Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Bangalore fly-by

It was a beautiful sunset and a busy evening; I packed my back-pack as I had to leave to Hyderabad from Coimbatore after a long vacation. Those long years in college and the grooming as a corporate professional could remotely change my attitude from a whining school boy reluctant to leave home for school. I found hard to push myself to leave for work the next day.
As I waited in the verandah, dad arrived and we left for the Coimbatore domestic airport. Ours is a simple, small and a quiet airport, much unlike that of any other metro in India. The serene look and the calmness in the milieu had a soothing effect; I and dad drifted to our chat soon. We started with the world of IT and when we finished talking about grid computing I realized that only 20 minutes were left for the take off!
When I entered the airport, the security check had finished and I was the last one to report! The routine screening and checks were over and I found myself sitting beside a window inside the airplane. The aircraft took off, houses, roads and people became miniatures; the horizon expanded and the strange bliss I acquire every time I flew arrived – perhaps it was the desire to become a photogrammetist which was getting fulfilled, at least partially.
I flipped open my sony phone in in-flight mode and tried my best at capturing the beauty of rustic India at sunset. Alas, the cabin lights were too bright and caused an internal reflection subverting my photography. I settled with the Deccan Airways magazine and skimmed quietly through it.
An hour passed and raspy voice echoed through the speakers. The captain announced the bearings, the 17,000 ft altitude, 490 kmph velocity and the -2°C outside temperature. What he announced next was had such a lasting impact on me that it motivated me to write this entire article. It was the Bangalore fly-by; a night vision of Bangalore from the sky.
Hurriedly, I switched off the reading light and peeped down the window. I was awe-struck. I saw the Las Vegas of India, our silicon city dazzling with its jewel like lamps. Glistening, sparkling lights, the traffic inching through the roads gave the reality of Bangalore even from the sky. An arterial road looked like a sparkling platinum chain and a splatter of lights forming a disc below it looked like a dollar and on the whole I saw a mammoth necklace dazzling in the night.The plane canted to its right and I got an even better vision of the city. The roads emerged clear with their street lamps, ambient glow from roadside shops, discrete and berserk run of vehicle lamps. From the sky this vision recalled that of an artery and the red blood corpuscles rushing down it. Now anyone who had seen this would know why, are these roads termed as arterial!The sight was so irresistible; I had to pen down those few words that blurt out of my mind during my first sight, thankfully my habit of carrying the ATM slips came to rescue. As I jotted down these visions on the back of the slips, I saw the air hostess watching me with a tinkle in her eye depictive of surprise and joy.
This fly-by lasted for just ten minutes after which I saw the dull and occasional sparks of light from the suburban places below. The sporadic distribution of lights appeared in unique and peculiar shapes. Those clusters of tiny lights in abstract shapes looked as if it were a weird communication with aliens.
In another half hour the plane landed in the brand new Shamsabad airport, Hyderabad. The airport was gleaming clean an obviously fine work from GMR group of companies. With the geographer and writer satisfied in my, I started towards the office.