Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Almost Famous

The closest I've ever gotten to feeling like a celebrity is during the times I've gone into or out of the international terminal of a small Indian Airport. Like the one in Ahmedabad. For airports like it, there is often just one or two flights pending departure or arrival at a time. On top of that people here make the arrival or departure of a loved one to/from America or Australia or Europe an extended family event. There are balloons and flowers. People even come early with food and have picnics in the grassy areas outside the terminal as they wait.

My mom flew in from California earlier this week and me, Shiven, and Masi et. al. (who were coming as a surprise to mom) went to pick her up. Flight arrived at 11pm at night, and it was the only flight arriving. But you wouldn't have guessed it by the crowd, which was swarming around the terminal exit. Like our contingent, there was a posse of people to greet every passenger. The crowd excitedly gathered around the terminal's single exit door, anxiously waiting for their special guy or gal to appear from amongst the gauntlet of bag claims and security checks. Two metal railings kept a walkway, almost like a catwalk, leading out from the exit. Dramatically, passengers mostly appeared one at a time. Everyone had their own time to shine.

I will admit it was an exciting atmosphere. With each set of whoops and hollers my anticipation for the next person to be my mom grew. At the same time I was growing annoyed by the crowd, which seemed to intensify and start invading my space no matter how far away I stood. I kept trying to position myself in a place where no one could possibly bump me in the back or graze my chest, but the crowd was like a spreading disease that I couldn't escape. My Masi, on the other hand, had found a choice spot right on the railing from which to greet her sister. Masi wanted to make sure the first face my mom saw was hers.

Mom came out and made a beeline, head down, through the crowd toward open space. She didn't even acknowledge her 15 seconds of fame! But of course we gave her a royal welcome with hugs and smiles. Welcome to India Mom!

No comments:

Post a Comment