At the airport

, Diary

Record producer Bally Sagoo believes in exploring different leisure zones at airports, including the lounges and the duty-free shops

first travelled to India in 1982. I remember being petrified as I had never been in a plane before. We landed at the Delhi Airport enroute to Punjab. Interestingly, I do not remember any fear or anxiety during the flight. Maybe it was just before the flight.

I am a frequent flyer, especially to India, and mostly get in to India through New Delhi. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is quite well-laid out and rather well organised I must say. However, I do prefer Mumbai’s T2 as it’s not as chaotic and is a lot easier to get by. I also like the Raja Sansi Airport at Amritsar. It is amazing to see the cityscape of Amritsar from the plane. And somehow I just always get a whiff of saag and karha prashad at the airport! I always laugh at myself, how I am constantly hallucinating about these two things in my jeans, loose t-shirt and comfortable sneakers.

I think the best way to pass time at an airport is to walk around and check out the duty-free section. Once I am bored of this, I head to the lounge with a drink and make some beats on my laptop. In fact, the bar at the airports is my favourite lounge area and my favourite gastronomic indulgence at airports is fish and chips (I am a true-blue Brit now) if I can get it. I am usually never irritated with the waiting  time before flights, but I hope I don’t have to eat my words.

I do have a few suggestions for Indian airports. They should definitely have less carpets, we don’t need them! India is not really that cold a country! Besides, it is not practical with suitcases and luggage with wheels; carpets make it difficult to manoeuvre wheeled bags! Also it is difficult to maintain cleanliness. Better Wi-Fi zones would be such a boon and definitely no limit on how much free Wi-Fi usage passengers are allowed as tickets are already costly. While I feel the immigration process in India is quick, some more immigration counters would make it perfect. A wider duty-free section at not just the metro, but also small airports that service international flights would make the airport experience so much better.

(As told to Aarti Kapur Singh)

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