(Blog 1 in my series of blogs - Delhi Delight)
In India, IITs and IITians are highly regarded. Getting accepted as an intern at IIT Delhi was undoubtedly a big achievement for an engineer - in - making like me. Obviously I was excited to work at one of the most premier institutes of the country. But I had a "hidden agenda" in my mind, the thought of which excited me even more.
Seated in the middle seat of an early morning flight from Bangalore, my hometown to Delhi, I struggled to get a glimpse of the dense cotton field-like clouds. The man who sat next to me, on the window seat was asleep. "What a waste of a precious seat!", I thought, as I tried to click a picture of the heavens below. "They are just condensed water vapors, nothing heavenly about them", the engineering mind of mine said to my artistic mind.
I had about 2 hours of time kill. "Shall I sleep?", I thought. "Lol, No!". I don't like to sleep while travelling. As they say, and I agree, "The journey is far more enjoyable than the destination itself". However this time it was not completely true. The journey was enjoyable, yes, but not far more than the destination. After all, once at the destination I would be working towards my "hidden agenda". My internship partner, let's call her Ms. D, was also from Bangalore and had reached Delhi a day before me. I wondered if my internship partner had the same agenda in her mind as I did.
I haven't revealed what my "hidden agenda" was, did I? If I would have revealed it in the beginning itself, it wouldn't really be "hidden". My plan was to use this opportunity of interning in Delhi to explore the city as much as possible. Delhi is a popular tourist destination, with points of interest ranging from historical places to places of cosmopolitan nature. I had been to Delhi many times before this, but had not seen so many tourist sites. This time I wanted to go to tick off as many places as possible from my to-visit list that I had made in my mind. I wondered if I'll get enough free time to visit all the places in my list.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3, New Delhi 10 minutes ahead of our scheduled arrival. You can now use your mobile phones. The outside temperature is 45 degrees Celsius. Collect your baggage at belt number 6......." and other announcements followed.
The words "45 degrees" left a chill down my spine. As expected the temperature was soaring high. I thought for a second if my decision to intern at Delhi in the month of June was a good one. It was going to be one long and hot stay there. I am a native of Delhi, but have been staying in Bangalore for quite long. The soaring high temperatures of Delhi are too far off from Bangalore climate.
Terminal 3 of IGI Airport is the international terminal. However, a few domestic flights also do land here. I have been quite lucky to have been on those domestic flights more than once. The mysterious hand gestures at the Terminal 3 always intrigued me. On Googling, I found that they are the various hand gestures of the Indian dances and are known as mudras. How thoughtful of the designer, greeting the foreign visitors to Delhi with a touch of Indian culture.
As I collected my bag and exited the terminal, a gust of warm loo was ready to welcome me. It was indeed a warm welcome to Delhi, literally.