Thursday, August 23, 2007

Of Rheine and Fine Whine

My memory of the Perth airport is of bawling babies and drunk men, in the scaly backdrop of waves like in the Timor Sea. The scene pretty much followed at the Singapore airport where I was fervently wishing that I was rather headed to a nearer place like Phnom Penh or Jebel Ali than on the eighteen hour flight to Oslo. Else, I wished I could at least be the little kid nearby who was flailing her arms and legs in an open tantrum that she did not want to get on the flight. At the least, I found myself sulking that it would be nice to transform into one of the plants that sits cosily in a mud pot, cheering on the running passers-by. And when the plant shifted its leaves in a belligerent sulk directed towards me, I decided to abandon all humanity and plant and headed towards a secluded spot from where I caught the sun by surprise as it peeped into the world.

I watched along with a wicked cup of chocolate, as the sun extended its rays, gingerly trying to grasp the shape of a plane's wing, pat the head of a tall palm tree, bounce against the glass wall, and dance in my swirls of chocolate.

And I flew into the sunshine, seated next to an old Italian couple with the cutest English accents. And the flight flew so low, that we had quite a squealing time looking outside the window and spotting Afghanistan , islands of Greece and the Rheine. And that was when the power of the plane to traverse such vast expanses of land in half a day , truly sank in. Suitably humbled, I opened my Douglas Adams to find that it was about a girl who travels to Norway, through Heathrow and takes the 15:37 flight to Oslo. My jaw dropped so low that it hit the Siberian desert below. But what happens later in the book was that there is a blast at Heathrow and she never reaches Norway. Fingers crossed, I reached Heathrow.

The Heathrow airport doesn't need much description. It is like this musty cardboard box which has people walking inside it, looking as if they are in perpetual search of their luggage or their loved ones. Through a hole cut in the cardboard box, I had a view of the city, London, which looked like it was painted by this artist who ran out of all colors except grey and black. As if to prove my point, big fat droplets of grey splashed all around, bringing out more black umbrellas and raincoats.

And yes, for those who are curious, there was no blast at Heathrow.

However, there were some interesting stories in the papers on the way. In Singapore, there was this rather amusing article about how scientific studies of monkey behavior has helped their political science students to predict reactions in politicians. And this went on for half a page. In London, submerged within all the useful information about the Prince, there was this article on how people with blue eyes are more intelligent than those with any other color, with key words like science and proof and Alexander Fleming. The person who wrote it was obviously not blue eyed, if the theory held true. And if the person was blue eyed, then the mere presence of the article disproved the theory. As Holden would have said, it nearly killed me.

By the time the plane swooped towards Oslo, I was so sleepy that the green tips of coniferous trees looked like acres of bedding, topped by a misty starched blanket. And there were also candy shaped cloudy pillows billowing around. And that is the last thing I remember seeing.


Anu said...

Aaaaaahhhhhh.... so lovely!!!
Wicked chocolate! And transforming into a plant! And the sun patting the head of the tall palm tree!
You're just... yum! :)

Hemamalini said...

Your comment gave me a grinnyy grin now!!
Ohh. I find the hot chocolate from these vending machines quite naive though :D

Neelam Prabhu Gaonker said...

awweesome post hems :)
n the wicked chocolate part was too yummy....especially after a cholay-rumali roti dinner in the mess ;)
and yeah the Holden bit reminds catcher in the rye few days back.....nice but a lil depressing n stifling in places. jus started re-reading h2g2 (:DDDD my widest grin)

Hemamalini said...

Aw:D Catcher is pretty good I thought-- quite ,umm, unpretentious! Oh, the Douglas Adams I was reading is called The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul. Not as great as h2g2, personally speaking.

CJ said...

love the title the most! :)

gayathri said...

its simplyyy aweesome

Anonymous said...

what do you do in oslo? Just curious as the choice seems to be odd from what I hear from people around atleast and may I know your pass out year from BIT's as I myself was one of them.

Hemamalini said...

@Cj and Gayatri.. :) :) :)

@Anon... Work. And who is this?