Have always loved looking at the graph on the personal screen in aircrafts as the plane symbol approaches the oblique square around Bangalore, sometimes from the Arabian sea, sometimes from the Bay of Bengal. Never from above. It looks close after a long 5 hours spent in the flight sloshed and droopy eyed. But then the graph reminds me it’ll be another 2 hours to get on ground. And then time freezes.
This time however, there was no such thing. This was a tiny Boeing 737, with just a couple of 15″ screens dropping down from the top with an eerie squeal whenever whoever was in charge felt like it, and retreating with an equally eerie squeal. The screen did not display anything of interest, so I had to go purely by time. And then the flight landed with me looking out as usual for familiar surroundings. Unfortunately there were none. Having done lots of flights from the old HAL airport, the new Devanahalli one is still new to me and somehow am not too acclimatised to it. Maybe its just ‘distant’.
The immigration and customs took just 30 minutes. During this time I found myself convincing the customs guy that all I had in my checkin was a hard-drive and chocolates. He bought it without making me open the stuff up. Of course the real deal was in my carry-on – Two laptops, a DSLR and the rest of the gadgets.
The cab ride was 40 minutes long and I was home just over an hour after the flight landed. Pretty impressive considering the distance. The next day I was up early, and soon found myself scouting for sim cards. Was sad to note that there were no numbers beginning with 9 and had to settle for 7.
Walking back I realised that for some reason I did not feel like I had arrived somewhere. It was like I had never left. My world in Seattle of the last 3 years did not exist. I had been here all along. But then it slowly dawned on me that probably it had still to sink in that the world of Seattle no longer exists. I guess am still in the annual vacation mode, waiting to have fun, trying to forget Seattle. The real deal will come when I start working. But I know it’ll only be a matter of a few weeks before that world becomes the constant and everything else something that happened in the past, only to be evoked as sudden flashes and by familiar smells or songs.
Irony is, this is how I felt about Bangalore when I was in Seattle. But then, there is no such longing, just a silent smile as I try to convince myself that this is the real deal before giving up, deciding to go through the modes as they come.