Saturday, June 25, 2005

Planes, planes everywhere, but nothing takes off.

I was talking to this character (and that is the right word) Rahul Bhatia who just 100 planes the other day and he said that by 2015 he believes that the Indian commercial civil fleet (not the private corporate jets that are used by Italian leaders of this nation) will increase to over 700. That stat today stands at around 200, and trust me Mumbai and Delhi airports cannot cope with this much. Sixty per cent of the nation's air traffic either originates or terminates at one of these two airports, almost a third of this is travel between these two cities (judging by the crowd on 9W 311 last night, there is still massive demand for mad Delhi drivers to get stuck at Worli and for Mumbaikars to be subjected to the inane violence of Delhi). Anyway, at the airport yesterday, there were at times two, maybe three announcements happening together, it went like "Jet Sahara announces the departval of its flight Deccjet 123456789 to Bangadelkata." Or at least it sounded like that. Anyway, unless the airports at both these cities improve dramatically, and the Italian obviously doesn't want to evict illegal Bangladeshi's from the slums around Mumbai airport even though Vilasrao Deshmukh, a Congress CM incidentally, sensibly wants to (unlike his unsensible Deputy CM, RR Patil who wants to ban those Whore, sorry Dance Bars - the man is a certified member of the Abhimani Ramdoss school of Public Policy) that airport is doomed. So now, PeePee, our dear Civil Aviation (sorry, Naresh Goyal affairs) Minister wants to build a brand spanking new airport somewhere in Navi Mumbai, complete with Hong-Kong style airport train (and HK's airport train is super-fucking-erb). Hah! say I. Actually, if we were to get a Shanghai style MagLev airport train in Mumbai that would be funnier.
So after a one and half hour delay, the plane finally took off. And I finished reading Mario Vargas Llosa's abso-fucking-brilliant book, Feast of the Goat. However, I disagree with the TLS assertion that this book 'has replaced 100 Years of Solitude as LatAm's literary masterpiece. Definately this book is far more contemporary, events in 1961 and 1986 seem closer than events in 1890, but I actually prefered Llosa's The War at the end of the World, which is such a killer book, I've read it twice. And my pick for the finest piece of LatAm literature isMarquez' Love in the time of Cholera, which is, in my most humble opinion the most beautiful love story ever weaved. I actually wanted to learn Spanish to read the original, but of course I then read Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Neruda, which is the best book of poetry ever. And I don't like poetry. Anyway, I have rediscovered reading and that is a good thing. So now I have four weeks to sort out my affairs, love life et al., and move off to Mumbai. Chalo, I'm off for the wekend.

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