On Way to San Francisco

We had packed for US sojourn and waiting. We had kept TV on, and planned to move out as last. With everything ready, it becomes difficult to pass time even waiting for taxi. With AC on we tried to take a nap, but one hardly get a sleep with a journey ahead at our age, though essential.

But then suddenly the news of blasts in Delhi started pouring in. Shocked and amazed, we kept on watching. I did also confirmed with the taxi operator if it would make our transportation to airport difficult or if we are to advance it. There was nothing to worry from his side.

We reached to airport much ahead of our planned time. Even with huge crowd of passengers that look now really global, we reached the lounge waiting for flight hours ahead. It could happen for two reasons: As advised by Anand I had requested for wheelchair transportation for Yamuna. It made entry at all point easy. But it was more because the private firm that is renovating and creating the airport to a world-class level has done marvelous job. However, we are to wait for some more years to get all work completed.

Crowd at the airport convinces that the India’s growth story is real. People from all over the world are traveling to India and Indians are trying to go to all corners of the world to find engagement or enjoyment. I had two observations from my experiences at the airport. The first was the very high price of all food items. I couldn’t relish a small veggie sandwich that cost Rs 120. Is it necessary to price this way as good business ethics? However, the display and sales of many Indian merchandises including some Hindi books talked about the interest of the travelers passing through the airport. My second observation was pleasantly surprising. The man who was handling the wheel chair came promptly in time even at the late hour of the night and didn’t accept the tips that we decided to give him coolly.

During the stopover at Hong Kong new airport that I was seeing perhaps for the first time, I met one young man from Patna who works for EDS in Mumbai. And as usual we talked about Bihar, Mumbai’s new menace named Raj Thackray, IT sector and what not. Perhaps quite a good percentage of the passengers to San Francisco were Indians. In the flight, I found a boy from SreeRampur sitting along with us in the same row found. He has passed out from IIT, Roorkee and joined Sun Micro Systems, Bangalore only last month and was coming for an orientation with his boss in Santa Clara. I gave me a great feeling about the manner Indian young men from small and bigger towns and villages are pushing ahead. However, the service of Cathay Pacific was far below what I expected. It fell just short of my loosing temper. I kept on cursing Air India or Jet Airways for not having a straight flight to San Francisco.

But it was the security arrangement at San Francisco that impressed me. It may be causing inconvenience or irritation but perhaps that only has ensured no repeat of 9/11 massacres. Why can’t India learn this lesson from US to eliminate the terror threat that is gradually becoming totally unpredictable and unmanageable? How can a government in name of secularism keep on playing with the lives and miseries of the countrymen?

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