Sam and I had a stunningly interesting time in Mumbai and Bangalore this week. Under wraps for the moment, but some images from the trip below.
One key book I read on the flights: Mark Venhoenacker’s Skyfaring. Utterly brilliant.
On the flight back to London (BA 118, leaving Bangalore at 07.00 this morning) I talked about the book with one of the air hostesses, Roshni, who was also reading it.
But when asked whether everyone she knew was reading it, she said she was the only she knew of – other than her brother, who had recommended it to her, and now me.
A truly wonderful gift for anyone who flies – or wants it do so.
As Roshni commented, it’s hard to read the whole thing in one sitting, but it’s almost impossible to avoid dipping back in – not least to test whether remarkable things you remember were actually in the text.
A particular highlight of this trip: being guided around Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport‘s Terminal 2, described in a 2014 YouTube video as the gateway to “India’s most vibrant city.” An extraordinary achievement in weaving together thousands of objects representing India’s cultural and artistic traditions. The curator: Rajeev Sethi.
Then on to Bengaluru and Kempegowda International Airport. My second time in Bengaluru – and I saw a lot more this time. A very seductive city, especially where there are remnant rain trees, once widely used as a boulevard tree.
Enjoyed my first visit to the Lalbach Botanical Gardens, but was stunned by the amount of plastic debris most places we went. Great mats of it in the lake. Next time I’m tempted to take waders and some trash bags.
Some young people were picking up litter across the gneiss rock formation that is a dominant feature of the Gardens (see image 19 below), though we couldn’t work out whether they were only picking up some types of plastics, or more generally applying themselves to the task.
Wonderful sense of emergence in India at the moment.