I just returned from Hyderabad.
The RZIM 2013 National Conference was amazing. The rich presence of bounteous speakers from a NASA astronaut to Krish Dhanam to Ravi Zachariah was like drinking from an ever-flowing fountain of fresh water poured out of heaven. Great stuff! I am refreshed.
The Novotel Hotel was amazing too. Our room had a great view, 18 degrees Celsius air-conditioning and a comfortable bed. What more can one ask when all this is accompanied by good food, abundant fellowship, meeting old friends and making new ones? I am invigorated, revitalized and galvanized to go forth for the Kingdom and the market place.
And then a while ago we landed at the Mumbai, Sahar airport.
The Air India flight was a shocking. There was stale food stuck to my table when I desired to put my IPad on it to have a small read. I gave up immediately as soon as I noticed that. The seat pocket was torn, and the carpet was literally filthy, and my window had an oily residue of a past passenger’s head. Air India! When did the maharaja last fly on that I wondered? Or did they use this aircraft to shoot the movie ‘Snakes on a Plane’?
Was God testing my tenacity after such a great heavenly time?
And there was more…
We had to walk through immigration, then go through customs, then pass under the scanning eyes of the x-ray machine guy who gives you that ‘I know what your hiding’ look. You keep your boarding card in view all the time and they let you go after looking at you with the ‘I’m really sure you got something hiding’ look once more. And you feel terrible and guilty. Then you also have to run to get a baggage cart. Mine was lame. At every rotation of the wheel it shuddered with a heavy vibration. You had to push with great purpose if you had to take it somewhere, as it seemed to have a mind of its own, going left all the time. The baggage belt was like a dream. It started and stopped, then started and stopped. And we had to wait till we saw our baggage in the distance. I wondered how many times the belt would stop before I really got my baggage.
But the taxi ride home was something else.
The CNG fuel cylinder took up 90% of the boot space so all our baggage was balancing on that tank and I wondered if my suitcase would change shape by the time I reached home. The taxi stunk of stale cigarette smoke, garlic, pickle oil and sweat mixed with petrol and grease…all rolled into one. You can figure that out. It’s something the French ought to take up as a challenge to overcome with their succinct art of perfumery. If they ever did I wonder what they would name that…Poison Taxi Dior or something like that.
I said the taxi ride was something else
Every nut and bolt was vibrating with vengeance to get you raving mad. The clutch screamed out like a banshee in hell, and the driver leaned on the horn all the way home. I think the taxi driver was in too much of a hurry…either he wanted to send us all to heaven or he just wanted to go home himself. I cannot guess.
I think I had enough. By the time I got off in front of my door, although I was standing on solid ground, my brain kept on pulsating in my head, and I though I was going delinquent.
Home…at last! And so thankful to God.
Here is what I think…India is the greatest testing ground for patience, trust, faith, prayer, and tenacity and longsuffering and peace. Your lessons are life changing.
And hey! I learnt this from a very young age by watching my Dad. My Dad taught us to polish brass articles at home…the harder you rub them, the better they shine!