Traveller, Tourist or Explorer

As I sit here in departure lounge. Or is it the arrivals. Maybe there is a revolving sign. Everything is very new, clean and everyone smiling with crisp well ironed uniforms.

There is a mix of nationalities with a common language. Excitement. Making history. The first flight out of Jaisalmer.

Although I made the paper I didn’t make the first through check in. They got a photo and a round of applauds. And they were non Indian. Like peacocks with all their feathers fluttering, smiles and lots of happiness.

There is such a relaxed and calm atmosphere here. Children’s voices echo in the dome of the hall, alongside the breeze of the ever present fan. Freshly painted pots with plants start to adorn the space towards the departure gate. Or is that the arrivals gate.

And now the usual anxiety builds as people jostle to get through. A queue is forming and people approach with haste. We have 20 minutes before boarding. Where is the rush. Shanti shanti.

Jacques is on the flight now to Jaisalmer and it seems I won’t get to meet him. Maybe he'll see a random woman waving at him through the highly polished glass and wonder who I am. I hope in time I’ll get to meet him at the school. Next visit. As my article states. I visit once a year.

A private jet lands next to our plane and everyone strains to see who it is. Lots of handshaking and postering, minimal smiles from the man arriving although his wife smiles while chatting to the other lady on the flight. The second man stands to the rear of the party. I wonder who they are. Not Jacques and I can’t see him in the faces arriving from Delhi.

We board the flight and the peacock in all the postering didn’t have his boarding pass stamped and has to return to security. Twenty rows of double seats, 17A is my resting point for the next couple of hours.

We made our way to the runway after a slight delay for the luggage staff wrestling with a pushchair, which baffled them all and was put on board in the upright position. I watched the landscape around the airport and my heart rose with a longing, a desire to return as tears fell as an alchemical offering to the desert. Jaisalmer, I shall return.

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