Air travel in India has connected some weird and wonderful places. So who else is skywalking with me on this trip – literally – in this plane?
Once upon a time, the only people going into Bagdogra were tea planters, Army or AIr Force, or their children going up to the many boarding schools in Darjeeling and other places in the hills. But today there is a direct flight from Bangalore to Bagdogra – and we were on it at the start of our Himalayan adventure. I love watching people and making up, or even finding out their stories, and any train station or plane in India is a smogasbord of peoples.
10 types of people on the plane to Bagdogra
- A group of 17 year olds from a border town in Nepal, returning home for the holidays. All studying Computer Science.
- Entire families of excited Bengalis – from granny to toddler. Carting large bags of hand baggage -full of gifts?
- Muscular maroon robed Buddhist monks enrapt in Hollywood movies. I sneaked a peek – it wasn’t bollywood on the iPad.
- Nuns – grey habited and veiled catholic nuns, some young and active going out to teach and serve in the hills, slightly apprehensive, and the older ones calm and peaceful.
- Young single women, with the typical look of the northeast, fashionably dressed and travelling alone.
- Trekkers like us, carting huge backpacks with well-worn in hiking boots. The cost of the boots alone could buy your ticket.
- Earnest snub nosed dark men, all young and quiet absorbed in their mobile phones
- Sleeping children – a few. Yes, there are indeed fewer children than before – they’ve all grown up.
- Defence guys headed back to service – you can tell them by their buzz haircuts and alert posture.
- Very sharply turned out cabin crew eager to serve and sell merchandise! In miniskirts.