BIAL - That's the abbreviation of Bangalore International Airport Limited. I with a friend and my dad headed towards this destination last friday. Its a clean 45 km drive one way. The traffic seemed to have come to halt on a friday night at 10, maybe a result of rising fuel price and adding to that the inflation taking tolls on the commuters. Weather was cool and the dark clouds had covered the sky, hiding away all the stars. The strong chilly wind that was cutting through the half openend window, ran my ears numb. It is a national highway that I need to take after a few initial rough city roads. As I drive through at a speed marking 100kmph on the display meter, few drops of rain made its entry on the glass surface in front, blurring the vision for a moment, until the wipers came on. A few gossips and giggles kept us engaged till we reached the parking lot at the airport. A glance at the clock confirmed the time - it was 11.05 pm.
Malaysian airlines was to land at 11:25 and we were there to recieve Sis who was returning from Australia on finishing her assignment. We the trio passed by the fresh aroma of the subway sandwich and the tinkling smell of berries poked my nose while I crossed the Baskin Robins ice cream shop.
Dad's craze to watch the flights taking off or landing every visit to the airport make me wonder but I simply walk with him.We walk to the nearby look-on spot at the corner. And there it was the Malaysian airlines landing safely - MH192 from Kuala Lumpur with no delay. We the excited ones were pointing at the plane and stating "Yep its here. Flight landed". Joyfully we marched to the arrival area.
As this was not the first visit to BIAL to recieve someone from airport,the procedures were pretty very well known - Landing, taxiing to the gate, customs check and the baggage claim. After this routine completes, is when one comes out of the terminal. Hmmm! So it was a minimum 30-45 minutes wait for sure.
As we wait, my wicked mind starts noticing the people round. A few cabbies hold placards and a few lay tired of waiting, waiting for the ones they have come to recieve. The delay in arrival has made them carry a look mixed with eagerness and anxiety. A family was impatiently waiting for the daughter and son-in-law. A restless kid was trying all his strength on the steel bars jumping around, while rest of the family waits, curiously glancing at the sliding doors open and close every now and then. Security guards were doing their duty. I overheard a couple sharing a light cross talk in between. A nun with an old sister from church pushed through the crowd to wave at their friend who'd just arrived. Dad with an astonished look was watching a passenger who came out speaking in an unknown language. (Actually that language sounded very weird). A grandma aged more than 70, was helped by an air crew member, to reach her family. They got her on wheels , what I witnessed next was a touching moment - her uniting with a man in his 40's - maybe her son. The smile on her face said it all.
Airports are such a hub of emotions. Smiles. Hugs. Kisses. Flowers. Tears. Embrace. There’s nothing quite like waiting behind the glass panels in the International Arrivals lounge looking to spot that familiar face.
I noticed the tag on the bags of people walking out. I was expecting Kuala Lumpur on them but it was different. Oh it was Dubai flight's passengers - the flight had landed a few minutes before the Mh192. We needed to wait more . A quick cast of my eyes went on a dark guy helplessly waiting with a bouquet of beautiful flowers - probably waiting for his girlfriend thought I. There were few Desi movie airport scenes recalled as well. Totally dramatic :). One fellow in an orange Tee and khakhi shorts walked out pushing his cart of baggages. Behind him came his lady. She was trying to reach someone on the cell phone. Okay let me share the little conversation between me and my friend, then.
Me : Kinda looks like these two are late comers from the Dubai flight.
Friend : Yaaaa. Mostly.
Me : They are newly wed couple I think.
Friend : Yes she is wearing those bangles. Probably Dubai for honeymooning. :)
Me : But why are they going separately ?
Friend : Hmmm fights ? (and we both go ha ha ha :)
A few minutes later,dad spot sis coming out with heavy bags around her. Kudos to Appa for his wonderful eyesight. Sis had lost weight and the travel made her look weak. Naturally, we made some fun of that fact which followed the hello and hi. We gulped a scoop of BR icecream each, then splurged on a wonderful zooming drive back home, at 12:30 in the night, of course accompanied by soggy rain.
We did not wander much around the departures but the story there is yet another experience to be going through altogether. Waving good byes, wishing luck, a roaring bon voyage and more. A moist eye bidding farewell to the near and dear, who will be gone for long. Some singles walked briskly to the Kiosk to print their boarding passes. Carrying a small baggage and no bag to check in - defintely meant he/she was on a short business trip within country.
This was just one night there at the airport but it is the same everyday, only faces differ but emotions remain as is.