Solo Shanghai

Looking through the window – China Eastern Airline
It is mandatory for the editors to attend the international fairs that get covered in our magazine. This time it was my turn to visit one such exhibition to be held in Shanghai, China. I had been abroad many times before. But this was to be my first time alone. So, I was having a mixed feeling – a little fear and more of excitement and thrill.
The day, as it approached, my  concerned colleagues arranged everything for me. Visa, air tickets and the logistics, everything was ready for me to carry along. The day arrived. It was time for me to leave for Shanghai alone on a midnight flight. I started from home to the airport at around 9.45 pm, taking enough time for me to solve any unforeseen mess-up.
Ummmm….okay…. o_O
Immediately after reaching the Netaji Subhash International Airport in Kolkata, I went through the formalities of departure and immigration check. Everything happened smoothly making me feel good. Before the security check, I had to wait for about 15 minutes as it was yet to start. The moment it started, I completed my check and went to the lobby. I saw many Chinese passengers and as usual, I assumed them to be the local Kolkatan Chinese going to their native place or grandma’s place for the vacations. I also thought of them to be tourists who are on their way back home. I saw many Indians who looked like businessmen on transit. While observing, face-reading and imagining endless things, something irritated my nose. Eew!
The lovely young lady in front of my seat

The male washroom was a few metres away and it smelt really bad! I was once again disgusted, as I was when leaving for Hong Kong late last year. I felt embarrassed too in front of all these people from our neighbouring country. Thought, what they would think of us, the Indians! I wondered why we cannot have as swanky an airport as Hong Kong! What’s lacking in our country?! I found the answer in no time. Resources are not a problem in India, people are. The proof of how ill-mannered majority of the Indians are is available in every government office buildings, on the corners of the staircases and on the corners of the footpaths and pavements. I got disgusted and tried to divert my mind by thinking something pleasant. Thankfully I didn’t have to suffer much here.

Finally the wait was over. The flight MU 556 has announced its boarding. I joined the queue to board…
Click here to continue…

manashree

2 Responses

  1. @drbrdas Thank you for the comment. The smell was in the air, I was not snooping around or anything closely similar to that.
    The second part is posted. Read The Kunming connection. More posts coming…

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