A: Airports #AtoZChallenge


The first time I walked into an airport was to send off an aunt of mine. I remember being so fascinated by it that I called up all my friends and told them that I'll be going to the airport. I was under ten years of age and was awaiting the day like I was visiting Disney land instead. When the day did come, I dressed up in my best dress and combed my hair twice and checked the mirror a dozen times to see how I looked. When you are from a middle class family, the word airport sounds no less than heaven. I assumed it to be like those I saw on television with innumerable escalators and really good looking airport staff. The mirage was broken as soon as I got off the auto rickshaw and saw a man spit right at the entrance of the airport.

Still I held on to some hope and walked in. Back in those days you could send off passengers until the runway. As we waited for my aunt's flight, I drunk in the sights around. I saw the people around and thought them to be very rich. I listened very carefully for every announcement being made. I admired the well dressed air-hostesses who walked by. It was quite an eventful day for me. While I got back home that evening, I made a promise to myself that at least once in my lifetime I would travel by a plane.

My first flight ever was from Chennai to Bangalore while I was working there. I just got a call one early morning that my mom was hurt and was admitted to the hospital. And before I knew it I was at the airport waiting for a flight to take me home. This time the airport looked different to me. In the mirror I saw a petrified daughter waiting to get home to see her mother. I couldn't see anything else, nor enjoy the experience of travelling by air the first time. I remember being shit scared during the take off, but once we were in the air, my only thought was to see my mother. Since then, I have traveled so much by air, that I have lost count of it. The travel doesn't fascinate me anymore. But the airports do.

An airport is a place where I like to observe people. When I travel alone, I buy a cup of coffee and just sit and observe people around me. There are different types of people in the airport at any given time. I once saw a lady wearing six inch heels and struggling to walk with two heavy bags around her shoulder. I wondered why hadn't she checked in those bags. Once I saw a husband taking his wife overseas for the first time. I could see that he felt like God and she was in awe of everything around her, just like how I was the first time I stepped into an airport. I saw a mother bid a tearful goodbye to her grown up son and I felt a tear drop down my eye too. Then I saw a mother trying to manage her two toddlers along with her bags and all the papers that she held in her hand. She's going to meet her husband overseas, I assumed.

That is what airports do to me. I am suddenly enveloped in so many stories that I want to know more about. Airports have seen more people than anyone else and each one has a different story. Mine was one such story too. Earlier when I traveled alone, I was just doing it for my job. But I enjoyed it completely. Every airport I visited created a new memory for me. When Cal and I started dating, I started hating travel as I would be away from him. He would come to the airport to drop me off and I would keep looking at him until I was inside the terminal. When I came back, I would spot him first in the crowd. Somehow airports make you realize how much you love a person.

Now that we travel together, nothing has changed. We still sit together and observe people and try to understand their story. I may travel by air a thousand times, but my fascination for airports would never die.

33 comments:

  1. I knew it!
    We are cut from the same cloth!
    Somehow I love you more with your OCD and your fascination for airport

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  2. Ha.. Finally got to read your post for A TO Z challenge. Nice observation about airports and things going around there.

    Waiting for your next post.

    Seeya

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  3. Straight from the heart. Loved it.

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  4. I once saw a kid sister holding onto the legs of elder sister not letting her go. So many stories you can see unfolding in Airports. I too love watching people :) not with coffee probably with green tea.

    Visiting from A to Z Challenge
    Pam's Unconventional Alliance Team
    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

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  5. Ditto!! I love the bonus 'me' time we get while travelling by air but quite hate it when you can't see off the person until the very departure. My first air travel was when I was eleven and had gone for a trip to Mumbai!

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  6. I really enjoyed reading your story, memories... I agree airports are amazing for observing people.
    Have fun with the A to Z challenge!
    @SolveigJW

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  7. And here I am, always reading a book at the airports. Always! Guess I should also start observing. Fascinating! :)
    Brilliant start, Soumya. Will come back tomorrow for more!

    *Shalini @ Something's Cooking

    *Read Army Wife Tales @ TaleofTwoTomatoes

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  8. Coincidentally the first time I went to an airport was to pick up my aunt :) I felt something very very similar :)

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  9. I loved reading this post; and I could relate and remember my first flying experience was from Calcutta to Guwahati and Guwahati to Calcutta. I was so nervous as well as happy :) yes I do find all transit points very intresting, even railway stations and bus stops, I have a tendency to keep observing people ..

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  10. Agree with you completely! Airports are best places to observe people and then weave stories about them in our head!

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  11. I loved the flow of the post, writing like this is my aim. I hope I'll be able to get better at it, and will stay to read all your posts in April :)
    And then airports have a significance. You start off a journey, a new phase of life. Not always, but yes, it is a way in which new beginnings are made. Remember Queen? :D

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  12. Beautiful take... and you know what? You are absolutely right about how you gain perspectives while observing people interact in an airport. Do you remember the starting and ending moments of the film LOVE ACTUALLY? They make the same comment on human nature and I always thought they were absolutely right...

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  13. I have a fascination for airports too. All because I've never visited one. Yes that is me :P I think I am going to be like the 10 year old you when I finally visit one. Nice post Soumya. Your post wants me to go to the airport soon. :P

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  14. Good one and not always but sometimes I observe people. You are right, there are so many stories that we can get to through people.

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  15. Goodbyes always seem to be more genuine at airports and railway stations. I like to observe people too, when I get the chance to travel.

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  16. Yes, I had a similar experience too though I got to experience it late. But after that frequent travels and trips...things really changed

    A - The Art Attack

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  17. I am in awe of airports too! Since I don't travel much...Im kind of befuddled in them. Your post triggered memories of my own first trip to the airport and my first flight! Loved the post...waiting for B now ;)

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  18. it's amazing how our perspective changes according to what situation we are in! I share that thought too, finding out stories about people whom I see there!

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

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  19. I went back to so many of my own memories as I read ur blog.

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  20. A wonderful read :)
    After reading this, I so wish to go to an airport soon.

    Good luck for the challenge :)

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  21. I love airports! Esp when I'm traveling alone. I love how I get to roam around the book shop with my fav choice of coffee and really look at different people from different part of the world and imagine what's going in their head.

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  22. There are so many stories that can be observed from airports alone. Some happy, some sad but always so interesting. Your post took me back to the time I first flew :)

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  23. Airports and it's memories linger on...

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  24. Airports are like bells at temple entrance...you can feel the chill before going towards a new place...Nice post:-)
    https://doc2poet.wordpress.com/

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  25. Loved your post - Airport. I remember my first flight when we kids were conscious and excited at the same time. We were very young and the trip was very small.
    Like you I too enjoy public places, observing people, a little guessing game. Airports are fascinating...
    Elixired

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  26. I did not see the airport until I flew with my husband after wedding.Until then I never got a chance to fly. Most of the travel with family was by car, train or bus.Observing people at airport is something even I do. Each person is a different story and emotion.

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  27. I'm with you, airports are fascinating with their out'of-time, out-of-place status, the constant in between, neither here, nor there. My favourite part of Love Actually is their airport collage, all those hugs and tears, all that love always makes me well up.

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  28. Airports are a wonderful place to study humanity!

    All the best with the challenge, Soumya :)

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  29. I love to people watch in airports as well, and is perhaps one of the best things to do when traveling alone. You can sometimes pick up very interesting tidbits of a stranger's life by catching bits and pieces of a conversation or body language.

    Considering I have never met you or read any of your work, I look forward to meeting you through A to Z!

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  30. Ear-blocking make me dislike air travels. The terminals and waiting areas are more my thing, too :D

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  31. Great.. Its fun to sit with a cup of coffee and observe people. Once I saw an elderly couple in one of the US airports with a pot of tulsi in their hands. They were probably going to meet their son/daughter.. I was already missing my parents.. And this just added to my feelings...

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  32. I haven't been to airports much. I don't travel much by flight. I do like to observe people at railway stations and bus terminals etc. :) And yes, there are lot of stories that come with observation. Nicely written.

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  33. I been lucky I had NCC air wing when i was in college , with that comes 60 hours of learning how to fly a plane .. SO I have had some good times.. The first time i actually flew as a passenger was when I came to UK and it was a experience on its own ..

    Bikram's

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