Between Things

29 January 2013

It was the most dangerous day to fly in the whole year. The day before was Mohammed’s birthday, and the day after was the national Republic day. Travelling between Delhi and Srinagar meant that we were travelling between the two most dangerous places on the most dangerous day of the year. This didn’t seem so obvious until after all the bag, body and passport checks by the military getting in to and around the airport.

The soldiers had me tapping my feet and drinking water for hours until we finally boarded the plane. It wasn’t until an hour later when we touched down in Delhi that my feet stopped tapping.

It felt safer and warmer, but we were only here as a stopover for the rest of India. It felt right. Alex liked talking to the brothers and girlfriend of the Kashmiri family about the politics and controversies of the family, like it really mattered, whilst I was drinking beer with some Indian students who liked to talk about ‘boom boom’ with non-Indian girls whom they’ve never met. Actually one did ‘do boom boom’ with a Japanese girl. He pulled an old faded photo out of his wallet that was so crinkled you could barely make out who was in the photo. Eventually I recognised him.

Although we were only there for a place to go between the north and the rest of India, some of the very few words Alex and I shared were when we were lying down in the park. You couldn’t really smell the fumes anymore.