The 1st Indian woman ever to win a medal at Paralympic Games, Deepa Malik loves the idea of exploring airports at length despite physical limitations
You name an airport and I have been there! Travelling across the globe, either for work or leisure, is one of the constants of my life. For the happy-go-lucky person I am, I love exploring each and every place I am at, which includes the airports as well. My very first memory of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai was every bit mesmerising. I loved how the airport has been done up so well with art displayed at the terminal. It gives me the feel of landing in ‘mini India’ as it has varied art displayed on the airport walls.
The Srinagar Airport is also a favourite as it the perfect place to shop for Kashmiri handicraft for a person like me on a wheelchair. I love to shop but at times it gets difficult to go out and buy stuff. However, airports like these enable everyone to shop the local must-haves before leaving the destination. The best part about Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad is how easily one can get authentic Hyderabadi biryani packed right at the airport and head for his/her travels. Another airport that I like for the food options and open space is the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.
While I have been to almost all airports globally, I love the airports in India. For instance, I would always pick Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi over the airport in Manchester. However, there is one thing that I feel most airports lack here that is a proper wheelchair assistance lounge. I feel airports should look into providing better wheelchairs or updating the models to make travel journeys better for the specially-abled.
(As told to Vani Malik)