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The Journey Home...
Given the weariness induced by last 30 hours or so of flying I am surprised to find myself blogging. But blogging each day is becoming like an exercise in relaxation - something like listening to music; my queer inquisitive watchful nature ensuring there is never a dearth of things to say.

The journey home was as banal, as eventless as it gets. I had a connection to Detroit from LA from where I flew to Amsterdam and finally from there to Mumbai. If I was not sleeping during the flight, I was probably waiting for the next meal, though having lost sense of time completely; it is hard to tell whether I yearned for a breakfast, a lunch or a dinner. I must confess that food was decent throughout. Despite being a total vegetarian (and just short of being vegan), and despite not having specified vegetarian as my meal preference, there was enough to feast on even on-board connection within US.

The landing at Detroit was made remarkable by the view outside. This being late October meant that autumn had set in. The complete transformation that the trees go through in most western countries is something we hardly get to see in cities in India (I can speak authoritatively only about Bangalore and Delhi and they at least are deprived of any notion, whatsoever, of "fall"). There were rows and columns of trees (amongst ordered construction of houses), whose canopies were not green but vibrant shades of yellow, orange and rust. The grass on the ground was still green, but the trees it seemed had become oblivious of the very color that largely controls their survival (no wonder that they appeared exotic to my tropic conditioned self). I would let this picture tell you the rest:


The flight to Amsterdam while boarding, played Vivaldi's Four Seasons - though before they could get past 3rd movement of "Spring", it was time to take off. The landing at Amsterdam was delayed due to dense fog hampering visibility. True to my nature, I was at a music shop at the airport within 5 minutes of landing. I spotted a 6 CD-set of entire quartet works of Beethoven - including the elusive Op. 130 and Op.133 (gross fugue) but since I had a copy of each work except one on CD 4, I decided against buying it. (Also I would rather have all my quartet recordings by same quartet (Cleveland Quartet)). I did buy complete flute works by Beethoven, one of his rare religious work - Op. 85 "Christus am Olberge", and Carl Oreff's famous work Carmina Burana.

I was carrying a paper bag in which I had stuffed a couple of rather fat books and all other purchases made at airports. When I landed at Bangalore this afternoon, the bag brushed against someone's suitcase and caved in to all the weight, scattering my stuff on floor with a muted thud. Within no time, I not only had people helping me collect my things, but at least two of them also offered me their carry bags! It sure felt nice to be back amongst friendly, warm people of your own race!
posted: 2.11.03

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