At the airport

, Diary

Amish Tripathi’s books have been published worldwide and have sold more than four million copies, making him one of the most influential authors in India

Travelling for a vacation is a pleasure, which I have not had much of in the last few years. However, I do travel a lot for work, especially during the promotional phase of my books. Since I travel often for work, I fall under the frequent flyer category, which means I am introduced to different airports around the world.

Airports, in a sense, give you a primer to the city and country you are entering into. They mark the first impression of the city you visit e.g. whether the region is well off or not. But airports also speak about the country’s culture and whether they have pride in their culture or not. Indian airports have improved dramatically over the last 10-15 years, from what were glorified bus stands to among the best airports in the world. However, most airports in India are obsessed with being ‘modern’ in the Western sense. These airports lack the essence of India in their architecture and design.

There are a few airports around the world that have excelled in the art of exhibiting their country’s cultural background through designs, architecture and installations such as the Suvarnabhumi Airport of Bangkok, which is perhaps the only airport in the world where I have seen a massive installation of the Sagar Manthan from our Indian Puranas, which the Thais also believe in.

Coming closer to home, the CSIA in Mumbai has beautifully displayed the art and culture of India. The airport showcases the diversity of India on its walls and displays a multi-layered chronicle of the history and culture of our country. In league with Mumbai is the new Chandigarh International Airport, which also strives to portray the essence of Indian culture.

An incident I will always remember was when a reader who recognised me while I was walking to the washroom, came up to me and requested to take a selfie. When I, in turn, requested him to wait a few minutes, since I wanted to go to the washroom, he said he’d probably miss his flight if he waited. Now, in my rush to go to the washroom, I hadn’t realised that he had left his spot in the line to board his aircraft. His urgency was justified. So we hurriedly clicked a selfie and rushed off to our respective doors.

(As told to Abhishek Chakraborty)

Leave a Reply