken. Though the drive from air-port to hotel does not have much to offer in terms of picturesque scenery, I usually look forward to it - for I know (how to read) Tamizh, and the billboards and buses running there provide an excellent opportunity to brush my skills. Strange as it may seem, I don't understand a single word of what I read.. I usually try to imbibe the air of the city I am at during the drive - which means that the driver is politely instructed to turn off the air-conditioner, while I roll down the car-window panes. The heat and humidity, ensured that I couldn't get myself to do it.

I was putting up at Le Meridian. The hotel has an enormous lobby which happens to house a grand piano, which was playing when I came in. There was something fishy, my ears told, about those notes - they sounded "tinnish", too synthetic to be creation of a real grand piano, or perhaps it was the hotel lobby for hotel lobbies after all, are architected for esthetics and not for acoustics.

Mumbai: If you need to see the totality to which rain can transform the landscape of a city, you need to be in Mumbai during Monsoons. Right from the skies you encounter while landing - scoops and scoops of chaste clouds, with enough turbulence to make your plane tremble, to the glistening (though sometimes muddy) roads you are driving at. You just need either of sight, sound, smell to tell the difference, but when you have all your senses intact, the playfulness of the weather is hard to ignore. The pilot for some reason, wanted to compliment the rough sea of clouds we had just cruised through with an equally rough landing, as if too eager to ram the plane wheel to runway. "The outside temperature is 27 deg celcius" - never before has this routine announcement sounded like verse to me, on this one occassion it did, perhaps because it reassured that we had landed safely.

The burnished floor at Mumbai airport indicated that it had been just mopped. The thin layer of moisture left by the mop, provided an exquisite canvas for wheels of suitcases, which made the most of the surface, by leaving a fancy pattern of long, crisscrossing lines. A pattern that reminded me of the Jovian moon Europa - whose icy surface is patted with similar pattern, though in deep brown color. Handy artwork of chaos that could rival some of the best artists:

Europa - Jupiter's fascinating moon

The flight back to Bangalore presented another interesting view. It was raining just before I boarded the aircraft, so the window of the aircraft, had cache of water droplets scattered about its surface in no particular order. Once the plane gathered speed for take-off, the droplets were disciplined into several horizontal columns, streaking past the window. It felt as if the droplets had come to life and were competing in their private grand prix.

Bangalore: "Feels so good to be back home again", words from John Denver song that capture the essence of my feelings. In Bangalore if everything goes wrong, the weather doesn't. Thank God for Bangalore!

Drop me a line...
posted: 21.6.03

Post a Comment

Archives Blogroll

All material posted on this blog is copyrighted and may not be used in any form without the explicit permission of the author.