Thursday, October 1, 2009

A different kind of airport

I was coming back to Kolkata from Mangalore last week via Bangalore. I took one of those beautiful Volvo buses provided by the Bangalore International Airport from the railway station to come to the airport. A handful of Bangali Dada-Didis were also on the same bus, full of enthusiasm, returning for the Pujos in high spirits. I sat quietly, listening to the typical 'tongue in cheek', colourful conversations all the same. Listening to some Bangla after a long time actually made me feel good.

The conversation veered to the state of major Indian airports..... Here's some of how it went - " ...Bangalore Airport ta bhaloee toire hoyeche..... Dilli tao besh bhalo banache.... Aar bombay tao kharab korene...mane okhane ja porimane traffic - se hisabe bhalo cholche ekhon ota... tobe hyderabad ta ekhon indiar best..daaroon baniyeche... aar kolkata - aare bhai Dumdum to "Heritage" airport :)"

Translated in English - "...Bangalore Airport has been built quite well.... Delhi's also has been built quite well... Mumbai's is also not bad..considering the amount of air-traffic they handle... But Hyderabad is now India's best...Superbly made... And Kolkata - Hey brother - Dumdum (Kolkata's airport) is a heritage airport :)"

And somehow the heritage tag is used more often perhaps in Kolkata than anywhere else... Just heard this other story from a relative yesterday. While various international airports have thermal scanners installed which swiftly scan and measure the skin temperature of people and then those who register temperatures higher than normal can be isolated for further evaluation to help prevent the spread of the disease. There were reports that even Kolkata would have them. Not sure whether they are already in place or not. But international incoming passengers were currently being scanned by our "heritage nurses" (the term was used by my Mama himself, without this story being told to him) and the good old hanshake was being used to check people's temperatures !!

I was a very frequent flyer for a few years till last year, and about 2 years ago, Dumdum was comfortably one of India's better domestic airports. But I have to say, it has really fallen behind now to Hyderabad, Bangalore among others. Will somebody do something to shake it out of its heritage glory.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to note that you still 'come back' to Kolkata and not 'go back' there:)


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