From Palam to Begumpet and all in between
Buses halted, people alighted, I glided through the floor of the bus and exited through the window to stop and gape at faces I knew existed somewhere on the earth's cheek. My city-bred lungs stalled to drag a puff from the barely settling dust.
That I was traveling fews days after the serial blasts in Delhi, security was beefed up to spell trouble to all unassuming lives. I was carrying my guitar as cabin baggage and I was forced to met out explanations, open the guitar case a thosand times, hear cold threats - "Ma'am we'll be forced to offload you if the chief ground staff feels it may pose a security threat" and witness suspecting looks from all quarters.
Minutes before the scheduled flight, I waited to get into the connector coach (the domestic airport at Delhi has no aerobridge concept...nope, not as yet) that dropped me yards from the stairway to my migration jet.
I struggled to keep up with the train of murky thoughts and the resulting headache, a soul called to gently toss in a few words that said, "you are just going to Hyderabad. No need for farewell dialogues." That and I was put to rest for days to come. All the nostalgia was promptly packed and shoved into air-tight containers for future use.
First step into the plane and an excitable young lady for a stewardess inquired if I'd play some songs. On the core I was willing to growl back at anyone who'd talk about my guitar but the crust and all the 'fine young lady' ways forced a smile and offer, "it is out of tune".
After the in-flight announcements, I was soon in mid-air and gradually gaining height. Welcome drinks, breakfast, tea and hot-towels later, I was minutes away from touching down on a land I'd call my home for the next few years to come.
The plane glided and kissed the Biryani land runway at 8:40 a.m. on Nov 5th 2005.