Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jai Ho

So I spent parts of the weekend plagiarizing Shepard Fairey's Obama poster and making it fit the occasion better. No words this week. Only an image and great pride at sharing a hometown with A R Rahman.

Note: The image is from a google image search. I have no idea who took it but if you did, let me know so I can credit you properly. The original,iconic poster is by Shepard Fairey. The steps I got from this post (Thanks, Rick, whoever you may be) : GimpTalk. It's easy if you have Gimp and Inkscape (both are free!!).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ports Illustrated

My wife and I fly quite a bit. So airports play a somewhat important role in our lives. Here's a disconnected paean/rant about two of them. (Current, satisfied?)

MAA was where I first set foot on a flight - the one that would take me out of India for a while. Obviously it trumps any airport. If you haven't heard or are not human, returning home is the best feeling ever. You are in for a surprise as you get out of the plane at MAA though. Water molecules that were relaxing in their subdermal, cellular residences, rush out to greet the parched atmosphere with a frenzy. The water carriers (us) are pleasantly surprised/highly annoyed when we find we have taken a shower without asking for one. Quickly finding yourself standing next to similarly sweaty/glowing co-passengers, cooped in a bus taking its time around the tarmac, doesn't help your extra sensitive olfactory nerves. Inside the airport, you find that MAA has learnt from it's western counterparts and is now charging Rs.35 for a tiny cup of coffee and Rs.40 for 12 pieces of chiclets. You will need to sell aircraft that you do not own to buy a samosa and some ketchup. The paper plates are free.

You need to be wary of any airport that has terminals 1,2,3 and 5 but not 4. I liken ORD to the mofussil bus stands in Chennai. The only thing missing are the hawkers and handkerchiefs on seats. operate on ORD Standard Time, a timezone that always extends beyond your flights ETA. Instead of conductors yelling 'Mayaram, Mayaram' or some other destination and banging on the sides of buses, there are irate gate attendants. Go on a Friday evening and you can find them yelling for people to give up their seats in exchange for a later flight or a hotel room and a round trip ticket. I wonder if someone can stay at the airport indefinitely by just paying for one ticket and then giving it up repeatedly for more tickets. Anyway terminal 3 really has the best choice for food. When buying a sub causes a credit check to be triggered, wouldn't you rather have a choice? Can someone really explain what is there in the food at airports that makes them so exorbitant? Gold dust??